I Believe In God
The Pastors at my church are using the Apostles’ Creed as the basis of a sermon series. The Associate pastor kicked it off with the first line. His sermon, which I believe is his best yet, was focused on the love a father has for a son and how much more is the love God has for each one of us. I had never seen this or any the other creeds like this before. He was able to open the creed with such vibrancy and freshness that I will never see this creed in the same way.
1 John 4 says let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
We have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. So, we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.
We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. He has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
Believing and trusting in God and His love for us is not some intellectual proposition that we choose to believe in or not. Affirming our belief and trust in God and His love is about how we live and interact in the world. To know God, to be a child of God is to love and serve others not for anything we may get, but all to the glory of God the Father. We love others, because God first loved us and love comes from God, so whoever loves comes from God and knows God. To love and serve is to know God.
This line of the creed I always thought was about asserting some mere belief, but it is not.
It’s not about just believing that God is the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.
It’s not about joining or following a religion, not about being orthodox.
The Apostles’ Creed and this first line are about affirming our trust that God loves us as a father does, but more so, way more than we could ever comprehend. God loves us beyond anything we could ever do. We cannot earn God’s love. God lavishes us with love beyond our wildest dreams. God graces with blessings beyond measure. God as Father means that we are cared for and we can trust that God has our good in mind. It may not look like what we want it to, but we can trust that God will bring about what is good for us.
God as creator of heaven and earth means that the universe is friendly and conspires for our good. Life is a miracle. Sure, suffering and evil are all too real and happens more than anyone is willing to admit. Still, God is good and life is a miracle. Jesus never claims that we will never have a broken heart or come face to face with suffering, but He does call us to love in response to everything, scatter joy, bring faith and light to doubt and darkness, and to be His hands and feet in a broken world.
We affirm this creed to living fully, loving radically, scattering joy, and walking in the light and truth.
What can you do today to affirm your trust in God’s love for you?