Last week’s Bishop’s Note introduced the Diocese to the Jerusalem Declaration, written at the First Global Anglican Futures Conference in 2008. I promised in that Note that I would dedicate the next several Bishop’s Notes to unpacking this historic document. This is especially poignant as I prepare to head off for GAFCON 2018.
The preamble to the Jerusalem Declaration:
In the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. We the participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference, have met in the land of Jesus’ birth. We express or loyalty as disciples to the King of kings, the Lord Jesus. We joyfully embrace His command to proclaim the reality of His kingdom which he first announced in this land. The gospel of the kingdom is the good news of salvation, liberation and transformation for all. In light of the above, we agree to chart a way forward together that promotes and protects the biblical gospel and mission to the world, solemnly declaring the following tenets of orthodoxy which underpin our Anglican Identity.
First, the Jerusalem Declaration begins by naming the God we believe in and serve: “In the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.” Recently we celebrated the feast of the Holy Trinity, and throughout the Diocese I’m sure that the hymn, “Holy, Holy, Holy,” was sung. This old hymn proudly proclaims, “God in three persons, blessed trinity.” This hymn states our belief in the Trinity - namely our belief that God is one God in three Persons. Throughout the scripture God reveals himself:
- God made himself known through his Son, who saves us. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
- The true nature of the Father was made known Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.’” (John 14:9)in the son. “
- The Holy Spirit reveals to us both the Father and the Son. “By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.” (1 John 4:13)
Belief in the Trinity is a fundamental aspect to
“Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. Amen.” our faith as Anglican Christians. We regularly respond to the psalms by stating,
Second, “[w]e the participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference, have met in the land of Jesus’ birth.” It is significant that GAFCON was born in Jerusalem, the birthplace of our Lord, the place where he lived, taught, served, suffered, died, rose from death, and ascended into heaven. It is significant that GAFCON 2018 returns to Jerusalem with 2000 participants representing 50,000,000 Anglican Christians around the world.
Third, “[w]e express or loyalty as disciples to the King of kings, the Lord Jesus.” As Anglican Christians, we are under the authority of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords; this is how Jesus appears in the Book of Revelation: “On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.” (Revelation 19:16)
Fourth, “[w]e joyfully embrace His command to proclaim the reality of His kingdom which he first announced in this land. The gospel of the kingdom is the good news of salvation, liberation and transformation for all.” We cannot open an internet browser, turn on the TV, or listen to the radio without learning of “bad news;” the consequences of sin and disobedience. The good news of Jesus Christ is the only truly GOOD news. That Jesus paid the price for all of us who receive him as Savior by receiving the death that we deserve. Instead, when we believe in Jesus we are adopted as his sons and daughters and heirs! “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,” (John 1:12)
Fifth, “[i]n light of the above, we agree to chart a way forward together that promotes and protects the biblical gospel and mission to the world, solemnly declaring the following tenets of orthodoxy which underpin our Anglican Identity.” The path forward became clear – to unite in a common belief in the authority of scripture, the authority of creeds, and a common Anglican identity.
Next week we’ll begin looking at the individual points of the Jerusalem Declaration!
I pray you all a blessed week!