Character Development

Character Development

 Definition of Character

Character is the total of personal traits an individual possesses that make him what he is. Character refers to moral qualities, ethical standards, and principles that govern a person’s conduct and cause him to choose one course of action over another. Christian character growth is based upon allowing God to develop His attributes in our personal lives.

In 2 Corinthians, Paul says:

And all of us, with unveiled faces (because we) continue to behold (in the Word of God) as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another (for this comes from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit). – 2 Corinthians 3:18 (AMP)

 Character development is a continuous process in our lives and is dependent upon our constant “beholding” of the Lord through His Word. Peter also emphasizes this in 2 Peter 1:3-8:

Do you want more and more of God’s kindness and peace? Then learn to know Him better and better. As you know Him better, He will give you, through His great power, everything you need for living a perfect life: He even shares His glory and goodness with us! And by that same mighty power, He has given us all the other rich and beautiful blessings He promised; for instance, the promise to save us from the lust and rottenness all around us and to give us His Character.

 But to obtain these gifts, you need more than faith; you must also work hard to be good (Virtue), which is not enough. You must learn to know God better and discover what He wants you to do (Knowledge). Next, you must learn to put aside your desires (Temperance) so that you will become Patient and Godly, gladly letting God have His way with you. It will make possible the next step, which is for you to enjoy other people and to like them (Brotherly Kindness), and finally, you will grow to love them deeply (Charity). The more you go on in this way, the more you will grow strong spiritually and become fruitful and beneficial to our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:3-8 (LB). It is clear, therefore, that Christian Character requires we constantly work at these areas of our life as we walk by faith daily. We can never become what God wants us to be on our strength – we must trust Him to produce His Character in us. But neither can we sit back and wait for this to happen spontaneously. We must work hard at obeying what God reveals to us from Scripture. Growth in Christ-like Character is a matter of allowing God’s Spirit to indwell our lives completely.

 This will allow the fruits of the Spirit to become evident in our lives. (Please refer to Galatians 5:22,23 for a definition of Fruits of the Spirit). That is why the basics of the Christian life are so essential. The Word and Prayer Hands help us continue in God’s Word so that we behold God as He has revealed Himself to us.

We live in a day and age where people are recreating Jesus in their images, and their characters are affected due to their pride and arrogance. We also have a faithful enemy trying to distort God’s image so that we disobey and no longer walk in obedience. Fleshy and Christian character traits are emphasized in the Old and New Testaments – Proverbs 6: 16, 17; Galatians 5:19-21; Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Peters, 1:3-8; Matthew 5:3-12.

 How Character is formed:

When God controls our lives, He produces His fruits or attributes in our characters (Thesis). But if we allow Satan to be in control, he will produce the opposite of God’s fruits (Antithesis) in our characters or a compromise (Synthesis). Either of these alternatives is less than God’s best and prevents us from becoming what He wants us to be. Every believer is a new creation in Christ, and his inner man has been born again by the Spirit of God.

 Therefore, he has a new capacity to develop a character that reflects the qualities of Jesus Christ. These qualities of life are the Christian traits that we have already listed. Sometimes Christians fail to form a character that glorifies God. Why does this happen? Although our inner man is saved, our outward man is still corruptible and perishing and waiting for completed redemption. Therefore, we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, the inward man is renewed daily. – 2 Corinthians 4:16 And not only they, but we also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for our body’s adoption and redemption. Romans 8:23

 The desires of the flesh press us to allow them to be manifested through our bodies. Daily, decisions are made in our inner man—whether to obey God’s will and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit who lives within us or yield to the flesh’s desires. God created us with a will, intellect, and emotions. Satan will try to influence these three faculties to condone evil thoughts (intellect), to yield to what feels good (emotions), or to act upon what we want rather than what we know is right (will). To develop actual Christian character traits, we must not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. It means bringing every thought (intellect) into captivity to the obedience of Christ, submitting our feelings (emotions) to the scrutiny of the Word of God to see if they are in accord with His desire for us, and yielding our wills to the Spirit’s control so that we obey instantly and joyfully God’s revealed Will for us in His Word (will). As our minds, emotions, and will, are brought into the service of the Holy Spirit, who lives within us through obedience to God’s Word, the works of the flesh will not be manifest in our bodies. Instead, Christian character traits will be formed in our lives.

 How to Develop Character:

  1. Recognize the Influence of Your Environment

Your home, parents, school, church, job, government, and friends significantly influence you. Some of that influence occurred when you were only a child and cannot be erased. However, it can be overcome by carefully regulating your current lifestyle.

 2.  The Holy Spirit—The Chief Agent

The Holy Spirit can transform any Christian’s life into one that will please God. Trust Him to do miracles in you.  But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18

 The Word of God—the Chief Tool

Unless we consistently look to God through His Word to guide us in our decisions and thoughts, we can never expect continuing character growth to occur. A Christian must continue in the Word to have a disciple’s Character.

 Then Jesus told those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.” John 8:31

 Reputation vs. Character:

Reputation is what people think you are:

  • Truthful
  • Submissive
  • Humble
  • Sensitive
  • Loyal
  • Friendly
  • Hospitable
  • Diplomatic (tactful, cooperative)
  • Transparent (open, teachable, frank, sincere, receptive)
  • Forgiving
  • Obedient
  • Compassionate
  • Disciplined (self-controlled)
  • Faithful (dependable)
  • Pure (holy, godly)
  • In Control of Tongue
  • Innovative (resourceful)
  • Available,
  • Feasible,
  • Adaptable
  • Discerning
  • Self-assured
  • Generous
  • Patient,
  • Gentle,
  • Calm
  • Bold,
  • Courageous,
  • Forceful
  • Punctual
  • Humorous
  • Decisive
  • Confident
  • Grateful
  • Neat in Appearance/Dress
  • Sensible
  • Wholehearted (driven, persevering, thorough, diligent)
  • Enthusiastic (cheerful)
  • Optimistic 

Character is what God knows you are.

Christian Soteriology, the Human Soul, and Eternity: Challenges of Modern Heresies

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This Festschrift marks the 70th birthday Anniversary of Dr Josephine O. Soboyejo, a deserving academic icon who has proved herself a worthy ambassador in the Philosophy of Religion & theology. It contains the perspectives of Twenty-One biblical scholars, theologians, and Christian philosophers on the Immortality of the human soul and the role of Jesus Christ in the salvation story. The thrust of the Festschrift, in a well-written and researched Eighteen Chapters, is to marshal philosophical arguments and scientific and historical evidence for the Christian faith and develop an apologetic case for the Christian belief that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the human soul. In essence, it clarifies the misunderstandings and misrepresentation of some people and unsettling specific objections, criticisms, or questions about Jesus Christ. This book, therefore, provides the eternal and settled truth of the Bible on soteriology as opposed to human thoughts, beliefs and propositions that many times are agents or errors. The book is a must-read for contemporary theologians and the faithful who should give informed reasons for their lives and beliefs, including pastors and ministers of God. Still, it will also serve as a resource material for teachers, lecturers and students in Seminaries and Universities. It will also assist growing Christians and leaders of Christian churches who may doubt the authenticity of God’s words as it relates to the theme of this book.

Ancient Practice of Lectio Divina

Ancient Practice of Lectio Divina:

Lectio Divina means “divine reading.” It is an ancient practice of praying with the scriptures. During Lectio Divina, the practitioner listens to the text of the Bible with the “ear of the heart,” as if they are in conversation with God, and God is leading the topics for discussion. The method of Lectio Divina includes:

  • Moments of reading (lectio).
  • Reflecting on (meditatio).
  • Responding to (oratio).
  • Resting in (contemplation) the Word of God to nourish and deepen One’s relationship with the Divine.

