The Apostles' Creed - Printable Version
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The Apostles' Creed - Aughavey - Sun May 28, 2006 08:36 AM
The Apostles' Creed
The basic creed of Reformed churches, as most familiarly known, is called the Apostles' Creed. It has received this title because of its great antiquity; it dates from very early times in the Church, a half century or so from the last writings of the New Testament.
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He arose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
whence He shall 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 life everlasting.
- Aughavey - Sun May 28, 2006 08:36 AM
The Apostles' Creed and 1 Peter 3:19-
Did Jesus preach to spirits in Hades?
From the Apostles' creed-
... He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. ...
What? Jesus descended into Hell after his death? Just what did he do there?
1 Pet 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
1 Pet 3:19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
1 Pet 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
There is a popular interpretation of this passage, in conjunction with the Apostles' Creed, that Jesus, after His death on the cross, descended into Hades/Hell/prison to preach to spirits there.
(The Roman Catholics call this place that Jesus supposedly visited after His death "limbus patrum", or limbo of the fathers. Here is a link to an article from the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia explaining LIMBO online at New Advent, a Roman Catholic website.)
It is interesting to note that the source of this fanciful story of Jesus preaching in Hell appears to be the Roman Catholic Church. Note the following quotes about article 5 of the Apostles' Creed from Catholic Catechisms:
What meaneth the fifth Article?
He descended into hell, the third day he arose again?
We must believe, that Christ's body lying in the grave, his soul descended into hell: not to suffer pains, as some heretics do say, but for consolation and comfort of many Fathers there, and out of that place (called Lymbus Patrum) he loosed the souls of the blessed Fathers from captivity, and carried them away with him: the third day he rose again from death to life, manifestly showing himself to his Disciples, eating with them, and speaking of the kingdom of God. (Matt. 8, Luke 14, Ephes. 4, 1 Cor. 15, Acts 1.)
Source: A Catechisme or Christian Doctrine, by Laurence Vaux, B.D., reprinted from a 1583 edition by The Chetham Society in 1885, Manchester England, (updated to modern spelling for this excerpt) pages 13, 14.
The Fifth Article
Q. What is the fifth article?
A. He descended into hell, the third day he arose again from the dead.
Q. What means, he descended into Hell?
A. It means, that as soon as Christ was dead, he descended into Limbo, to free the holy fathers who were there.
Q. How prove you that?
A. Out of Acts ii. 24, 27. 'Christ being slain, God raised him up loosing the sorrows of hell, as it was foretold by the prophet,' Psalm xv. 10. 'Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, nor wilt thou give thy Holy One to see corruption.'
Q. What other proof have you?
A. Ephes. iv. 8, 9. 'He ascending on high, hath led captivity captive; he gave gifts to men; and that he ascended,' what is it but because he descended into the lower parts of the earth?
Q. Did he not descend to purgatory to free such as were there?
A. It is most probable he did according to 1 Pet. iii. 19, 20. 'Christ being dead, came in spirit; and preached to them also that were in prison, who had been incredulous in the days of Noah, when the ark was building.'
Source: The Douay Catechism (An Abridgment of the Christian Doctrine) of 1649, by Henry Tuberville, D.D., published by P. J. Kenedy, Excelsior Catholic Publishing House, 5 Barclay Street, New York, approved and recommended for his diocese by the Right Rev. Benedict, Bishop of Boston, April 24th, 1833, page 15.
THE FIFTH ARTICLE
'He descended into hell, the third day He rose again from the dead.'
1. What means, 'He descended into hell'?
That the soul of Jesus Christ, after His death, descended into 'Limbo'�i.e., to the place where the souls of the just who died before Christ were detained, and were waiting for the time of their redemption.
2. Why were souls of the just detained in Limbo?
Because Heaven was closed through sin, and was first to be opened by Christ (Hebr. ix. 6-
3. Why did Christ descend into Limbo?
1. To comfort and set free the souls of the just; and
2. To show forth His power and majesty even there in the lower regions (Phil. ii. 10).
Source: Rev. Joseph Deharbe's A Complete Catechism of the Catholic Religion, translated from the German by the Rev. John Fander, sixth American Edition, published by Schwartz, Kirwin & Fauss, 53 Park Place, New York, Copyright 1912, 1919, 1924, pages 119, 120.
