Thumbnail Theology: The Disciples Creed

Thumbnail Theology: Disciples Creed

The early church seems to have had a commonly shared shorthand theology that was used not to identify and summarize what they believed theoretically (as we might with a doctrinal statement or systematic theology today), but as a field guide for living as disciples on a practical basis day by day. Paul uses the term “faithful saying” five times when he mentions these important values, values that provide practical guidelines for living out our lives as His disciples.

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1.The gracious, sacrificial example of Jesus

“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” –I Tim 1:15

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2.The example of men sacrificing to serve others in the community

“This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.” –I Tim 3:1

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3. The contrast between living for this world and the next

“But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation.” –I Tim 4:8,9

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4. The importance and rewards of sacrifice and suffering

“It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.”–II Tim 2:11-13

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5. The focused effort needed in doing good works

“This is a faithful saying. and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.” –Titus 3:8

(note that this is one of the important purposes of assembling together regularly—to consider one another to “provoke unto love and to good works” which is holding fast to “the profession of our faith without wavering.”

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