What Do You Believe About God?

Photo by Stephen W. Hiemstra
Photo by Stephen W. Hiemstra

But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (Jer 31:33)

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Once as a youth leader, I asked each member of the group to write out a personal statement of faith. This assignment kept us busy all evening. In the end, most kids had statements resembling the Apostle’s Creed. For the Christian faith, this creed is foundational.

The Apostle’s Creed began as a baptismal statement of faith in the fourth century (Rogers 1991, 61–62). It has evolved into a key statement of faith that is often memorized and proclaimed in worship services around the world.

The Apostle’s Creed divides into three parts: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each part helps us to understand and to identify better with each person of the Trinity. The confession about the Father focuses on his role as creator. The confession about the Son recounts the story of Jesus Christ—conception, birth, death, resurrection, ascension, and return. The confession about the Holy Spirit links the Spirit to the work and key doctrines of the church.

The Apostle’s Creed primarily tells the story of Jesus. Other parts of the creed appear simply to bracket the story of Jesus. This is not an accident. The four Gospel narratives each focus on the story of Jesus. Early church sermons, recorded in the Book of Acts, also often focus on telling Jesus’ life story[1]. In general, the New Testament focuses on telling Jesus’ life story and applying his story to our lives.

When is the last time that you shared Jesus’ life story? How has Jesus’ life become a model for your life?

[1] Sermons by both Peter (Acts 2:14–41; 10:34–43) and Paul (Acts13:16–41) focus on Jesus’ life story.

REFERENCES

Rogers, Jack. 1991. Presbyterian Creeds: A Guide to the Book of Confessions. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.

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