Lectio Divina and Centering Prayer:

Lectio Divina and Centering Prayer are two distinct prayer forms. Lectio Divina is a reading, reflecting, responding, and resting in the Word of God that helps one grow in relationship with God. Centering Prayer is a method of Prayer in which we consent to rest in God’s presence. This Prayer moves us beyond conversation with Christ to communion with Him and prepares us to receive the gift of contemplation. Lectio Divina is a gift to Centering Prayer. As our relationship with God deepens, we will be renewed in our intention to rest with God in Centering Prayer. Centering Prayer is a gift to Lectio Divina as it frees us from obstacles to hear the Word of God on a much deeper level in Lectio Divina.

Lectio Divina and Bible Study:

Bible Study is the reading of the scriptures for information and an understanding of the passage’s context. It provides a solid conceptual background for the practice of Lectio DivinaLectio Divina is a reflective reading of Scripture and a method of Prayer that leads us into the deeper meaning of Scripture and the transformation of our lives. A contemplative reading of the Scriptures is compatible with a well-grounded interpretation of the Bible, and Lectio Divina is concerned with reading for transformation.

Step by step through Lectio Divina

(“Divine Reading”)

Jesus said: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” (John 14:6).

To start Lectio-Divina, you will first find a quiet place free from distraction (as much as possible). Sit quietly with your Bible, close your eyes, and place yourself in the loving presence of Jesus.

One way of doing this is slowly repeating the name of Jesus in your heart or quietly out loud or using the “Lord’s prayer” Take a passive stance and allow yourself to be taken by Him. After all, He loves you more than you could ever imagine and desires to reveal Himself. The Bible, or Holy Scripture, is God’s words about Himself. These divine words testify and point us to the Divine Word: Jesus Christ, the Savior. Remember, the Bible was a gift from the Lord to His Bride, the Church. Sacred Scripture was written for YOU. To pray with the Bible is a genuine encounter with the Lord.

Lectio (“reading”):

Read the passage attentively, reverently, and slowly. Lectio is a listening reading that patiently waits in trust for the Word (Jesus) to reveal Himself. Prayer means to open yourself. We recognize that we cannot contain or control the divine mystery. Allow yourself to be taken in by the words and be drawn towards the Word, Jesus Christ.

Depending on what happens, you might read the passage several times or linger on one phrase or Word. Whatever you do, please don’t rush through it. Praying takes time, patience, and perseverance; it takes effort and cooperation with the grace of the Lord. St. Ignatius of Loyola said:

It’s true that the voice of God, having once fully penetrated the heart, becomes intense as the tempest and loud as the thunder, but before reaching the heart, it is as weak as a light breath, which scarcely agitates the air. It shrinks from noise and is silent amid agitation.

Meditatio (“meditation”):

This stage is our human response to God’s words. Here, we ponder and meditate on what was read. Quietly savor the Word and meditate upon it in expectation. Remember, Jesus wants to reveal Himself and pull you closer to Him.

Consciously open yourself to the Lord, allowing Him to touch your heart. Seek Him whom you love. Meditation engages thought, imagination, emotion, and desire. In meditation, God can deepen your faith, rapidly convert your heart, and strengthen your will to follow Christ. A question to ask yourself is, “What does this Word mean for my life? What do I need to change?” Notice this isn’t “star gazing,” but an honest accounting of our lives and always directed outward to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Oratio (“prayer”):

It is the Prayer of the heart. It is unique, personal, honest, and spontaneous, specific to the experience of encountering God in his Word. It can be abandonment to the will of God, like Mary: “Thy will be done.” It is a response to the Word from the center of our hearts, and it may be in words or even just a sigh of love.

  • You are a fire that takes away the coldness, illuminates the mind with its light, and causes me to know your truth. (St. Catherine of Siena)
  • O God, give me stillness of soul in you. Rule me, O King of gentleness, King of peace. (St. John of the Cross)
  • Take, Lord, And Receive All My Liberty, My Memory, My Understanding, And My Entire Will, All I Have and Possess. You Have Given All to Me; To You, O Lord, Now I Return It; All Is Yours, Dispose of Me Wholly According to Your Will. Give Me Only Your Love and Your Grace, For This Is Enough for Me. (St. Ignatius Of Loyola)

Contemplatio (“contemplation”):

This stage is God’s response to us, which is beyond our control. We cannot create contemplation by ourselves. It is a divine gift that the Lord, in His goodness, gives us. In contemplation, one is passive, held by the mystery of God. Essentially, it’s a gaze, God’s gaze into us and our gaze of faith back at Him. Your whole self becomes focused on the Lord. It is nothing more than a close sharing between friends. It is deep, intimate, intense, sometimes tearful, and often too deep for words. It is childlike. It is a surrender to the loving will of the Father in an even more profound union with His beloved Son.

His gaze purifies our hearts, illumines our eyes to see with the eyes of Jesus, and teaches us compassion for our neighbor. The aim is to allow the Holy Spirit to shape us into the form of the Son. It is not weird, unusual, or exceptional, but rather the typical fruit of the devoted and faithful practice of Lectio Divina. Devotion to Prayer leads anyone to a personal union with God.

  • Learn to abide with attention in loving waiting upon God in a calm state. Contemplation is a secret, peaceful, and loving infusion of God, which, if admitted, will set the soul on fire with the Spirit of love. – St. John of the Cross
  • Contemplative Prayer is nothing but a close sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with him, who we know loves us. – St. Teresa of Avila-
  • Prayer is sowing, contemplation of the reaping of the harvest when the reaper is filled with wonder at the ineffable sight of the beautiful ears of corn, which had sprung up before him from the little naked seeds that he sowed. – St. Isaak of Syria
  • The grace of contemplation is granted only in response to a longing and insistent desire. St. Bernard of Clairvaux
  • I need nothing but God and to lose myself in the heart of God. – – St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Definitions & Spirituality

Definitions and Spirituality

Spiritual Formation:

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8)

The above biblical verse encapsulates the totality of Spiritual Formation. Spiritual Formation is an intentional Christian practice to develop spiritual maturity that leads to Christlikeness. One definition of spiritual Formation found in a World Council of Churches publication states “the intentional processes by which the marks of an authentic Christian spirituality are formed and integrated.”

We need some very concrete spiritual disciplines to help us entirely appropriate and internalize our joys and sorrows and find in them our unique way to spiritual freedom[1]. Spiritual Formation, I believe, is not about steps or stages on the way to perfection; it’s about the movements from the mind to the heart through Prayer in its many forms that reunite us with God, each other, and our most authentic selves[2].

The disciplines focus our eyes on the road we are traveling and help us to move forward, step-by-step, to our goal. We will encounter significant obstacles and splendid views, long, dry deserts, and freshwater lakes surrounded by shadow-rich trees. We will have to fight against those who try to attack and rob us. We also will make terrific friends. We will often wonder if we ever make it, but one day we will see coming to us the One who has been waiting for us from all eternity to welcome us home[3].

Working Definition of Spiritual Formation:

Spiritual Formation is the intentional transformation of the inner person to the character of Christ.


The term “formation” is variously defined in different contexts. The Roman Catholic tradition has a sacramental conception of ministry as the priesthood, and Formation takes place by providing programs and resources organized around clear institutional goals. The Roman Catholic seminaries have generally been more interested in spiritual Formation than their Protestant counterparts.

A good outline of the history can be found in John O’Malley’s article Spiritual Formation for Ministry; Some Roman Catholic Traditions – their Past and Present and Optatan Totius of Vatican II is exciting reading. The apostolic exhortation of Pastores Dabo Vobis[4] resulted from a bishop’s synod in 1990, following the period post-Vatican II, which was so disastrous for priestly vocations, at least in the west. Chapter five mainly founds the training of a priest in the Gospel, the life of Christ, and communion and fellowship with Him. Interestingly, it emphasizes personal human Formation as a crucial parallel process to spiritual Formation (a link Lindbeck argued against in 1987).

The exhortation affirms that the seminary’s mission embraces four critical dimensions of Formation: humanintellectualspiritual, and pastoral. The Fourth edition of the program of priestly Formation (1993) highlighted the need for a new emphasis on priestly identity with the insistence that the priesthood is unique in the Church and, therefore, ought to have its specialized program of learning and Formation.

