The early church developed shorthand statements that summarized the foundational truths they believed in and lived by. Such statements were repeated and memorized as a learning tool in societies where many people could not read and write.
Some of these statements became so commonly used and recognized they came to be called creeds.
One of the most well-loved of these creeds was the Apostles’ Creed — which has been called the peoples creed because it emerged out of the grassroots movements of early Christianity rather than from a church council.
As we continue to unpack The Apostle’s Creed, take a moment to say it together.
Over Father’s Day weekend, we looked at the statement, I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.
The opening words of the Creed speak of “God the Father.” This starting point is consistent with earlier (and later) confessions and with Scripture too. Jesus commands his apostles to baptise new disciples in “the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Similarly, Paul’s creed-like words in 1Corinthians 8:6 declare that:… for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.Jesus relates to God as his own Father and invites his followers to share in the same relationship (John 20:17; Matt 6:9). The Apostles’ Creed first highlights the power of God in creation, importantly, by choosing to also emphasize God’s character as Father, it highlights the personal nature of God’s power and provision and thus indirectly God’s care and compassion for us. When thinking about God as Father, AW Tozer says “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us…we tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God”.
Thankfully God doesn’t leave us to work this out alone, he sent Jesus to be our model.
God gives us a model and example we can follow through Jesus.
(John 14v9-10, Psalm 68v4-6)
CS Lewis responds to AW Tozer quote referred to earlier.“I read in a periodical the other day that the fundamental thing is how we think of God. By God Himself, it is not! How God thinks of us is not only more important, but infinitely more important. Indeed, how we think of Him is of no importance except in so far as it is related to how He thinks of us.”
Discuss these two statements, do you align with one or the other or both?
Because you are a child of God, you are unconditionally loved and no longer a slave to fear.
Read 1 John 3v1, Galatians 4:6-7, Luke 15v11-32 (if time).
1. Is there anything in these scriptures that speaks to you?
2. What does it mean to you to be a child of God?
3. Take some time to pray against the bondage of fear and for each to experience God the Father’s unconditional love.The Apostle’s CreedI believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen