This week we kicked off a new series entitled I BELIEVE. I pray you will join us online, on site or through this blog as we dive into our vision “To Know Christ and Make Him Known” by unpacking the Apostles Creed. We will be kicking off every service and blog for the next several weeks declaring the creed with heart-filled faith, driving the stake of core Christian beliefs and faith deeply into the fertile soil of our hearts and lives.
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again; He ascended into heaven, He is seated at the right hand of the Father, and He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic (universal) Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
Our first declaration of faith is, “I believe in God the Father” which leads us to the first question, “Who is God”? If we are serious about answering this question we must approach the topic with great humility, expectation and wonder while openly admitting that every attempt to describe God in human terms always comes up short. Because of God’s infinite nature, we cannot describe with words His essence and the mystery of that essence being three distinct persons wrapped up in One.
The great theologian Augustine put it this way… “The concept of the Triunal God (The Father Son and Holy Spirit) is an unfathomable mystery which man in this life can never completely comprehend much less describe in conceptual terms.” Augustine’s words ring true with the biblical revelation spoken through the prophet Isaiah, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9) The Apostle Paul captures this truth in 1 Corinthians 13:12, “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
The bottom line is that we cannot put God in a box. He is infinite we are finite. So we approach this series and the concept of knowing God with great humility, wonder and expectation. Asking the Spirit of God to open our eyes and our hearts to the Father Son and Holy Spirit our God three in One.
The testimony of the scriptures not only clearly communicates that God is infinite but that He is intimate. The Apostles creed captures His infinite nature and His intimate nature. According to the creed and the Bible He is God and Father. Infinite and intimate.
Interestingly God is referred to as Father fifteen times in the Old Testament but in the New Testament He is referred to as Father 245 times. Jesus refers to God as Father 45 times in John 13-17 alone. Paul refers to the God as Father in virtually every salutation he gives. James identifies God as Father in in these terms… “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights…” Peter also refers to God as Father in 1 Peter 1:3 where he says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
But perhaps one of the most powerful ways in which God has communicated Himself as Father is through our adoption into the family of God through Christ’s sacrificial death and victory over the grave. Through faith in Christ we are adopted into the most intimate possible relationship with God. Through faith in Christ’s sacrificial death and His victory over the grave we become God’s sons and daughters. God is our father! Do you believe it?
Romans 8:14-17 reveals this undeniable life transforming truth in these terms, “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” When we fall on our knees and humbly cry out to Jesus we are immediately adopted into the family of God, at that moment our identity completely changes from being a spiritual orphan to being a child of God. This moment is known in theological terms as them moment of conversion. It’s in that moment that the Spirit of God indwells and seals the believer, ordinary people like you and me through faith in Christ become His sons and daughters and He becomes our Father. And the spirit of God that takes up residence inside of us cries out from within us. Abba, Father…
The God of the Bible. The one we believe in is “Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in His being, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth and He is Father of all who receive His Son and are filled with the Holy Spirit.
You see the God the Father is most clearly seen through His Son, Jesus. “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” (Hebrews 1:1-3)
The fullest revelation that we have of God the Father comes through His Son Jesus. When we look at Jesus and we enter into a personal relationship with Him we begin to see and know the Father. The infinite all knowing, always present and all powerful God resounds from heaven with a heart full of love, the heart of a perfect father saying, “I LOVE YOU!”. No matter where you are today in your journey, God’s arms are open wide to you through His Son Jesus. He invites you into His family and embraces you as His son and daughter through faith in Christ’s finished work.
I believe in God the Father because when I cried out to the name of Jesus I met Him personally. My heart suddenly became His home and He has never left me since. He is everything to me. He is the one and only one who came to me in my darkest hour and rescued me from the mess I was in. Though I was a spiritual orphan when I cried out to Jesus, I became God’s son and He became my Father. A conversation started with my heavenly Father 23 years ago and it is still going to this very day. He is both infinite and intimate and He can be known through Christ. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1)
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