Forms of Spirituality:

Ten Basic Assumptions to Consider for Spiritual Formation Program:

  1. You cannot just tell people to behave themselves; they have to be formed to behave themselves.
  2. Human beings are formable, i.e., the longing for the transcendence
  3. Formation includes our world and environment.
  4. Formation is about paying attention and listening to one’s life
  5. Conscious cooperation with what God is doing.
  6. God invites us to be changed
  7. Formation is not just theological but also experiential
  8. Getting to know that we are the beloved of God
  9. Formation is a gentle invitation from God. It is not striving to be loved but knowing we are loved
  10. Spiritual Formation involves the whole community of faith.

Twelve Types of Spirituality by Kenneth Boa:

  1. Relational Spirituality: Loving God completely, ourselves correctly, and others compassionately. God is a very complicated and complex Being. Every language man uses for God is ‘Anthropomorphic’ – human language. God is more than we know Him or we call Him. God belongs to a different order because He is Holy, a transcendent God. Another aspect of God is far away yet near. In God, there is no contradiction, but there are things that are ‘Paradoxes’ but no contradiction. The Trinitarian dimension (Nicene Creed & Athanasius Creed) presents what is known as the ‘Relational’ dimension of God. It is a challenge to love a complicated God, but God broke the barrier himself.
  2. Paradigm Spirituality: Cultivating an Eternal versus Temporary Perspective
  3. Disciplined Spirituality: Engaging in the Historical Disciplines. This type of Spirituality can be developed in five ways:
  • (i)                         Solitude, Silence, and Prayer
  • (ii)                      Journaling, Study, and Meditation
  • (iii)                   Fasting, Chastity, and Secrecy
  • (iv)                    Confession, Submission, and Guidance
  • (v)                       Simplicity Stewardship and Sacrifice; and Witness
  1. Exchanged life Spirituality: Grasping our True Identity in Christ. Based on believers’ new identity in Christ, who does God says I am? Our old and new Nature; Love & Acceptance; Significance & Identity; Competence & Fulfillment; and Our Response to God’s Plan: Knowing, Reckoning, Yielding, New nature + new power = transformation.
  2. Motivated Spirituality: A set of Biblical Incentives. One, Discern the motivational gift God has assigned to you.
  3. Devotional Spirituality: Falling in love with God: God’s World, God’s Word, God’s Work, and God’s Ways
  4. Holistic Spirituality: Every Component of life under the Lordship of Christ. The foundation for Holistic Spirituality defines ‘Spirituality’ as ‘the natural human connection with the wonder and energy of nature, cosmos, and all existence; and the instinct to explore and understand its meaning.” Celebrating diversity and connection and maintaining Emotional wellness and Personal development.
  5. Process Spirituality: Process versus Product, being versus Doing. This Spirituality concerns faithfulness during the ongoing journey rather than living from one product to the next. It also focuses on what it means to abide in Christ and to practice his presence.
  6. Spirit-Filled Spirituality: Walking in the Power of the Spirit. This kind of Spirituality seeks infinite Light and eternal Truth.
  7. Warfare Spirituality: The World, the Flesh, and the Devil. That includes tearing down the strongholds of the devil. The difference between deliverance and spiritual warfare is that deliverance deals with demonic bondages and getting a person set free. In contrast, spiritual warfare is resisting, overcoming, and defeating the enemy’s lies (in the form of deception, temptations, and accusations) that he sends our way.
  8. Nurturing Spirituality: A lifestyle of Evangelism and Discipleship. Christ lived out through the Church and each of us as believers. Total surrender to Christ. Jesus Christ is the Alpha and the Omega of our spiritual nourishment.
  1. Corporate Spirituality: Encouragement, Accountability, and Worship. The past decades have seen significant growth in what is called ‘workplace spirituality,’ Spirituality, and Corporate Social Responsibility; Spirituality is a firm basis for Corporate Social responsibility.


  • [1] Henri J. M. Nouwen, Can You Drink the Cup? (Notre Dame Indiana: Ave Maria Press, 1996), 93
  • [2] Henri J. M. Nouwen, Spiritual Formation: Following the Movements of the Spirit
  • [3) Nouwen, Can You Drink the Cup? 100-101
  • (4) Pastores Dabo Vobis, Apostolic exhortations of his holiness John Paul II on the Formation of priests, (London: Catholic Truth Society, 1992)

Humankind in His Total Concept

Humankind in His Total Concept

The Nature of Man:

The Bible speaks about three kinds of people: The Natural, the Carnal, and the Spiritual.

The Natural Man:

The natural Man may know about God intellectually but has never entered into a personal relationship with God. The natural Man sits on the throne of his own Life. Although Satan rules and controls him, he believes himself to be the master.

 Humankind is born in this condition, 1 Cor. 2:14; the natural Man lives Life from the outside, from the external to the internal. Outward circumstances & worldly philosophies influence his soul. Thus, his mind, will, and emotions are misguided. The natural Man’s decision-making processes are often in error because he makes no allowance for God and has no Holy Spirit to guide his thinking.

The Carnal Man:

The carnal Man knows the Lord but is still trying to govern his Life. He wants Jesus to be the co-pilot, not the Lord of his Life. He makes choices based on his old sinful nature and ends up doing the very thing from which God is trying to deliver him. He makes decisions contrary to God’s Will. 1 Cor. 3:1-4

 The Spiritual Man:

The Spiritual Man is transformed by the Word of God and begins to reflect the very mind of Christ. He learns to allow the Holy Spirit to control the innermost parts of his Life. He dies to himself so that God can live His Life through him, Galatians 2:20. The spiritual Man lives his Life from the inside out, meaning from the internal to the external. The Spirit of God controls his soul and body, allowing him to live out the principles and commands of God. Without the Word, Prayer, and Obedience to God’s commandments, a spiritual man easily slides to the middle chair of carnality.

To escape carnality, one must be a:

  • A disciple who knows who he is – John 15:16
  • A disciple who knows why he is here on earth –
  • Eph. 1:11, 12
  • A disciple who knows what he is to be doing –
  • Mat. 28:18-20
  • A disciple who is carefully trained to do the work of the Ministry – Mk.6:12-13
  • A disciple who the Holy Spirit empowers – Acts 2:1
  • A disciple who is willing to die for the objective –
  • Acts 7:58-59.

 The Key Thought on the nature of Man: – Genesis 1:26-27

The scripture makes it clear that the original Man was the direct result of God’s creative act. The Man was created in the image and likeness of God as a tripartite being consisting of Spirit, soul, and body. God made us to have a relationship with Him, to be made into His image and likeness, to share in His function of dominion, and to be fruitful and reproduce himself. In beholding the glory of the heavens, the Psalmist asked, “what is man?” – Ps. 8:4, Job 7:17-18. The answers are:

  1. Man is a created being – Gen. 1:26, 27, 2:7; Rev. 4:11
  2. Man is a dependent being – Acts 17:23-31. Man depends on God for his breath; in God, Man lives, moves, and has his Being.
  3. Man is an intelligent being. He has reason, intelligence, imagination, and the ability to express his thoughts in language – Gen. 2:15, 1:26-28, Isa. 1:18, Rom. 1:21.
  4. Man is a moral being: God created Man with free will and the ability to choose. It makes Man a moral and responsible creature. God desired a creature that would respond to Him willingly and freely. God placed within a man a conscience, which gives him a moral sense, distinguishing right from wrong. Conscience means knowledge of self concerning a known law of right and wrong. It is a faculty that no animal has. In Man’s upright state at creation, his Conscience was inactive until Man sinned. The moment he sinned, his Conscience began to work, and his thoughts began to accuse him.
  5. Man is a Love Being: this shows the very purpose and reason for the creation of Man. God is Love, and Love must not only have an object but must have that which can reciprocate that Love – 1 John 4:16-19. The Man was created by Love for Love to reciprocate Love. Without such LoveLove, Man’s heart remains empty and void. A love relationship with God is more important than any other single factor in your Life, so we must learn to love God more dearly, pray more faithfully, trust God fully, and wait on God with anticipation. Everything in Your Christian Life, Knowing Him and Experiencing Him, and Knowing His Will depends on The Quality of Your Love Relationship with God. To be loved by God is the highest relationship, achievement, and position in Life.
  6. Man is a Triune Being consisting of Spirit, Soul, and Body – 1Thess 5:23, Heb. 4:12, 1Cor. 2:14, 3:4. These are the three centers of consciousness within the total personality of Man.

