Archive for April, 2012

This I Believe

April 15, 2012

We live in an age where most people do not know what they believe and seem to think that beliefs do not really shape us. I have found that what we believe does shape our thoughts and actions. To believe in truth, love, forgiveness and hope makes us positive and healthy. To believe that God loves us and that we have an eternal destiny grounds us and gives us a good self image.

This Sunday I will begin a sermon series on THIS I BELIEVE. Each week we will examine a phrase from the Apostles Creed. This statement of faith was written and compiled by the church beginning in the 2nd century and was set in its present form by the 9th century. The early church used it to teach the basic beliefs of the church to those preparing for Christian baptism. They had to memorize the creed and it was used weekly in worship by the 5th century.

There is always a danger that something will become too routine and lose its meaning. To avoid this, we often do something new in worship every week. So we diversify the prayers, creeds or songs we use in worship. Yet I cannot find a better and more concise statement of our basic beliefs than the Apostles Creed.

We are now living in a post-Christian age. Many forces in our culture and world work against our belief in God and the truth of Christ as Lord and Savior. Also, we are living in an age when many are not reared in the church, as in past times, and they do not know what we believe. The Creeds helps us say in a few words what we believe. A colleague of mine says that he likes using the creed often if for no other reason than to say: “I believe in the forgiveness of sins…”

I have in my ministry run into some persons who resented any creed, remembering a time when they felt forced to say the right words. Maybe that’s true for some. Maybe some have come from a setting in which they were manipulated and “made” to say something they were not sure about. However, for most of us the creed stands as a guard against believing in a generic god.

Our God is specific. What we know about God is what has been revealed to us through the scriptures. Our God is a god who has done wonderful, amazing things and continues to impact lives today. We proclaim God’s truth and grace, and repeat our basic beliefs about God gladly and joyfully.

This I believe! Stand up and say it boldly, freely, “I believe in God!” It’s a good feeling to stake your life in firm and never-changing beliefs.