The Fifth Article of the Creed
1 Q. What are we taught in the Fifth Article: He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead?
A. The Fifth Article of the Creed teaches us that the Soul of Jesus Christ, on being separated from His Body, descended to the Limbo of the holy Fathers, and that on the third day it became united once more to His Body, never to be parted from it again.
2 Q. What is here meant by hell?
A. Hell here means the Limbo of the holy Fathers, that is, the place where the souls of the just were detained, in expectation of redemption through Jesus Christ.
3 Q. Why were not the souls of the Holy Fathers admitted into heaven before the death of Jesus Christ?
A. The souls of the holy Fathers were not admitted into heaven before the death of Jesus Christ, because heaven was closed by the sin of Adam, and it was but fitting that Jesus Christ, who reopened it by His death, should be the first to enter it.
Source: The Catechism of Pope St. Pius X.
Q. 66. Is Limbo the same place as Purgatory?
A. Limbo is not the same place as Purgatory, because the souls in Purgatory suffer, while those in Limbo do not.
Q. 67. Who were in Limbo when Our Lord descended into it?
A. There were in Limbo when Our Lord descended into it the souls of all those who died the friends of God, but could not enter heaven till the Ascension of Our Lord.
Q. 403. Why did Christ descend into Limbo?
A. Christ descended into Limbo to preach to the souls who were in prison � that is, to announce to them the joyful tidings of their redemption.
Q. 404. Where was Christ's body while His soul was in Limbo?
A. While Christ's soul was in Limbo His body was in the holy sepulchre.
Source: The Baltimore Catechism #3
[On "He descended into hell " ...]
"Hell:" here does not mean the place where the damned are, but a place called "Limbo." You know that when our first parents sinned, Heaven was closed against them and us, and no human being could be admitted into it till after the death of Our Lord; for He by His death would redeem us�make amends for our fall and once more open for us Heaven. Now from the time Adam sinned till the time Christ died is about four thousand years. During that time there were at least some good men, like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, and others, in the world, who tried to serve God as best they could�keeping all the divine laws known to them, and believing that the Messias would some day come to redeem them. When, therefore, they died they could not go to Heaven, because it was closed against them. They could not go to Hell, because they were good men. Neither could they go to Purgatory, because they would have to suffer there. Where could they go? God in His goodness provided a place for them�Limbo�where they could stay without suffering till Our Lord reopened Heaven. Therefore, while Our Lord's body lay in the sepulchre, His soul went down into Limbo, to tell these good men that Heaven was now opened for them, and that at His Ascension He would take them there with Him.
Source: The Baltimore Catechism #4 on Basic Catholic Prayers, the Apostles' Creed, by Rev. Thomas L. Kinkead, published by TAN Books and Publishers, Inc., Rockford, Illinois, Copyright 1891 and 1921 by Benzinger Brothers and reprinted in 1978, ISBN: 0-89555-340-6, pages 11,12.
Who Are The Spirits In Prison?
Let's take a close look at this passage in 1st Peter and see just what it is really saying.
1 Pet 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust,
Jesus Christ who was sinless, died once on the cross for sinners-
... that he might bring us to God,
Through the death of Jesus, we sinners have been reconciled with God,
... being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
He died the death all we mortals must die, but He was raised to life by the Holy Spirit.
1 Pet 3:19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
By the same Holy Spirit, He (the Holy Spirit by Noah) preached to those people who were prisoners of sin - as the following passage in Luke also shows-
Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
Luke 4:19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
Jesus in Luke was quoting this passage in Isaiah:
Isa 61:1 The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Isa 61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
The "captives" in Luke and Isaiah, and the "prisoners" in 1st Peter are both referring to then living people in bondage to sin - captives and prisoners of Satan surely, but not disembodied spirits in Hell/hades/limbo. It is the Gospel message that frees you from that captivity to sin-
John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
John 8:33 They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
John 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
John 8:35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Again, this passage in John shows us to be in bondage to, or prisoners of sin, yet set free by the Son of God.