Faculties of the Human Soul:

    1. The Will or Volition is the organ of decision, the power to choose; it expresses Man’s willingness to do or not to do – Deut. 21:14, Gen. 24:5, Rom. 6:16
    2. The Mind or Intellect is the seat of learning and the instrument of Man’s thoughts. It manifests Man’s intellectual power. Here lies the seat of Man’s acquired knowledge, human wisdom, and reasoning. When not trained or exercised, it makes a man foolish or dull. When a human’s mind moves, it is called ‘thought .”Thought’ is the mind in motion – Ps 139:14, Jeremiah 29:11. Knowledge, thinking, and thoughts are all activities of Man’s intellect or mind, which emanate from the soul of Man.
    3. Emotion or Feeling is the organ of likes or dislikes, LoveLove or hate. Humans can express LoveLove, hate, joy, and sadness through this faculty. Lack of it will render Man insensitive. Through this faculty, Man expresses affection or LoveLove. Deut. 6:5, 2 Sam 5:8, Deut14:26, 1 Sam. 30:6, John 10:11, 1 Cor. 15:44, Rom. 8:1, 2 Cor. 5:17, Mat. 16:26, Luke 9:25; Heb. 4:12

Faculties of Human Spirit:

  1. The Conscience is like God’s own policeman. It is the discerning organ that distinguishes right and wrong. It is not controlled through human senses or guided by stored-up or acquired knowledge. It acts spontaneously by direct intuitive knowledge or judgment. It is that faculty by which Man apprehends the will of God. The work of the Conscience is independent of human reasoning. It is not influenced by outside opinion or reasoning. If a man should do wrong, his Conscience will condemn him or raise a voice of accusation as that designed by God to govern humans’ lives – 1 John 3:19- 20, Rom. 2:15, 1 John 3:21-22, John 9:31. The relationship between Conscience and intuition is that Conscience judges according to intuition.
  2. The Intuition – God speaks to man by intuition; Intuitive knowledge is that revelation knowledge from God; Mark 2:8, 1 Cor. 2:11
  3. Communion is the faculty of worship. Man worships God through the organ of communion; John 4:23, 1 Cor. 6:17, Rom.1:8, 9

 Man, On Three Realms of Life:

In the New Testament, three different words are employed in Greek to designate the three kinds of Life – spiritual, soulical, and physical.

  1. BIOS: The Physical Life

Physical Life is the basest or lowest kind of Life. It is the general Life of all living things, including plants and animals. It is used in the scriptures in three aspects:

a. Denoting the duration of Life, notably the Life of the flesh – 1Peter4:3; 2Tim. 2:4; Luke 8:14.

b. The manner of Life: Life regarding its moral conduct. Paul exhorts Timothy – 1 Timothy 2:1,2; John speaks on this kind of Life – 1 John 2:16.

c. The means of Life; regarding livelihood, maintenance, living or existence; Jesus said of the widow – Mark 12:44; of the woman with the issue of blood – Luke 8:43; Jesus used it to refer to worldly possessions – 1 John 3:17

2. PSUCHE – Soulical Life:

Psuche refers to natural or soul life. The Bible uses this term to describe the natural Life of the fallen Man. Besides its meaning as mind or soul, it denotes the Life of the fallen Man; it is also used in four other respects

a. The breath of Life, or the natural Life. God speaks to Joseph – Matt. 2:20; Jesus speaks – Mark 10:45; God told the children of Israel

– Leviticus 17:11

b. The seat of personality: Jesus says – Luke 9:24, 25

c. The seat of the sentinent element in Man, by which he perceives, reflects, feels, desires, etc. Jesus says – Matt. 11:29

d. The seat of Will and Purpose – Matt. 22:37

The soul is the Man himself, the seat of Man’s personality with organs of volition, emotions, and intellect. In James 5:20, saving a soul is considered to mean saving a sinner (Luke 12:19). Jesus confirms that the soul of Man is Man himself in two different gospels – Matt. 16:26; Luke 9:25

3. ZOE Spiritual Life

At new birth, Man receives the very Life of God called “Eternal” or “Everlasting life .”It is called “Zoe” in Greek. In the NT, Zoe is used to Living Life in the absolute sense. It is Life as God has it; that which the father has in Himself, and which He gave to the Incarnate son to have in Himself – John 5:26.

 That is the Life the son manifested in the world – 1 John 1:2,3; John 3:15, Col.3:4, John 6:35. Eternal Life is the present actual possession of the believer because of his relationship with Christ. Jesus says in John 5:24, 1 John 3:14, 2 Cor.5:4, 1 Cor. 2:14, and John 3:3. Zoe is Life intensive; Bios is Life extensive. In Scripture, Zoe is a great word. The nobler word expresses as it continually does all of the highest and best, which the saints possess in God; Life in the absolute sense. The work of regeneration begins with God and ends with God – Ezekiel 36:25-28, John 1:12,13; John 15:3, Eph. 5:25- 27; Heb. 9:22,28; 10:1-4; Heb. 10:5-10, 23. A new spirit requires a new heart – Matt. 9:17, 1Pet. 1:22-25, John 6:63, 1Pet. 2:1-3, Ezekiel 36:27

The New Spirit Needs Training

God promised to put his Spirit beside the Spirit of Man to enable him:

– Walk in the statues of God

– Keep Hisjudgment

– Do His Will and Live in obedience – John 14:16-18; 14:26; 16:13-14

 The Spirit Needs Guidance

The Spirit will also guard the children of God against sin unto righteousness and away from judgment. John 16:8-11; Romans 8:1

The Spirit of God leads all Children of God – Romans 8:14-16; 8:26-27; 1 Cor.

2:14-16; Prov. 20:27; John 10:50b; Mat. 6:33

 The laws of the Spirit:

  1. The weight of the Spirit – Spirit should be kept in a very free condition and constantly be light as though soaring in the air; –The weight of the Spirit is from Satan, and the sole purpose is to cause believers to suffer; Satan uses the weight to suppress believers.
  2. The Blockage of the Spirit – once a believer’s Spirit is blocked, he loses his vigor; when he reads the Bible, he does not seem to have any words to say; when he preaches, he does not sense any result and feels that he is only going through the motions;
  3. The poisoning of the Spirit – a believer’s Spirit can become poisoned by evil spirits – sometimes Satan causes our Spirit to become hard, stubborn, narrow, selfish, wild, and disobedient. Consequently, the Spirit is not able to cooperate with the Holy Spirit and carry out God’s Will;
  4. The Depression of the Spirit – Believers become depressed in their Spirit mostly when they turn inward to look at themselves;
  5. The Burden of the Spirit: the burden of the Spirit is from God; its purpose is to make known God’s will and secure the believers’ cooperation;
  6. The Ebbing of the Spirit means that God’s Life and power can ebb away in the believers’ Spirit like the ebbing away of the tide. Once a believer feels that his spiritual Life appears to be ebbing away, he should find out where it is blocked;
  7. The Negligence of Responsibility of the Spirit – The human Spirit is like an electric light. When the Spirit deviates from its normal condition, it becomes isolated from the Holy Spirit and loses its light. If the Spirit is troubled by outward circumstances, it immediately becomes useless and unable to cooperate with the Holy Spirit. Once the Spirit has neglected its responsibility, victory becomes impossible.

