Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.…
Those words ought to describe the Church of Christ at all times. Three characteristics: patience — "waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ"; "keeping the commandments of God" — holiness of living; "keeping the faith of Jesus "that of which St. Paul speaks at the end of his troubled life. Now, what is meant by "the faith," "the faith of Jesus"? Is it not just this? The twelve apostles, whom Jesus gathered round Himself, watched His life, heard His words, weighed His claims, until at last, when He put the great question to them, "Whom say ye that I am?" one of them, speaking for the rest, was able to say, "Thou art the Christ," etc. That was a formulated declaration of faith in regard to the Person of Jesus Christ. It was the first Christian creed, and He declared, "Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven." The faith of Jesus, then, being a definite thing, capable of and necessitating accurate definition in terms, it was obviously essential that there should be some short, comprehensive formula, which could be thus used at the baptism of converts. Undoubtedly some such form or forms did exist even before the books of the New Testament were written. In St. Paul's Epistles there are distinct allusions to these. "The form of sound words" which he bids Timothy "hold fast," is certainly some definite formula in use; and the "deposit" ("that committed to thee" it is rendered in our translation) which he bids Timothy to keep, is clearly the same thing. To us Anglican Churchmen that "Rule of Faith" is the Apostles' Creed. One or two things, then, I may surely say to those whose entire Christian position rests upon this faith of Jesus, and upon this early form of confessing it.
1. You will, of course, thoroughly understand it — the Apostles' Creed. You will take pains to do so.
(1) You will know, then, its history, I mean the history of its actual form.
(2) And, again, we should understand the substance of the creed. It is, indeed, little else than the gospel narrative thrown into a short form.
2. And, secondly, having this creed, pledged as we are to this creed, we should know not only its history, and its meaning, but we should know its value. It is, indeed, a most precious heritage. I might remind you of Mr. Keble's words, "Next to a sound rule of faith, there is nothing of so much consequence as a sober standard of feeling in practical religion, and it is the peculiar happiness of the Church of England to possess in her authorised formularies an ample and secure provision for both."
3. Last of all, we must regard our Christian creed as final. It is "the faith of Jesus," "the faith once delivered to the saints." It is the perpetual reiteration of St. Peter's early creed, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God," and it must hold good for all time, till He shall come again "who is the faithful Witness and the First-begotten of the dead." "Here," around this creed of His universal Church, this creed which you and I profess, — "here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."
Parallel VersesKJV: Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.