Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Apostle's Creed (2)

 THE APOSTLE'S CREED (updated language)

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth;

I believe in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord.  He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary.  He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.  He descended to the dead.  On the third day He rose again.  He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.  He will come again to judge the living 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 the life everlasting.  AMEN

The Apostle's Creed - an ancient statement of faith (Christian/1500+ years) and a brief summary of the essentials of the faith.

Opening Line: "I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth."

Most Americans agree: 92% believe in God or a universal spirit.
82% say they are "Christian". 4% - "atheist or agnostic". (Gallup poll shows 80%/12%)
78% believe "God created man" (as is or by guided evolution)
and most would agree with "Father" and "Almighty"

BUT.... that's superficial faith.... let's dig a little deeper. - God - Creator - Almighty - Father

"I believe in" -
I. God --- but what God? which God? tagging a name on doesn't make it the same.
Objection: we all worship the same God.
Answer: description sure is different!
Example: Molech - this god demanded the sacrifice of infant children by fire. Vastly different from the God of the Bible.
Compare the God of the Mormons, Muslims?? Vast differences.

The Authors of the Creed would say:
1) "The God of the Bible" - revealed by the Scriptures and by Jesus Christ
(Not must as portrayed in the Bible.... but 2) as revealed in the Bible.
Portrait of God vastly different from the revelation of God - God telling us what He's like.

God is revealed in and through....
A) creation, conscience, reason, personal experience, deeds (miracles)
B) more specifically - through the prophets
C) especially through His Son - John 1:18

So... A) He has revealed Himself and B) we have a record of the revelations - (the printed Word - the Bible) - 1 John 1:1

So, the creed would be: "I believe in the One True God ... as revealed in the Holy Scriptures.

I believe in God... the Creator:

II. Creator (Maker) of heaven and earth.
Most people agree with Gen. 1:1
BUT.. the title grows as knowledge of creation grows! There is so much more to praise Him for now in the 21st. century.
For creation's size; complexity; plus variety, harmony, beauty, etc, etc.

The point being this God....A) created it, B) out of nothing (ex nihilo) C) by speaking!!! Gen. 1:3

So, the creed = "I believe in one true God, as revealed in Scripture ... who created all this .... ex nihilo!"

III. Almighty - Heb. is difficult - English is easy - "All-mighty"
"omnis" - attributed to God - Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent
Add them up = All mighty!!! The word Almighty is used 345 times in the Scripture and always in reference to God.
Most often used in conjunction with His Word, speaking, message!!!
Examples: Jer. 5:14, 6:6, 7:21, 8:3 Lord God Almighty says.......

So the creed - "I believe in the one true God as revealed in Scripture, and WHEN HE SPEAKS WE'D BEST LISTEN BECAUSE HIS IS ALL-MIGHTY GOD!!!

This paints an Awesome picture - "God - Creator - Almighty".

NOW the Creed adds an incredible touch to an already awesome portrait.......

IV. FATHER - a personal term, relational, parental. Carries the idea of.... loving, caring, providing, protecting, intimacy, interaction

Concept found in the Old Testament, BUT Jesus took it to a new level.
Matt. 6:9 Matt. 6:32 John 20:17 (My Father and your Father) Luke 15:17-24

Which means that this awesome, incredible God, Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth loves you and wants you and so calls you and woos you... and asks you to come to Him, receive Him, know Him and so trust Him...... and call Him "Abba, Father"

So John says, 1 John 3:1 (a) - "children of God"

Possible???? Yes!!! How??? Through Christ. For now.... John 1:10-13

So, line one of the Apostle's Creed - "I believe........"

Question: Do you believe?? Have you received??? Have you confessed??? (public confession/baptism) Are you developing the relationship??

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