1 Pet 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, ...
The Gospel message was preached to the people (those in bondage to sin) through Noah and the Holy Spirit while the Ark was being built. Sinners had 120 years of probation (Gen 6:3), while Noah was building the Ark and during that time Noah preached the message of God to a lost wicked world, nearly all of whom were prisoners of sin. So, Jesus had spoken to Noah, telling him to build the Ark, then Noah did the preaching to the people as he was guided by the Holy Spirit.
... wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
2 Pet 2:5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
As a result of Noah's inspired preaching, eight people were saved, Noah and his family. The rest of humanity (the antediluvians) perished in the flood.
So properly understood, this passage of 1 Peter 3:18-20 has absolutely no connection with Jesus after His death on the cross and does not validate a belief in an intermediate "prison" or limbo for souls between death and heaven, as some teach today. When Christ died on the cross, He was buried, and did nothing until His resurrection. He went nowhere and preached to no one during the time period between His crucifixion and resurrection. Dead is dead.
Paradise and the Thief on the Cross.
Some will look the the thief on the cross and assert that "paradise" is not heaven, but this "limbo" or holding place in hades for the souls who died before Jesus was resurrected. It is easily proved that "paradise" IS in fact heaven:
Jesus promises the thief that day that he will be with Him in paradise:
Luke 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
Note that the tree of life is also in paradise:
Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
The tree of life is also placed as being in the New Jerusalem:
Rev 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
And the New Jerusalem is described as descending *from heaven* after the millennium:
Rev 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Hence the promise made to the thief on that day was that he would join Christ in the New Jerusalem, in heaven, for the millennium. It is a promise yet to be fulfilled, which will happen at the second coming and the resurrection of the righteous dead.
The Catholic teaching that paradise/limbo was a holding area in "hell" for souls, liberated when Jesus descended into hell after His death, is unfounded, a false tradition of men, and based on a complete misconception of the state of the dead. In addition to the Catechisms quoted above, this erroneous teaching can also be found in the Catechism of the Council of Trent, Article V of the Apostles' Creed and in the Vatican's new Catechism of the Catholic Church #631-637.
The world faces a similar period of probation today, as it did in Noah's day. Soon the Gospel message will be preached a final time, the last person will accept Jesus Christ into his or her heart and mind, and the door of probation will then close as it did on the Ark of Noah. At that point all humanity will have had their fate decided and the plagues of God will then fall on the wicked of the world, as explained in Revelation, which will immediately precede the second coming of Jesus. (The plagues on the wicked are the future counterpart to the flood of Noah.)
In order to really understand this issue, you need to know the truth about both Death and Hell as taught by the Bible. It should then be clear that Jesus could not possibly have gone to a place called Hell/Hades/limbo after His death on the cross, since Hell is nothing more than the grave. Those who died before the time of Christ were not held captive in any intermediary location after their deaths, because death is clearly a sleep of non-existence until one's resurrection.
- jgb321 - Sun May 28, 2006 12:56 PM
One thing I don't like about this creed, is the fact that it doesn't state that Jesus and the Spirit participated in the creation of the World.
- Aughavey - Tue May 30, 2006 05:40 PM
what do you make of " He descended into hell. "
- Davo - Tue May 30, 2006 06:59 PM
Quote:In order to really understand this issue, you need to know the truth about both Death and Hell as taught by the Bible. It should then be clear that Jesus could not possibly have gone to a place called Hell/Hades/limbo after His death on the cross, since Hell is nothing more than the grave. Those who died before the time of Christ were not held captive in any intermediary location after their deaths, because death is clearly a sleep of non-existence until one's resurrection.
Would you like to explain the following in the light of the above?
Luke 16:19 ? There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man?s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham?s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father?s house:
28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
- jgb321 - Wed May 31, 2006 01:26 AM
As a Trinitarian, I would not accept the Apostles Creed as being Biblical. However, saying that, I do believe He descended into Hell (Calvin even taught some kind of extra pain was suffered by Him there, hence why some people believe that Jesus was the first Born Again man. This is heresy for me.)