Some common misunderstandings in the work of the Holy Spirit are as follows:

  1. Waiting for the Holy Spirit – indeed, the Lord Jesus commanded the disciple to wait for the Holy Spirit to be upon them. Still, after Pentecost, we do not find anywhere in the Acts or the Epistles where the Apostles commanded the believers to ‘wait’ to receive the Holy Spirit. After Pentecost, ‘receive’ is used instead of ‘wait’ (Acts 19:2). The Holy Spirit cannot be called on directly, neither does He come through our beseeching because He is a gift of God (John 14: 16);
  2. Obeying the Holy Spirit – once a person goes a little beyond the Bible, he faces many dangers; and
  3. The Holy Spirit Being the Master – the best expression is that the Holy Spirit works within us, making us obey God.

 Some aspects of Spiritual living include:

  1. Conversation;
  2. Guidance;
  3. Memory – John 14: 26
  4. Love – the LoveLove of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit;
  5. Humility; and
  6. God’s order


The Light of God (A Seminar Talk)

The Light of God (A Seminar Talk)

 Background Scriptures:

OT: Genesis 1:1-3, 26-28; Ezekiel 28:12-16; Isaiah 14:12-17; Genesis 5:1-3

NT: John 1:1-5, 14-15; John 8:12; Matthew 11:28-29, 31; John 14:21; 1 Jn 2:3-11

Golden Verse: When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the World. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12

Central Truth: The Image of God is Light


God made man in His image, in His likeness, and gave man dominion over all He created. The Old Testament (OT) and New Testament (NT) reveal and accentuate only two crucial words and kingdoms – ‘LIGHT & DARKNESS.’ These are the Light of God and the darkness of Satan. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1). At this point, in the beginning, the earth was formless and empty; darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God hovered over the waters – And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was Light.

Gen. 1:2. As far as heaven was concerned, there was no problem. God and Angelic Beings dwell in heaven. Heaven was and is still peaceful and paradisiacal.

Heaven was in a state of utter perfection and happiness. Because the Devil had been thrown out of heaven and cast into the earth. God is Light, and Satan is darkness. Satan was already cast out of heaven into the earth. And the earth was in a state of utter depravity. Heaven radiates only the Light of God – Luke 10:18; Rev. 12:7- 12; Ezekiel 28:16- 17; Isaiah 14:12-15.The pervasive darkness on earth made the earth formless, empty, and void. “But the earth was in disarray, and empty, and spiritual darkness was upon the face of the demonic realm.” We have had about the “Gap Theory,” a concept first proposed by Thomas Chalmers in 1814, based on a Hebrew reinterpretation of Genesis 1:2.

The “Gap Theory” suggests the angels were created “in the beginning” (Gen. 1:1). Rather than during or after the creation week, and that Satan and his angelic (demonic) followers fell before Gen. 1:2. “Without form and void” has been translated from the Hebrew phrase “tohu vav bohu,” also found in Isaiah 34:11, which is interpreted differently. “tohu” can also mean “confused,” and “bohu” mean ’empty.’ This means the earth was in disarray, and empty. Jeremiah 4:23-26 also uses the phrase “tohu vav bohu,” as follows: “I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form (tohu), and void (bohu); and the heavens, and they had no light.

I beheld the mountains, and lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens fled. I beheld, and lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness. And all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the Lord, and by his fierce anger.1″ The word choshek has been interpreted as “darkness”; this word is also used in Ex. 10:21 to describe the darkness The Lord brought upon Egypt, which was so dark it could be felt. The Light of God is not like a bulb or sunlight. God’s Word is Light; Yeshua, the word of God, is the Light. The Light is Phos, the only type of Light that emanates from God. In John 1:1-4, v. 1 says,” In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” God spoke, and the word produced Light. Remember, Satan was already cast on earth, causing darkness all over the earth.

The Light of God was now brought forth, and God sees it was good. Jesus reveals Himself in the Gospel of John as the Bread of Life (6:35), the Light of the World (8:12), the Gate for the sheep (10:7), the Good Shepherd (10:11, 14), the resurrection and the life (11:250); the way, the truth, and the Life (14:6) and the True Vine (15:1). A disciple of Jesus Christ is a branch of the Vine that is thoroughly pruned by Christ to bear fruit. The life of Christ is in the disciples; hence they have become the Light of the world.


Every Christian is a branch attached to the Vine (our Lord Jesus Christ). Your company determines your conduct. Your behavior determines your character, and your character determines your destiny. The power of the branch is its unbroken attachment to the Vine. God sent His Word, the Light in the flesh to the world of darkness. Jesus came to the world he created, and the world knew him not, but He shone His Light into the darkness of the world and brought a new lease of life for those that believe in Him. Jesus’ disciples must follow the ‘Master’ and become the Light of the world. It is when one abides in Jesus that one can bear fruit and become the Light of the world. Then the Light of God will not only shine on the person but also in him. The image of God that we are created is the Light of God. Adam & Eve were created with the Light of God in them. That was why Satan came to tempt them to draw them into his dark world of darkness.

So, every man born since then from Cain, Abel & Seth has the darkness of Satan in them until such a person intentionally decides to permit the Light of God to shine in him through repentance and transformation. The transformation is the inflow of Light in a person that decides for Christ. The conformity to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ is a flow of the perfect lifestyle in exchange for the old lifestyle. The old lifestyle will cave in for the new. The light of God inside those who believe in Jesus Christ is evident in their character, deeds, speech, and living lifestyle. When the Light of Christ shines in man, the first thing it deals with is the darkness of sin.

Departing from iniquity is a critical foundational walk with God (2 Tim. 2:19). Jesus died on the cross, breaking the power of sin so that we can be free. God needs men to do His work but only uses people “whom he had formed.”

In the same vein, for any individual to accomplish God’s call in his life, he has to be conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ through discipleship. Men like Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, and many others had a personal relationship with the Lord in discipleship. The Light of God causes a transformation in man. Transformation means change, alteration, mutation, conversion, metamorphosis, and transfiguration. As we wait before God’s presence, His glory will reflect and shine on us so we may progress in the transformation process. It is only a man who stays long under the incubation of Christ that can release Christ’s life through which he shines the Light.


Jesus Christ, the Word of God, the Light of God is our Motivator, so we must allow the Light to flow in us. You cannot straddle between the two Kingdoms of Light and Darkness– Matt. 6:10. Obedience is a keyword in the kingdom of Light. Kingdom obedience stems from love; not fear, 1 John 4:18. Only the message of Jesus Christ can bring Light to, man.

The Light of God is also the Love of God. Koinonia is the fullest possible partnership and fellowship with God and with others. Koinonia with God only comes from a real personal encounter with the living Christ and surrender to Him as the absolute Lord of life. Koinonia is the complete expression of love (agape) and fellowship with God. You cannot be in fellowship with God and His Son (Jesus Christ) and not walk in godly fellowship with one another. Koinonia with God is an experience of his presence with His Light shining in us. Koinonia with God is the fundamental element of Salvation and eternal life.

Five Things to take Note:

  1. When the warm south wind with its soothing and balmy breezes brings showers of blessing2; Jesus Christ is the Light, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above” – James 1:17
  2. When the cold north wind of trial and testing sweeps down upon you, Jesus is the – 1Cor. 10:13
  3. When the west wind blows hard upon you with its punishing intent. Jesus is the Light; “Whom the Lord loves He chastens” – Hebrews 12:6
  4. When the east wind threatens to sweep away all that you have, Jesus is the Light. God shall supply all your need according to His riches in Glory – Philippians 4:19
  5. The light of God is what makes a man to be wise.

Go Light Your World – written by Rice, Christopher M.

There is a candle in every soul. Some brightly burning, some dark and cold. There is a spirit who brings a fire; Ignites a candle and makes His home Chorus:

So, carry your candle, run to the darkness Seek out the hopeless, confused and torn Hold out your candle for all to see it

Take your candle and go light your world Take your candle and go light your word

Because we are a family whose hearts are blazing

So, let’s raise our candles and light up the sky Praying to our Father in the name of Jesus

Make us a beacon in the darkest times.






