The Apostles’ Creed: The Resurrection of the Body; and the Life Everlasting (Review)

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WEEK 9, DAY 5: The Resurrection of the Body; and the Life Everlasting (Review)

READING & JOURNALING:

What was your biggest takeaway from this week’s teaching — “[I believe in] the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting?”

 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible through a year (September 2019 – August 2020). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: Daniel 3 & 4

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

 

 

The Apostles’ Creed: Amen – So Be It

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WEEK 9, DAY 4: Amen – So Be It

Years ago, a small group of people known as South Ridge Church began a ministry in a small town in West Virginia. Through a stroke of God’s grace, we were able to meet in a facility that allowed us to grow the ministry. The carpet and pews were an odd shade of burnt orange, yet we couldn’t have asked for a better location to meet. Over time, the people of South Ridge Church came together with the hope of building a facility that would allow the ministry to grow.

During this campaign, which we named Making Ripples, the people of SRC took the opportunity to write out prayers for the future of the ministry. Before doing so, Pastor Seth taught a brief message on the word Amen. Like many Christians, we would use this word at the end of our prayers, but what exactly does Amen mean? Pulling material from other biblical scholars, Seth noted that Amen may best be translated, “So be it.” Other translations include, “It is so.”

Having the Apostles’ Creed end with the word Amen, therefore, has a profound meaning. It’s a way for the person reciting it to end on a note of hope. It’s as if they’re saying, “I believe all these things, it is so, and it will always be so.” 

READING & JOURNALING:

Take the opportunity to read through the Apostles’ Creed on your own, but out loud today. A copy of the creed is available below.

12 Articles of the Apostles’ Creed:

  1. I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
  2. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord;
  3. who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary;
  4. suffered under Pontius Pilate; [He] was crucified, dead, and buried;
  5. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead;
  6. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
  7. From there He shall come to judge the living and the dead. 
  8. I believe in the Holy Spirit;
  9. the holy catholic church*; the communion of saints;
  10. the forgiveness of sins;
  11. the resurrection of the body;
  12. and the life everlasting. Amen.

*“Catholic” means universal; that is, there is one church across all times, places, and peoples 

What has been your biggest takeaway from this message series on the Apostles’ Creed? 

Are there any specific ways this series has impacted the way you see how your beliefs lead to your values and your behaviors? 

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father,  even though the Apostles’ Creed is over 1,600 years old, the truths contained within it are timeless. My desire is that these truths will be seeded deep within me, so that these beliefs transform me into the person You have made me to be. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible through a year (September 2019 – August 2020). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: Daniel 1 & 2

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

 

 

The Apostles’ Creed: The Life Everlasting

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WEEK 9, DAY 3: The Life Everlasting

The human mind, as spectacular as it may be, still has its limits. We can create algorithms and equations that will propel computers – and perhaps one day, people – to Mars. We can build a building that is over 2,7000 feet high. Looking at our accomplishments through the years, it would be easy to assume there isn’t anything we can’t do. 

But one thing we just can’t comprehend is eternity. It’s just impossible to wrap our minds around it. Still, despite our limited capacity to grasp eternity, the Scriptures are clear in stating that we have an eternal future. 

  • “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” (John 14:2)
  • “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Rev. 21:4) 
  • “But, as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.’” (1 Cor. 2:9)

READING & JOURNALING:

     REVELATION 21:1-8

How regularly do you take time to think about the everlasting life that is to come? 

Some people like to think about eternal life as something that begins after death, but God’s Word tells us that our eternal life begins immediately after placing our faith in Christ. What thoughts come to your mind when you hear, “Your eternal life – life everlasting – has already begun?”  

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I confess there are times when I think about my eternal life beginning after my earthly death, and it’s refreshing to be reminded that my eternal life has already begun. Today, I simply want to celebrate this truth and live with the expectant hope of life everlasting. Amen.

 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible through a year (September 2019 – August 2020). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: Ezekiel 1:1-3, 36:16-38, & 37

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

 

 

The Apostles’ Creed: The Beauty of Baptism

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WEEK 9, DAY 2: The Beauty of Baptism

There are a number of notable baptisms throughout the New Testament. Jesus begins His ministry being baptized by John the Baptist. Later, in Acts 2, the Apostle Peter preaches the first message after Jesus’ death and resurrection and 3,000 people believe in Christ and are baptized. Later still, Paul, who initially hated Christians, has his own conversion experience and is baptized. 

Throughout the Scriptures, there aren’t any passages that indicate baptism is a requirement for salvation. Ephesians 2 is quite clear in saying that we are saved by God’s grace, not from anything we can do on our own (that includes being baptized). Yet, baptism is still a beautiful part of the Christian life, because it symbolizes the topic of resurrection so well. 

