Summary: This is the first message in a series on the Apostles' Creed. The theme is that what we believe affects our mind which is to renew us to a pattern of living which is not of this world but of God.
1. What is it that you believe? If someone you work with or live near was to ask this, how would you respond. If I to ask you to come forward and share with church, what would you say.
2. One of hardest things is to explain what we believe as Christians. Somehow many thoughts enter mind and we fumble around trying to put some form or order to those thoughts.
3. Problem in early church. In order to explain what they believed they needed to formulate a statement of belief.
a. To determine what one needs to believe if one is to be a Christian.
b. To teach new converts to the faith.
c. To provide a statement of shared beliefs to be used in worship.
4. And so the early church, over time, formulated the Apostles Creed. In 4th century used by Rome. Today used by all but Orthodox church, as a summary of what it is we believe.
1. Today we begin to take a look at the Apostles Creed.
2. I ask not that we look at it as an old statement that we sometimes read together in church - perhaps recite with little thought or meaning, but that we look at it in a few personal, important ways:
a. - Do I believe what this creed says? Not because it is infallible but because it reflects what Bible teaches.
b. To learn it and know it so we can share with others what we believe. (1Pet 3:15)
c. To consider how our beliefs affect how we look at the world and at our life - for to believe something is to be more than just believing it in our mind.
3. To believe means:
a. To give assent to certain ideas, facts, or beliefs.
b. Must include trust or confidence. Greek word for "believe" means to trust.
i. In passage from Exodus, Moses believes in God. (vs. 12)
ii. But there is a problem - people had made golden calf. In response in 33:3 God said "I will not go with you"
iii. This troubles Moses and so he asks 2 things
iv. vs. 15, "If your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here". I need your presence. I have confidence in you, I trust in you, I need you.
v. Also asks God to teach "me your ways" in verse 13. I need to have my mind taught or renewed to know your
ways so that I can know you and you way of doing things so I might continue to find favour with you.
c. To believe means to be committed to and to obey.
a. Moses wants to know God’s pattern of doing things so He will follow God’s pattern rather than conform to pattern of world as we talked about last week. He wants to obey God.
b. To please God.
4. And so do you believe in God? Your yes will do you no God unless you can say yes to this:
- I place my confidence in Him, I trust Him
- I think not as world thinks but as a child of God thinks
- I am committed to living for Him, I belong to Him not myself
- I am obeying Him, seeking to obey Him to please Him and bring Him glory
5. Today we consider the statement "I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth".
6. Do you belive this?
7. We begin by saying that we believe in God - we believe there is a God and we will identify Him more as we go along.
a. We know there is a God because creation reveals Him (Rom 1:20)
b. We believe there must be God from logic - cause and effect, if creation is here someone must have created it.
c. And we know there is God from His word.
8. We believe God is our Father.
a. Not saying He is male because God is Spirit.
b. He has a special relationship to us and that is one of a Father - as Father, perfect Father - He brings us into being, he watches over us and protects us. (Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 26 - 2nd part).
c. As father He is our authority - He rules over us and the world
d. Whose Father is He?
i. In Old Testament thought of as Father of all - since He created all.
ii. In New Testament as father of those who believe in Him John 20:17 Jesus said, ’I am returning to my Father and
your Father, to my God and your God.’"
iii. We are adopted as children when we receive Him as our heavenly father.
9. We believe that God is almighty - all powerful - there is no pone or nothing more powerful than Him - there is nothing that He cannot do.