Title & Purpose

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble:

for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand, Joel 2:1.

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Friday, 18 March 2011

What did St Patrick really believe? Part 3

Here is a link to a sermon preached some years ago on the subject:

What did St Patrick really believe?

For Transcript of Part 1 click here
For Transcript of Part 2 click here

Transcript Part 3
II. Patrick’s teaching on the matter of salvation. 
The most important matters are: what did he teach about the matter of salvation? What does he teach about Jesus Christ? That will be the chief test of his orthodoxy. We have his creed to consult which is available from his confession.

Patrick had a deep and accurate knowledge of the Scriptures. You cannot read his confession through without marvelling at the rich knowledge of the Word of God which he possessed, even though he confesses: I have not read like others, who have been well imbued with sacred learning. He certainly had read his Bible.

It is God’s Word alone that is to direct us in the matter of salvation.

He believed in the deity and Godhead of Jesus Christ. It was Patrick who is renowned for illustrating the doctrine of the Trinity by the use of the shamrock. While preaching before the king of Meath at Tara he illustrated the mysterious doctrine of the Trinity by the three-leaved shamrock.

The belief in the doctrine of the Trinity necessitates the acceptance of the deity and Godhead of Jesus Christ and the personality of the Holy Ghost. You cannot have a Trinity of persons without there being equality of the persons in that Trinity. He had right views of Christ and the Holy Spirit. His confession is distinctly Trinitarian and evangelical.

He believed in the necessity of being born again. Another quote from his confession states: 
I am greatly a debtor to God who hath vouchsafed me such great grace that many people by my means should be born again to God and clergy should be ordained everywhere for them. I pray those who believe and fear God, whosoever may condescend to look into or receive this writing which Patrick the sinner, though unlearned, wrote in Ireland, if I have done or established any little thing according to God’s will, that no man ever say that my ignorance did it, but think and let it verily be believed that it was the gift of God.

He believed himself to be a sinner and that all sinners are in need of being born again.

He became an evangelist. His name is associated with many places both north and south of Ireland. Temple-Patrick, Down-Patrick, Sea-Patrick, Croagh-Patrick, Leck-Patrick, Inch-Patrick. There is also Patrick’s chair in the Clogher Valley.

He knew what it was to trust God. From his writings it is clear that he had a strong belief in the guiding and overruling providence of God. He accepted the providences of God that brought him away from his family and as a slave to ireland. He accepted that this affliction ‘corrected’ him and brought him to ‘know God’.

He learned the truth of this text of Scripture: And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me, Ps 50:15.

In his day of trouble on the slopes of Slemish he cried to the Lord for salvation and the Lord delivered him and he went on to glorify the Lord by a life lived to the service of God and man.

May this island again redound to the sound of the gospel which Patrick preached. May God be pleased again to move among the Irish with such God glorifying results.

The creed of St. Patrick 
As given in His own confession:
I am not able, nor would it be right to be silent on such great benefits and such great grace as [God] hath vouchsafed unto me in the land of my captivity, for this is our recompence, that after we have been corrected and brought to know God, we should exalt and confess His wondrous works before every nation which is under heaven

God the Father 
that there is none other God, nor ever was, nor shall be hereafter, except God the Father, unbegotton, without beginning, from whom is all beginning, upholding all things as we have said

God the Son
and His Son, Jesus Christ, whom we acknowledge to have been always with the Father before the beginning of the world, spiritually with the Father, in an ineffable manner begotton before all beginning

Christ the Creator 
and by Him were made things visible and invisible; and being made man, and having overcome death, He was received into heaven unto the Father

Christ the preeminent One
And the Father hath given unto Him all power, above every name, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and God

Christ the coming Judge
Whom we believe and we look for His coming, who is soon about to be judge of quick and dead, who will render unto every man according to his works, and hath poured into us abundantly the gift of the Holy Ghost and the pledge of immortality, who maketh the faithful and obedient to become sons of God the Father and joint heirs with Christ. Whom we confess and worship, one God in the Trinity of the sacred Name. For He Himself hath said by the prophet: Call upon me in the day of thy tribulation and I will deliver thee

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