When somebody chooses to be baptized, they are are publicly expressing that they have died to sin, and been raised to life through faith in Christ. Their old life is gone, and their new life has begun. It’s a declaration that death has been defeated. 

In short, baptism is an outward expression of an inward reality.

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven. (Colossians 3:1)

READING & JOURNALING:

     COLOSSIANS 3:1-11, ROMANS 6:1-14

If you’ve been baptized, what is most memorable to you about that experience? 

What do you find most enjoyable about baptism services? 

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, today I simply want to thank You for Your saving grace. There are many times I tell myself I need to do more to earn your love, but Your Word tells me that You loved me so much Christ gave His life for me. There’s nothing more I can do for Your love, because You’ve already given it so freely! May I rest in this truth each and every day. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible through a year (September 2019 – August 2020). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: Jeremiah 52, 2 Kings 24 & 25

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

 

 

The Apostles’ Creed: The Resurrection of the Body

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WEEK 9, DAY 1: I Believe in the Resurrection of the Body

Throughout this message series we’ve looked into a number of core teachings of the Christian faith. From God the Father, to Jesus Christ, His death, His resurrection, the Holy Spirit, the holy church, the forgiveness of sins, and more. Yet there are two more lines in the Apostles’ Creed that must be covered. The creed ends with, [I believe in] the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. 

As we begin to dissect these statements, let’s go ahead and acknowledge that people, in general, don’t like to talk about death. We don’t even like to think about death. The fact that you’re reading about death at this moment may be causing you a little anxiety. But without death, we would be unable to get into the topic of resurrection. And without resurrection, we would be unable to discuss the victory we have in Christ.

It’s worth noting, therefore, that the Apostles’ Creed does not end on a somber note about death. Instead, it ends in complete and total celebration. In fact, the end of the Apostles’ Creed is so celebratory we ought finish it triumphantly, loudly praising God because we can rest in the confident truth that death has no victory, but Jesus is Victor. 

READING & JOURNALING:

     1 CORINTHIANS 15:12-20, 15:54-57, 1 THESSALONIANS 4:13-14

What thoughts came to your mind as you read the end of the devotional today, “… the end of the Apostles’ Creed is so celebratory we ought finish it triumphantly, loudly praising God because we can rest in the confident truth that death has no victory, but Jesus is Victor?” 

What questions, if any, do you have from today’s Scripture reading? Where will you go to find the answers to them? 

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I confess that I may loudly shout during moments of excitement and celebration, but I don’t always think excited or celebratory thoughts while reading the Apostles’ Creed. May the truths of Your Word give me a new perspective on what’s really worth celebrating. Amen. 

 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible through a year (September 2019 – August 2020). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: Jeremiah 31:31-40, 32, & 33

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

 

 

The Apostles’ Creed: I Believe in the Forgiveness of Sins (Review)

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WEEK 8, DAY 5: I Believe in the Forgiveness of Sins (Review)

READING & JOURNALING:

What was your biggest takeaway from this week’s teaching — “[I believe] in the forgiveness of sins?”

 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible through a year (September 2019 – August 2020). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: Jeremiah 25 & 29

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

 

 

The Apostles’ Creed: The Prodigal Son

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WEEK 8, DAY 4: The Prodigal Son

Whether your childhood was good or bad, imagine for a moment that your parents were extremely loving and caring. All throughout your childhood your parents may have worked hard, but they also raised you with tremendous wisdom, grace and love. 

When the time came for you to go to college, your parents provided everything you would need. Your entire tuition, housing, and food was all covered. In fact, they even threw in a little extra spending money, encouraging you to have time out with your friends. 

A couple of years later, while you’re still working on your degree, it’s your brother’s turn to go to college. But he decides he doesn’t want to go. Instead, he asks mom and dad to give him his college funds, and he goes out and lives however he pleases. Within a couple of years, he has wasted all of his money on drugs, prostitutes, and other forms of wild living.

Nobody hears from him for a few years, but suddenly he decides to come home. You learn that mom and dad are throwing a celebration in his honor, even spending a chunk of their retirement funds for the party. How do you respond? 

READING & JOURNALING:

If You have been in a Christian church for any length of time, you have almost certainly heard the story of the prodigal son. In fact, it’s possible that You’ve heard it or read it often enough that you feel like there’s nothing new to learn from it. Today, take the opportunity to read through this story as if you’ve never heard it before.

Read LUKE 15:11-32

Write out in one sentence the main lesson Jesus was teaching in this story. 

How does this lesson continue to apply to your life today? 

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, once again I acknowledge how easy it is for me to see the sin in others’ lives, yet fail to see the impact sin has had in my own life. Help me to celebrate the victories of others coming to know You, and to celebrate the forgiveness You have provided me! I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.  