The Christian Primary Creeds – ‘The Apostles’ Creed’ (3) – Final

The Christian Primary Creeds – ‘The Apostles’ Creed’ (3)

 The Apostles’ Creed – Present Hope and Future Home

“…the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen”

When Creed was written, there was severe persecution of Christians. The Christians were burnt on sticks and beheaded to uphold the Christian Faith. So this last line of the Apostles’ Creed was to give them ‘Hope’ of a future after death. Humanity has a present Hope in a future Home.’ It is to reassure Christians that despite pains and circumstances, there is hope in the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.

In 1 Cor. 15:51,52, Paul wrote to the Corinthians to give them this type of ‘Hope.’ Matt. 6:9- 30 explains the present Kingdom and the future. The Kingdom of God means the domain over which God exercises rule as King. Therefore, God’s declared purpose is that His people, His holy nation, His peculiar treasure, should be the domain over which He would rule as King, and ultimately all the earth, all things, and every creature. The Lord’s greatest dominion at this time is in the lives of His elect, the chosen ones.

Jesus Christ has extended the dominion of His Kingdom to our hearts and lives. Ladd defines “kingdom” in the following way: “The primary meaning of both the Hebrew word Malkuth in the Old Testament and of the Greek word basileia in the New Testament is the rank, authority, and sovereignty exercised by a king. The Kingdom of God was established when Christ, the King, initiated His rule. Ladd’s approach to interpreting the Kingdom of God is synthetic, and he used inaugurated eschatology as the key idea for this interpretation of the “Kingdom of God.”

 Ladd’s dynamic interpretation is couched in already and yet to come ages. Two ages underline Ladd’s thought; the present reality of evil age is corroborated in Gal 1:4; Rom. 12:2; 1 Cor. 20; 2: 6-8; 2 Cor 4: 4 and the age to come in Ephesians 1:21. Ladd stipulated that the age to come has become present already in Christ and the Spirit – 1 Cor 10:11, 2 Cor. 5:17, Gal. 6:15 (pointing to Isaiah 65-66). The true Sons of the Kingdom are believers already in union with Christ. They have died and have been raised with Christ (Rom 6:3-11) and seated with Christ in the heavenly places (Eph. 2:4-7, Col. 2:12).

Ladd affirmed that those who respond to Jesus and accept His word (M. 13:38), those who receive and depend entirely on the proclamation of Jesus as LORD of the Kingdom in this present age are children of the Kingdom. The age to come, according to Ladd, is the final and total destruction of the devil and his angels (Mt. 25: 41), the formation of a redeemed society with evil and perfect fellowship with God at the Messianic feast. (Ref: Mt. 13:36-43, Luke 13: 28-29). Although the church reflects the rule of God in the world, the “kingdom” cannot be precisely paralleled with the “church.” Old Testament kingdom passages confirm that the rule of God existed before the coming of Christ, the ultimate King, and the establishment of the church.

Neither can the Kingdom be strictly equated with some cosmic event to occur when Christ returns. Although the consummation of the Kingdom will occur at the end of time, the Kingdom of God is a continuing historical reality. The real purpose for which God sent Jesus into the world was to ESTABLISH ON EARTH HIS KINGDOM; His ultimate purpose is that the kingdoms of this world shall experientially become the Kingdom of our God and His Christ. The light of the Holy Spirit’s wisdom and revelation is shed with its quickening and illuminating rays upon our understanding, dispelling the mists, dividing the light from the darkness, that all the elect Children of God may find an abundant entrance into the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom is THE RULE OF GOD.

 Jesus came with just that message, the revelation of the RULE OF GOD within the hearts of men and through men over the whole world. The Kingdom of God is heavenly in its King; that King is the Son of God, Jesus Christ our LORD and Redeemer. The Kingdom of God is heavenly in its subjects; those subjects are the children of God. The Kingdom of God is heavenly in nature; that nature is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. The Kingdom of God is heavenly in its entrance; that gateway is not by human birth, or of the will of the flesh, or the will of man, but by being born of the Holy Spirit.

The Kingdom of God is heavenly in its laws; those laws are not ordinances, rules, or regulations; they are spiritual principles. The Kingdom of God is heavenly in its method; that method is not by might, power, or the enticing words of man’s wisdom but by the Spirit of the living God. The Kingdom of God is heavenly in its prerogatives; those prerogatives are for the Children of God to be the salt of the earth, the light of the world, a kingdom of priests after the order of Melchizedek, saviors on mount Zion. The Kingdom of God is heavenly in its privileges; those privileges are to be heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ to the inheritance that is incorruptible, undefiled, and cannot fade away.

In summary, the Kingdom of God is the Kingdom of Heaven. It is the Kingdom of Heaven because it is the Kingdom or dominion of the GOD OF HEAVEN. In its simplest definition, the Kingdom of God means that JESUS CHRIST IS LORD! He must be Lord in you, and He must be Lord through you. That is the mark and seal of Christ to make you a child of God. That is the power of the Kingdom. Jesus was declared by the Father to be the Son of God with power because of His resurrection from the dead. We see the initial victory in Christ’s incarnation, life, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension.

 Through Jesus’ disciples during the dispensation of the church’s trial, we see His continuing and increasing victory. And in the manifestation of the sons of God, we see His ultimate victory. The Kingdom spans all generations and ages, from the advent of the firstborn Son into the world to the manifestation of the sons of God. Final victory shall be achieved at Christ second coming. Then shall the Kingdom be delivered up to God, even the Father, “that God may be all in all” (I Cor. 15:28).

The Apostle’s Creed teaches us to choose Jesus as the center of our relationship. The entire point of the Apostles’ Creed is to unite the believers in Truth, bringing them all closer to Jesus Christ, who is the resurrection of our body and soul, our life, and our Creed in the flesh. This Creed teaches ‘Hope’ in future Homes for those terminally sick. Suffering is a result of living in a sin-cursed world. But the next life in the future Home is different and without pains.

 Q: How does the Apostle Creed ground and shape your walk with Jesus Christ?

 The answer to the question is personal. Ruminate and Meditate on your personal answer. Have a lovely week with Christ as the Center. 



The Christian Primary Creeds – ‘The Apostles’ Creed’ (2)

The Christian Primary Creeds – ‘The Apostles’ Creed’ (2)

Apostles’ Creed– Virgin Birth and Resurrection

“… and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. On the third day, he rose again from the dead.”

Matthew walks us through this portion of the Apostles’ Creed to show us how it:

  1. Affirms the historical humanity of Jesus;
  2. Affirms the immense love of Jesus, and
  3. Affirms the power of the deity of Jesus.

The church today is not different from modern society in its engagement with contemporary issues. They get engaged in silly arguments like the Pharisees and Sadducees at the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry. They get solely engaged in the minors leaving the majority of our Faith. The real focus should know the Scriptures and God’s power.

Born of the Virgin Mary became essential due to the heretical teachings of some Jews. The story was about Tiberius Julius Abdes Pantera (c. 22 BC to AD 40), a Roman soldier whose tombstone was found in Bingerbrück, Germany, in 1859. A historical connection from this soldier to Jesus of Nazareth was hypothesized by James Tabor, based on the claim of the ancient Greek philosopher Celsus, who said that some Jews claimed Jesus was the result of an affair between his mother, Mary, and a soldier.

Celsus said Mary was “convicted of adultery and had a child by a certain soldier named Panthera” [1]. Tiberius Pantera could have served in the region at the time of Jesus’s conception[2]. The hypothesis is considered extremely unlikely by mainstream scholars, given that no evidence supports this Pantera in particular[3]. Historically, the name Pantera is not unusual and was in use among Roman soldiers[4].

Jesus was not born of a sinful nature. If he had a human father, man’s sinful nature would have been transferred to him, but he touched humanity only by the Virgin Mary. The virgin birth was complicated for the pagans to believe or comprehend. It is the man, not the woman, through which the sinful nature comes from. So Jesus had to come without the sinful nature of man. Virgin Mary and the executioner were mentioned in the Apostles’ Creed because these are documented Roman records.

