Our Creed
John Telgren

The intent of the earliest creeds was to unite the church against heresy. However creeds have tended to divide rather than unify. On the American frontier, there was an emphasis on going back to the Bible alone. One of the mottos was, "No creed but the Bible." Many leaders believed that if we discarded divisive names and creeds, we all could unite upon the simplicity of the Gospel as presented in the Bible.

However, some in their zeal to return to the Bible may have missed the big picture. This seems to be what many scribes, doctors of the law, Pharisees, and Jews had done. Jesus said, "You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about me" (Jn 5:39). It wasn't primarily about counting out each grain of wheat or spice to make sure it equals exactly 10%, or about not lifting a finger to do anything that remotely looks like work on the Sabbath, or about making sure you were ritually washed. These in themselves did not endear the people to God. Why? They had neglected the weightier matters, such as justice, mercy, and faithfulness (Mt 23:23). They knew their scriptures, but didn't know God.

Those who know God reflect the vary character of God. That is why John says, "He who loves is born of God and knows God because God is love" (1 Jn 4:7). Love is one of the central aspects of his character, which is why justice, mercy, and other "relational" things are weightier matters. These Jews had missed this because they had reduced God to a set of rules. This is not to say that God does not have rules, because he most definitely does. But the law of the Old Testament, and the writings of the New Testament, and the whole Bible itself point not to mere rules, but to Christ, who is God in the flesh and the ultimate message and explanation of God and his character. If we miss that in our study of scripture, then we have truly missed it.

So, here is a suggestion on reading scripture. Set aside time to merely read it, not dissect it, do word studies, and things of that nature. As you read, dialogue with God, "What are you telling me here?" "How does this point to Christ?" "What does this say about you God?" Keep in mind that you are encountering something that is "God-breathed" (2 Tim 3:16), and is "living" and "active" (Heb 4:12). It is the Sword of the Spirit (Eph 6:17). As such, it is the Spirit's primary tool to transform you into the image of Christ. Remember that Christ said the scriptures testify of Him. The center point in scripture is Christ himself.

I would suggest a motto that may be an improvement on, "No creed but the Bible." Since the scriptures point to and bear witness to Christ, and since Christ is the fullness of Deity in bodily form (Col 2:9), God in the flesh (Jn 1:14), the exact representation of God's nature (Heb 1:3), and the explanation of God (Jn 1:18), you could correctly say based on this, "Our Creed is Christ." Spend some time in reflection on this and how it might affect the nature of your Bible reading.

(Note: This article abridged online from - http://7-pillars.blogspot.com )