Summary: The Apostles’ Creed has been Christianity’s statement of faith for over 1,600 years. What do we mean when we say these words and how do these beliefs impact our lives today.
Psalm 46:1-11 “I Believe in God Almighty”
The Apostles’ Creed is one of the oldest statements of faith in the Christian Church. We can find traces of it back to the second century and have record of its use in its present form by 450 AD. This creed expresses what we believe about God—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The first part of the creed—what is called the first article—boldly proclaims that we Christians believe in God the Father, creator of heaven and earth. The God whom we worship is the God of all creation. This God, though, did not create and then sit back and watch creation run its predetermined course. Instead, God is intimately involved in creation. God continues God’s creative activity and it affects our daily lives.
Psalm 46 is a celebration of God’s creative activity in our lives. This psalm praises God for who he is and for what he does.
God is first our fortress. A fortress is a defensive structure that provides safety and security in times of trouble. A fortress is a place where we can heal from our wounds, regain our strength, and prepare for the next battle.
Because God is our fortress, we do not need to fear that the walls will be breeched or that we are in any danger. God is greater than any of the other fortresses in our lives in which we might flee and seek safety. God is the only fortress of our lives that cannot and will not be overcome.
In order for God to be a fortress in our lives, God cannot be a disinterested, distant God. And, God isn’t. God is intimately involved in our lives and in the world. God is moving in ways that we do not understand, and we cannot image. God is moving whether we sense God’s movement or not.
The bottom line is God. God has promised to be our God and that we will be God’s people. The Bible declares that there is absolutely nothing in all of creation that is able to separate us from God’s love. God’s love is the one constant in our lives.
The psalmist says that the earth may give way, the mountains may slide into the sea, and the waters may roar and foam—all distressing events—but we do not need to fear because God is our refuge and strength. God is a very present help in time of trouble.
Martin Luther echoes the words of the Psalmist in his hymn, “A Mighty Fortress.” Though hordes of devils fill the land, All threatening to devour us, We tremble not, unmoved we stand, They cannot over power us,” and “If they take our house, Goods, fame, child, or spouse. Wrench our lives away, they cannot win the day. The Kingdom’s ours forever.”
We are not guaranteed a comfortable, safe or secure life as a Christian. Still we are promised God’s steadfast love and presence in our lives.
SOURCE OF LIFE
The Psalm reminds his readers that there is a river whose streams make glad the city of God. Rivers are important in times of war and days of siege. Rivers sustain life; they refresh and give strength.
A city without a water source was easily overcome. All the enemy needed to do was wait for the people to become thirsty. The people couldn’t live without water, and they would have to surrender.
God is like water to our lives. God refreshes and renews us. God gives us the faith, hope and strength to face a new day and to overcome the enemies that we encounter.
I believe in God the Father Almighty Creator of heaven and earth are powerful words. They declare that God has created and is creating. God is providing for us and protecting us.
God does this because of who God is and not because of who we are. God touches our lives and becomes our God and our fortress because of God’s love and God’s will.
God does all of this for us. Luther’s advice in his explanation to the first article is that we should surely, “Thank, praise serve and obey him.” That’s good advice.