Jesus died a painful death to bring us Salvation. He died for us because He deeply loves us. The point of the Resurrection is to prove there is life after death. The power of the Resurrection is to tell us that Christ has made our lives significant. There is Power and Hope because of Resurrection. The Apostles Creed consistently serves as a starting point or benchmark to constantly measure where you are in your beliefs. Because so many different kinds of churches emphasize various doctrines, beliefs, and practices radically different from one another, it can be challenging to understand what is essential and what is non-essential.

There are essential doctrines like Jesus’ gruesome death on the Cross and his miraculous Resurrection that are required beliefs to be an authentic Christian. So the Apostles Creed is imperative for all Christians to affirm and accept because it points us back to Jesus. While our relationship with God can only be mediated through Jesus Christ, our Faith points to the life, death, burial, and Resurrection of a natural person whom we now commune with through the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit.

Apostles’ Creed– Ascension and Return

…. On the third day, he rose again from the dead. He ascended to Heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From there, he will come to judge the living and the dead.

Apostles’ Creed is significant to Christians. It explains things that make Christianity special. Our lives as Christians center on a King and His Kingdom. Eyewitnesses saw Jesus ascending to Heaven. Jesus Christ is equal with the Father and rules and reigns with Him; God rules with His Righteous Right Hand. Jesus is God’s Righteous Right Hand. Death cannot hold Jesus, for he has the supreme power – Eph. 1:19 and He has given the believers the same authority – Luke 10:19. He is alive forever – 1 Cor. 15:1-8. All other dead religious founders have their bones in their graves; none arose except Jesus. Jesus triumphed over the grave by His Resurrection, and His grave is empty – Matt. 7:25, 1 Cor. 15:12-13. The world’s blackest assumption is that Jesus was not raised; If Jesus was not raised, where is our Faith as Christians? And if Christ has not risen, our Faith is futile; we are still in our sins. 1Cor. 15:17

The Apostles’ Creed – Unity

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the Resurrection of the Body, and the life everlasting.

The word “Catholic” used here means Universal Church. When one uses the word “catholic” and writes with a small ‘c,’ it refers to the Universal Church of Christ. The alphabet ‘C’ is always written in Capital letters for a denomination like the Catholic Church. The Apostles’ Creed speaks about unity within the local church congregation and throughout the global church. The Universal Church is One Body, and Christ is the head of the Body. This Creed re-emphasizes the congregational unification, the work of the Holy Spirit since Pentecost, and the forgiveness of sins in the blood of Jesus on the Cross.


  •   [1] James D. Tabor, The Jesus Dynasty, New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2006, 64-72
  • [2] Tabor, 64-72
  • [3] James Whitehead, The panther: posthumous poems, (Michael Burns 2009), 15-17; Maurice Casey, Jesus of Nazareth: An Independent Historian’s Account of His Life and Teaching, 2010, 153-154
  • [4] A. Evans, “The Bible Knowledge Background Commentary: Matthew-Luke,” Volume 1, 2003, 146;

Join me next Sunday, February 19, 2023, for the Final analysis of The Apostles’ Creed

The Christian Primary Creeds – ‘The Apostles’ Creed’ (1)

The Christian Primary Creeds – ‘The Apostles’ Creed’ (1)

For the next three Sundays, I will discuss one of the Christian Primary Creeds, The Apostles’ Creed. I am giving an overview of the dates of other Creeds.

 Creed                                    Date                                        Accepted by

Apostles’ Creed                     200-900                       Western Christian denominations

Creed of Nicaea (Nicene)     325                              Western Christian denominations

 Creed of Jerusalem               350                              Nearly all Christian denominations

Nicene-Constantinopolitan   381                              Nearly all Christian denominations

Early Christian Creeds

Apostles’ Creed: The origin of this Creed is less clear than that of the Nicene Creed. The most common view is that Nicene Creed was initially developed in the first or second century (325 A.D.

Athanasius Creed (500 A.D.)

Chalcedonian Creed (451 A.D.)

Canons on the Council of Orange (529 A.D.)

Statement of Faith of the 3rd Council of Constantinople (681 A.D.)

Reformation Confessions:    Luther’s 95 Theses (1517 A.D.)

Augsburg Confession (1530 A.D.)

Belgic Confession (1561 A.D.)

Heidelberg Catechism (1576 A.D.)

Canons of Dort (1619 A.D.)

Westminster Confession (1647 A.D.)


Westminster Shorter Catechism (1647 A.D.) and

Waldensian Convession (1655 A.D.)


Christianity produced through Church history some Creeds and Reformation Confessions as listed above. Creeds are summaries of the Christian Faith. Different Creeds have different reasons for coming into existence. Even though they do not always agree with each other 100% of the time, they divulge the Truth of the Christian Faith in essentials.

By 70AD, Roman Empire had destroyed Jerusalem and put Christianity out of its own. The tremendous persecution was focused on the Church. Many claimed to be Christians, but their beliefs and actions did not align with the Apostles or the earlier followers of Christ. There are Christian doctrines; these are a set of beliefs held by Christ’s followers. There were weird intrusions into Christianity, leading to heresies. At times, some Christians prioritize the minors that divide the Church, like today setting aside the major. What we see in the Creeds is the major. Apostles’ Creed is the backbone of Christian Faith and Belief. The main thing is devotion to Jesus. The most important and well-known Creed is the Apostles’ Creed. This Creed conveys the Church’s important message and affirms the Truth to a believer. As a spiritually formed Christian, it is essential to recapture the intent of early church fathers.

According to critique Marcion, the Apostles’ Creed is a product of the first ecumenical council of Nicaea, which tried to solve the Arian Controversy. Apostles’ Creed served as a tool to communicate the Christian Faith’s essence during a time of great persecution. In answering the question of who is a Christian or what it means to be a Christian, the early Church set up mechanisms to teach the same thing, so they set up Creed, which is like a mission statement. Apostles’ Creed was used as a tool for early Church baptism.

Significant questions for baptism in the knowledge of the Christian Faith are embedded in the Apostles’ Creed. Tradition says it was put together on the day of the Pentecost and that each of the Apostles wrote each statement that formed the Creed, but some scholars disagreed with this traditional statement. These scholars said the Creed is called the Apostles’ Creed not because the Apostles themselves did produce it but because it contains a summary of their teachings. It sets forth their doctrine “in sublime simplicity, unsurpassable brevity, beautiful order, and liturgical solemnity.” Its present form is dated no later than the fourth century. More than any other Christian creed, it may be called an ecumenical symbol of Faith. [1] The important thing is that this Creed was and still is a rule of Truth, the doctrine of Faith. A complete Creed built on the Apostles’ Creed is the Nicene Creed.

Apostles’ Creed:

(The CRC Synod approved this translation of the Latin text of 1988.)

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried;

He descended to hell. On the third day, He rose again from the dead.

He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty.

From there, He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic* Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.


We are called to be Holy as God is Holy. The creeds were expounded to address some salient issues in Christendom. I am doing a thorough exegesis on the first of the widely accepted Creed – The Apostles’ Creed to establish Christians’ stand in the Faith. The Church’s most ancient statement of belief is the Apostles Creed; this Creed guards us against veering off on our own opinion. Our belief must be sound and based on sound doctrine to be spiritually formed. The Church leaders decided to set up quiet rules to beat the virus of heresy. Doctrine drives our devotions in the right direction. Another strength of the Apostles Creed is its ability to connect us with Christians throughout time. The Creed we have today is very similar to the Creed when it was first scribed 1900 years ago. So even though it was penned in a time and culture radically different from our own, it connects us via the timeless Truth concerning the testimony of Jesus to Christians past, present, and future. In today’s culture, where things are constantly changing and in flux, the need to connect with the past is ever-pressing and growing. So our Faith is not created by some existential crisis of an individual dissatisfied with the status quo but instead is based on a historical event that took place in real-time and natural space.