 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible through a year (September 2019 – August 2020). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: Jeremiah 1:1-3:5

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

 

 

The Apostles’ Creed: Have Mercy on Me, a Sinner

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WEEK 8, DAY 3: Have Mercy on Me, a Sinner

Our News and Media articles today are filled with stories of tragedies, loss, and pain. For our part, it’s easy to see or read a news article about a murder, a robbery, or any number of crimes and think to ourselves, “I would never do that. What were they thinking?” 

Yet this way of thinking is far more judgmental than we may realize. When these kinds of thoughts come our way, it’s important to ask ourselves, “If I lived that person’s life, and experienced everything they’ve experienced, would I have made a different decision in that moment?” The reality is that we don’t know, and it’s quite possible that we would make the exact same decision. 

During the Roman Empire, those who had the job of a Tax Collector were pretty much looked upon as the scum of the earth. Tax Collectors were notoriously ruthless, and would often charge more than the appropriate amount so that their earnings would be higher. People pointed at Tax Collectors  regularly thinking, “I would never do that!” But by doing so they were neglecting to realize that their judgmental behavior was just as offensive to God.

READING & JOURNALING:

     LUKE 18:9-14, MATTHEW 7:1-5

How regularly do you find yourself looking at the negative actions of others and thinking, “I would never do that?”

“If you lived that person’s life, and experienced everything they’ve experienced, could you know for certain that you would’ve made a different decision in that moment?” 

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I confess there are times when I am more like the Pharisee in Luke 18, saying, “I’m glad I’m not like that person over there!” I’m continually growing to realize that this attitude is a sinful one, and is not the attitude You have called me to have. Have mercy on me, a sinner. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible through a year (September 2019 – August 2020). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: 2 Kings 22 & 23

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

 

 

The Apostles’ Creed: The Psalms of Ascent

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WEEK 8, DAY 2: The Psalms of Ascent 

In the Old Testament Psalms, there is a group of Psalms known as the Psalms of Ascent (Psalm 120-134). These were songs that the people of God would sing as they were traveling into Jerusalem for celebratory festivals. While reading through these Psalms, it’s important to remember they were songs. The people didn’t just read through them or listen to a local teacher read them during a weekend worship service. Instead, the people of God journeyed together into the city of Jerusalem. Some people with them would be family and friends, but others would be complete strangers. Yet they would join together and sing. They considered each of these Psalms to be a step in their journey to Jerusalem. 

The would sing of their desire for peace. They would sing a prayer that God would bring His peace upon others. They would sing that God would have mercy on them. They would sing that they have sinned against God. And they would sing praises because God had forgiven them of those sins. 

As you read today, imagine that you were writing a song about your own sins and the forgiveness God offers. How would you put your own words into a song of worship? 

READING & JOURNALING:

     PSALM 130

Regarding this Psalm, pastor Matt Chandler asks, “When was the last time you cried out for God’s mercy, recognizing the severity of sin in your life?” 

If you were to write a song lyric (just one or two lines) about your own sin, what would you write? 

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, it’s interesting to me that those on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem would sing each Psalm of Ascent as a step on their journey. Today, I simply pray that You would provide me wisdom in those moments when I’m not sure what step is best for me to take. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible through a year (September 2019 – August 2020). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: 2 Kings 19, 20, & 21

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

 

 

The Apostles’ Creed: I Believe in the Forgiveness of Sins

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WEEK 8, DAY 1: I Believe in the Forgiveness of Sins 

In the beginning…God created the heavens and the earth. Everything about the earth was in perfect order. Adam and Eve lived in the most beautiful garden, and were able to live their lives completely naked and unashamed. It was, quite literally, heaven on earth. 

While living in this perfect utopia, God gave Adam and Eve just one rule. Outside of that, they could do whatever they wanted. But God told them not to eat fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. That was it. Everything else was fair game. 

You know how this story ends…Adam and Eve blew it. 

The reality of sin in the world is apparent. Yet, as Christians we don’t always like to talk about it. Sure, we may think it’s OK to talk about other’s sins. But we hesitate to talk about our own sins. 

However, the topic of sin is a fundamental part of Christian teachings. Not just sin itself, but our own sins. Without our sins, there was no reason for Jesus to die. To accept His death is to accept that He bore our sins, so that we may be forgiven. 

READING & JOURNALING:

     GENESIS 3:1-19

If you have a Study Bible, take a few minutes to look up “Sin” in the index or concordance in the back, and read through some of the Scripture verses referenced there. Which of these verses sticks out to you most? What, if anything, did you learn about your own sin? (Note: An online search quickly reveals 100 verses to read! If your Study Bible is similar, you may want to look up the 10 that seem most relevant.) 

Are there any other topics you would like to look up in the future? Take the opportunity to write them down, and then begin to research them in your free time. 

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, it’s clear that Your Word has a lot to say about the subject of sin! Help me to see sin the same way You do, and to understand the power of forgiveness. Amen.

 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible through a year (September 2019 – August 2020). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: 2 Kings 17 & 18

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.