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The Biblical Basis for the Nicene Creed Pt. 4

I’ve now arrived at the final segment in the series:  https://answeringallah.com/the-biblical-basis-for-the-nicene-creed-pt-3/

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church.

By catholic, the framers of the Creed meant that Christ’s spiritual Body, the Church, is universal, being spread out throughout the entire world.

“But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.” Matthew 10:17-18 MEV

“But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew from there. And great crowds followed Him, and He healed them all, and warned them that they should not make Him known, to fulfill what was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: ‘Here is My Servant, whom I have chosen, My Beloved, in whom My soul is well pleased; I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He will render judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not struggle nor cry out, nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not quench, until He renders judgment unto victory; and in His name will the Gentiles trust.’” Matthew 12:15-21 MEV

“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18 MEV

“If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” Matthew 18:17 MEV

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:14 MEV

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” Matthew 28:19-20 MEV

“He said to them, ‘Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.’” Mark 16:15 MEV

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 MEV

“Therefore take heed to yourselves and to the entire flock, over which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” Acts 20:28 MEV

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. For it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16 MEV

“Greet one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ greet you.” Romans 16:16 MEV

“For we are laborers together with God: You are God’s vineyard; you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which has been given to me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, but another builds on it. Now let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no one can lay another foundation than that which was laid, which is Jesus Christ… Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy. And you are His temple.” 1 Corinthians 3:9-11, 16-17 MEV

“You are all sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, and there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:26-29 MEV

“For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the entire building, tightly framed together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God through the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:18-22 MEV

“because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you have already heard in the word of the truth of the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as it has in all the world, and brings forth fruit, as it has also in you, since the day you heard it and knew the grace of God in truth… For it pleased the Father that in Him all fullness should dwell, and to reconcile all things to Himself by Him, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him, I say—whether they are things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, who were formerly alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and blameless and above reproach in His sight, if you continue in the faith, grounded and settled, and are not removed from the hope of the gospel, which you have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.” Colossians 1:19-23 MEV

“but if I am delayed, you might know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15 MEV

“Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, testifying about those things that were to be spoken later. But Christ is faithful over God’s house as a Son, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of our hope firm to the end.” Hebrews 3:5-6 MEV

   We affirm one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

There is a baptism, which is essential for salvation, namely, the baptism done by the Holy Spirit. This is the moment when the Spirit unites a believer to Christ’s spiritual body, making him one with Christ. Unless and until a person undergoes such a baptism, s/he does not belong to Christ and therefore remains dead in their trespasses:

“I indeed have baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” Mark 1:8 MEV

“You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. Now if any man does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit that lives in you. Therefore, brothers, we are debtors not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if through the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. For you have not received the spirit of slavery again to fear. But you have received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirits that we are the children of God, and if children, then heirs: heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified with Him.” Romans 8:9-17 MEV

“But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him… What? Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God, and that you are not your own? You were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:17, 19-20 MEV

“For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the many parts of that one body are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body, whether we are Jews or Gentiles, whether we are slaves or free, and we have all been made to drink of one Spirit. The body is not one part, but many.” 1 Corinthians 12:12-14 MEV

However, the Christians who wrote this statement of the Creed clearly had water baptism in view, as any fair reading of the church fathers will show. The Christians at the time believed that water baptism was the instrument through which God conferred the gift of the Holy Spirit, regeneration and the forgiveness of sins.

Therefore, I am going to cite all the verses that are typically quoted in support of their belief that water baptism was the means by which the Holy Spirit of God forgave and regenerated sinners. I will then leave it up to the readers to decide whether these passages actually teach water baptismal regeneration or not.

“He who believes and is baptized will be saved. But he who does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:16 MEV

“Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly I say to you, unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.’” John 3:5 MEV

“Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” Acts 2:38 MEV

“And now why do you wait? Rise, be baptized and wash away your sins, and call on the name of the Lord.” Acts 22:16 MEV

“Do you not know that we who were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with Him in the likeness of His death, so shall we also be united with Him in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man has been crucified with Him, so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we should no longer be slaves to sin.” Romans 6:3-6 MEV

“one Lord, one faith, one baptism,” Ephesians 4:5 MEV

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,” Ephesians 5:25-26 MEV

“In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which also you were raised with Him through the faith of the power of God, who has raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has resurrected together with Him, having forgiven you all sins. He blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us and contrary to us, and He took it out of the way, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed authorities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them by the cross.” Colossians 2:11-15 MEV

“not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of rebirth and the renewal of the Holy Spirit,” Titus 3:5 MEV

“who in times past were disobedient, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. Figuratively this is like baptism, which also saves us now. It is not washing off the dirt from the body, but a response to God from a good conscience through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” 1 Peter 3:20-21MEV

We look forward to the resurrection of the dead,
and to life in the world to come. Amen.

“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He will stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God, whom I will see for myself, and my eyes will behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me.” Job 19:25-26 MEV

“In this mountain the LORD of Hosts shall prepare for all people a lavish feast, a feast of aged wines, choice pieces full of marrow, and refined, aged wines. He will destroy in this mountain the covering which is over all peoples, even the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death for all time, and the LORD God will wipe away tears from all faces; and the reproach of His people He shall take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken it. It shall be said in that day: Look, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us. This is the LORD for whom we have waited; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.” Isaiah 25:6-9 MEV

Your dead shall live, their corpses shall arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust, for your dew is as the dew of the dawn, and the earth shall give birth to the departed spirits.” Isaiah 26:19 MEV

“Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, but others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine as the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who turn the many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.” Daniel 12:2-3 MEV

“Do not marvel at this. For the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come out—those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.” John 5:28-29 MEV

“‘This is the will of the Father who has sent Me, that of all whom He has given Me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.’ The Jews then murmured about Him, because He said, ‘I am the bread which came down from heaven.’ They said, ‘Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, “I have come down from heaven”?’ Jesus therefore answered them, ‘Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who has sent Me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day… Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life. And I will raise him up on the last day.’” John 6:39-44, 54 MEV

“I have hope in God that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust, which they also expect.” Acts 24:15 MEV

“Now if Christ is preached that He rose from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not risen. If Christ has not risen, then our preaching is vain, and your faith is also vain. Yes, and we would then be found false witnesses of God, because we have testified that God raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up, if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ has not been raised. If Christ is not raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins. Then they also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead and become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came by man, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward, those who are Christ’s at His coming. Then comes the end when He will deliver up the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He will reign until He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.” 1 Corinthians 15:12-26 MEV

“So it is written, ‘The first man Adam was made a living soul.’ The last Adam was made a life-giving spirit. However, that which is spiritual is not first, but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second man was the Lord from heaven. As was the man of dust, so are those who are of dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven. As we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. Now this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet, for the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible will put on incorruption, and this mortal will put on immortality. When this corruptible will have put on incorruption, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then the saying that is written shall come to pass: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ ‘O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?’ The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:45-58 MEV

“But I would not have you ignorant, brothers, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and arose again, so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will not precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we shall be forever with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 MEV

“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it. From His face the earth and the heavens fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God. Books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. The dead were judged according to their works as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one by his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:11-15 MEV

“Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth.’ For the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no more sea. I, John, saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven, saying, ‘Look! The tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them. They shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. There shall be no more death.” Neither shall there be any more sorrow nor crying nor pain, for the former things have passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘Look! I am making all things new.’ Then He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true.’ He said to me, ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the spring of the water of life to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.” Revelation 21:1-7 MEV

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