I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord; who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried. He descended into hell. The third day he arose from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, whence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen
The Apostles’ Creed is the most ancient and widely accepted summary statement of the Christian faith. It’s almost 2000 years old and records for us the basic teachings of the Bible. As Jude 3 states, “The faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” We walk in ancient paths and believe eternal things. Yet our belief in Jesus does not grow old because His living reality does not change. He is the beginning and the end of all things (Revelation 1:8), and His years will have no end (Hebrews 1:10-12).
We believe what the Apostles believed. We don’t believe in our personal emotional experiences, we believe in actual historical realities that were witnessed first-hand by the apostles. They spread out after the ascension of Jesus and became witnesses to all the world, that Christ was indeed crucified, dead, and buried – but on the third day raised from the dead. Albert Mohler is right in saying, “All Christians believe more than is contained in the Apostles’ Creed, but none can believe less.”
This creed is a basic confession of what the Bible teaches about the person of God and His saving work. It’s the basics of what every true Christian believes. In these beliefs all Christians must stand firm and stand together. I am going to work through each line of this Creed over the coming months in our newsletter helping you have a better grasp of basic Christian doctrine.
“I believe in God …” Do you believe in God? It’s the first question we must all ask ourselves. The actual answer to this question will completely redirect your life. It’s a question that can be pushed to the back of your mind, but never pushed out. It’s a question you will have to face, in this life or the next. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 11:6, “Whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists …” The starting point of Christianity is the belief in a real, actual, self-existing, non-created God. This God is self-revealing, meaning He makes Himself known to us according to His will and His purposes. If God did not choose to reveal Himself, He would not be known by us. The Bible is revelation from God. If you want to know who God is and know His will for your life today, read the Bible. In the Bible we learn who we are in light of who God is. We begin to understand ourselves in relationship to the Almighty power of God.
“The Father Almighty …” Jesus taught the apostles to address God as Father (Matthew 6:9). This is an amazingly personal way to address God. It demonstrates His personal love for us and that our relationship with God is not through a religious system, but according to the nearness of what father/child relationship should be. Through the love, goodness, patience, and gentleness of the self-sacrificing Christian God, we learn what fatherhood should be. Our human relationships are modeled after God’s love for us, not the other way around. However, the love of God as a Father includes absolute, almighty, authority. This absolute authority would be terrifying, as it is in false religions, if it were not paired with God’s goodness. But Fatherly love paired with absolute authority produces security and direction for our lives.
Do you believe these things? I urge you to consider who God is and how He has revealed Himself in the Bible. If you would like to read more about these things, get a copy of “The Apostles’ Creed: Discovering Authentic Christianity in an Age of Counterfeits” by Albert Mohler.
May God the Father Almighty strengthen our faith today,