OT Saints were held in Hades/Hell because Jesus hadn't yet paid for their sins. Enoch and Elijah perhaps the only exception?
Also the word 'Pit', 'Grave' and 'Hell' have always been the same thing, just different titles.
- Jim - Wed May 31, 2006 07:05 AM
Christ descended into Paradise to release all who were there to bring them to Heaven. There is nothing in the bible which says He descended to "Hell".
As Davo showed, Paradise and Hell were only separated by a great abyss, presumably the same abyss spoken of in Revelation. This must be so, because the prince saw Lazarus in "Abrahams bosom" (Paradise).
So, if He didn't go to Hell, and went to paradise, how do we know that is true? by the following:
Why would Jesus go to Hell if He just told this malefactor He was going to paradise?
It is my conviction Jesus was there to release the inhabitants in Paradise to bring them to Heaven under His new covenant.
This is going to be a fascinating discussion Aughavey,
Love in Christ,
- jgb321 - Wed May 31, 2006 07:18 AM
Walter Martin once said that he thought Hell was like a two-dimensional place: East Hell and West Hell (Hades or the Grave if you wish.) Paradise was East Hell (same place for Lazarus and all OT Saints) and West Hell was where the rich man from Luke 16 was. When Jesus hung of the cross He promised the rich man entry into Paradise (East Hell/Pit or Grave) and therefore when He rose from the dead all of East Hell went to Heaven with Him. Now only West Hell is occupied. Those that die in Christ today go straight to Heaven.
There is a good video presentation on this, which I watched only recently. "Where Do the Dead Go"
- Jim - Wed May 31, 2006 07:46 AM
The only problem with that analogy would be the fact that the location of Lazarus was not either a "west" or "east" hell. It is fairly clear that it was called "Abraham's bosom"(Luke 16:22,23) and "Paradise"(Luke 23:43).
Any reference to Jesus actually spending time in "Hell" itself, I have found no conclusive evidence to support.
If we look at all references in the NT and put them all together, it seems pretty conclusive, to my mind anyway.
Love in Christ,
- jgb321 - Wed May 31, 2006 11:46 AM
You're correct, this will be an interesting thread. From what I can ascertain from Scripture, Abraham's bosom is the same place as Paradise (pre-crucifixition.)
Hell is a two-compartmental place. The NT tells us that Jesus descended and preached to the souls and made a spoil of them. John Macarthur believers that Christ was three days in Hell/Hades/Paradise/Grave/Pit, before He was resurrected. I think this position is pretty historical, but if it can be proven to be wrong, I am happy to re-think this.
- Jim - Wed May 31, 2006 12:05 PM
No, not at all, I do also believe that Hell is a two-compartment place.
I just don't believe Jesus went to either of those places. Sorry, I should have clarified myself better.
My thoughts are that the Hell(Gehenna) is a place of torments. However, there is another location in Hell(?) that is reserved for angels I believe with this thought:
I may be completely wrong, and like yourself, I am happy to rethink this at any time if it presented well, but it makes sense to me.
Love in Christ,
- jgb321 - Wed May 31, 2006 12:40 PM
The first death results in unsaved people going to Hell or Hades (holding area until the second death, which is the lake of fire Rev. 20.)
- Jim - Wed May 31, 2006 01:31 PM
The Apostles' Creed - NCUNIT33 - Thu Jun 22, 2006 09:06 AM
My main problem with it is that it was a man made creed. I feel the way it is conducted falls under "vain babbling"
I Timothy 6:20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
II Timothy 2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
To those who use it...Maybe they think it is prayer?
Matthew 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
Another big problem with it is this:
"I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:"
Yes the only begotton (John 3:16), but where does that leave us who have been adopted by the blood of Jesus?
John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
This i don't cotten too as well:
"I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy *catholic church"
Not me...I'm glad i'm born again.
I stand on no man made creed, but the Bible!
Be careful with Creeds, Bylaws, and other man made rules/regulations.
Just my .02 cents worth.
Eden, North Carolina
- Jim - Thu Jun 22, 2006 09:45 AM
Amen to that brother Jim!