Apostles’ Creed – ‘Doctrine of Trinity

God is ‘One’ but also Three (3), all divine, all-powerful with different roles. The Trinity is one True God, and Trinity is convened in the Apostles’ Creed. The strength of the Apostles Creed is its ability to safeguard or protect us from veering down paths that lead us far from the norms of the Church. When we read the Apostle’s Creed, we hear of a Trinitarian God who exists in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We read about the preeminence of Jesus Christ as both human and divine, and we also read about His promised return. This concise statement of Faith points to our Faith’s core and forms the cornerstone for us today.

Besides Christianity, are other forms of religion? The idea of a Father, Son, and Holy Spirit looks absurd to these groups. Some out rightly denied the humanity or divine nature of Christ. The worst is Arianism which denies the divinity of Christ. The word ‘Trinity’ is not mentioned in the bible but was coined by Tertullian of Carthage, an early church father, but the doctrine is in the bible.

The Old and New Testaments reflect the doctrine of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit – Genesis 1, 2 Cor. 13:14, Matt. 28:18-19. We must understand God’s three faces and see Him equally. God has always been speaking; we have not always been listening. He is seeking those who would serve Him. He speaks to our minds, or intellect, so that we may clearly understand His Will and purpose for us.

There are many facets of God’s mission or purpose for humankind, the Great Commandment and Great Commission, and the strategy God has given us to build His Kingdom. We explore God’s World, God’s Word, God’s Work, and God’s Ways, understanding, as did Moses (Exodus 3), that it is never about humankind but always about GOD. The Christian Mission is the Call of the Father. The work of God the Son is from purpose to power to programs (or procedures) in the method of engaging the Will.

God seems to work from the head to the heart to the feet. Jesus died for us to be redeemed and become children of God and co-heirs of the Kingdom of God with Him. God’s revelation of His heart for the world demands a response on our part. Our relationship with God is not just cerebral: He gave us hearts to love Him and emotions to respond to His overtures toward us. He does not expect us to live the Christian life in our strength. He gave us a dynamic Person to dwell in us and empower us to serve Him in response to the clarion call to evangelize and disciple the nations (the mission). Here we explore the Trinity, emphasizing the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit and our utter dependence upon Him for daily living. In engaging our hearts and emotions, the Holy Spirit plays His role.

Next Sunday (February 12, 2023), I will continue. Please join me.

Note (1)


Jesus and the Samaritan Woman (2)

Jesus and the Samaritan Woman (2)

Living Water (Wisdom) – John 4:10

Jesus promises the woman a spiritual drink (fresh and pure water that will quench her Spiritual thirst forever). By this, living water is meant for the Spirit. Under this comparison, the blessing of the Messiah had been promised in the Old Testament. The graces of the Spirit, and His comforts, satisfy the thirsting soul that knows its nature and necessity. What Jesus says figuratively, she took literally. Christ shows that the water of Jacob’s Well yielded a very short satisfaction. Of whatever waters of comfort we drink, we shall thirst again. But whoever partakes of the Spirit of grace and the comforts of the Gospel shall never want that which will abundantly satisfy his soul. Carnal hearts look no higher than carnal ends. Give it to me, saith she, not that I may have everlasting life, which Christ proposed, but that I come not hither to draw. The carnal mind is ingenious in shifting off convictions and keeping them from fastening. But how closely our Lord Jesus brings home the conviction to her conscience! He severely reproved her present state of life. The woman acknowledged Christ to be a prophet. The power of His Word in searching the heart, and convincing the conscience of secret things, is proof of Divine authority. It should cool our contests to think that the things we strive for are passing away.

Location and Mode of Worship

A critical factor in the Jews-Samaritans’ animosity was the issue of the place of worship. The Jews started rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem after the exile from Babylonia, rejecting the input of the Samaritans, apparently on ethnoreligious grounds. The Samaritans built their temple at Mt. Gerizim in opposition to that of Jerusalem; this temple was destroyed by the Maccabean king John Hyrcanus in about 128 b. C. E.[viii] The Jews excluded the Samaritans from the Jerusalem worship. However, Jesus pointed out the reality that the spiritual Jerusalem, where people worship in Spirit and truth. [ix] The Samaritans also rejected the writings of the prophets, Psalms, and historical books; they accepted only the Pentateuch[x] and had their scriptures different from that of the Jews. There is a similarity to the Muslims that accept part of the Old Testament, inserted in their Qu’aran and reject the New Testament. They also uphold their scriptures called “the holy Quran.”

Even so, Samaritans continued to worship in their temple on Mount Gezarim — in the land of Jacob, home of their ancestors— as seemed proper to them (Jn 4:19–20). Jesus made it clear that the location of worship does not matter but the mode of worship. In John 4:23-24, Jesus clearly states, “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. God is Spirit, and His worshippers must worship in Spirit and truth.” Reason teaches us to consult decency and convenience in our worship places. Still, religion gives no preference to one place above another in respect of holiness and approval with God. By the Scriptures, those who have obtained knowledge of God know whom they worship. The word of salvation was of the Jews, and it came to other nations through them.

Christ justly preferred the Jewish worship before the Samaritan, yet here he speaks of the former as soon to be done away. God was about to be revealed as the Father of all believers in every nation. As influenced by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit or the soul of man must worship God and have communion with him. As shown in fervent prayers, supplications, and thanksgiving, spiritual affections form the worship of an upright heart, in which God delights and is glorified. The woman was disposed to leave the matter undecided until the coming of the Messiah. But Christ told her, I that speak to thee am He. Our Lord revealed Himself to the Samaritan woman more fully than he had done to any of his disciples. No past sins can bar our acceptance of him if we humble ourselves before him, believing in him as Christ, the world’s Savior. (Jn 4:27-42). The object of worship will continue the same, God, as a Father, but an end shall be put to all differences about the place of worship.


 Karris[xi] said the Greek word menein, meaning ‘to stay,’ has more than a theological meaning in John’s Gospel, which can be translated as ‘to dwell.’ Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman began an interpersonal relationship based on mutual trust and openness. It is the same relationship Jesus advocated and called us to establish with other people despite the differences in ethnicity, religion, and barriers. Dialogue is a two-way communication and is not just a rational consensus but the emergence of a community of love. Dialogue enables those involved to understand their different standpoints, perceive the value of each other’s traditions, and appreciate them, which opens up an exploration of new areas of reality and truth. Streng[xii] said, “to understand another person requires not abstract analysis but human encounter – emerging from the dept of another person’s life in dialogue.” Jesus showed the way out in the dialogue with the Samaritan woman; if imbibed, it can bring peace to the world.

Jesus proves the Gospel is for everyone, regardless of race, social position, or past sins. Jesus’ true mission on earth is to save sinners. Jesus proclaims He is the way, the truth, and the life. He tells the Samaritan woman about the Spiritual harvest. Jesus cares for her soul to be saved and speaks to her at the Well. This woman is ultimately used to reach out to other lost souls and convert many of the Samaritans. [xiii] Jesus reveals that God the Father seeks worshippers that will worship Him in truth and Spirit [xiv].


  • [viii] Peter F. Ellis, The Genius of John: A Composition-Critical Commentary of the Fourth Gospel
  • (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1984), 69.
  • [ix] Efren, Rivera, Key Words in Christian Living (Manila, Salesian Publishers inc., 1990), 8.
  • [x] Lucius, Nerepambil, “Jesus and the Nations,” Jeevadhara 14/80, 1984, 147.
  • [xi] Robert J., Karris, Jesus and the Marginalized in John’s Gospel, (Collegeville, Minnesota:
  • Liturgical Press, 1990), 69.
  • [xii] Frederick, Streng, Understanding Religious Life, 3rd edition cited in E. S. Idowu, “Faith in
  • Interaction”, ORITA, 1985, p. 55
  • [xiii] John 4:39
  • [xiv] John 4:24.