New Teaching Series: “The Apostle’s Creed”
A couple weeks ago we launched a new video study by Matt Chandler. This 12 week series aims to strengthen our understanding of the essential convictions of the Christian church by using each line of The Apostles’ Creed to point us back to the gospel. You can check out either of our blog posts from January 7th and 14th for an introductory description of the series as well as a preview video. Below is the full creed followed by the second week’s video lesson and summary, which considers the phrase, “God the Father Almighty, Creator or heaven and earth.”
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God the Father Almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit;
born of the virgin Mary;
Suffered under Pontius Pilate;
was crucified, dead, and buried.
He descended to hell; the third day
He rose again from the dead;
He ascended to heaven and sits on the
right hand of the Father Almighty,
From whence He shall come to judge
the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
The holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
The forgiveness of sins,
The resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
In session two, Matt Chandler showed us how the Apostles’ Creed provides symmetry when it comes to our understanding of God as Father. We were introduced to two aspects of his nature that go hand in hand: God is both infinitely powerful and yet intensely personal. Many of us tend to think of him as only one or the other, but both are important to our faith.
In a similar vain, the Apostles’ Creed provides clarity about God’s view of mankind and their sin. God is a God of both love as well as wrath. Part of the nature of perfect love is a willingness to defend the innocent and punish the guilty. There is especially a need for judgment against sin, because sin brings death and destruction to our lives. God proves his love by refusing to turn a blind eye to our selfish and destructive actions and attitudes. Many of us need to understand and embrace the fact that if God loves us, he will expose our secret sins.
In terms of community, the gospel calls us not only to right relationship with God, but to right relationship with each other. We are a “communion of saints” brought together by God’s love for us through Jesus Christ.
And finally, the creed shapes how we counsel ourselves and each other. If God the Father is truly both infinitely powerful and intensely personal, then we will go to great lengths to help everyone achieve that balanced perspective. Some of us live in fear of a powerful God who is distant. Others live however they want because they believe God is personal but relaxed toward sin. Both of these beliefs are false, and the Bible is clear. God loves us and he also hates sin, and he has gone to great lengths to demonstrate that.
Go ahead and watch session two for yourself and take some time at home to answer the following questions as a family. We’ve also given each student a set of personal studies to use throughout the week during their own time in Bible reading and prayer. These studies dive deeper into each week’s theme and will enrich the students’ experience of this study. Join us next time as we continue our study of the Apostle’s Creed!
- We all have to wrestle with the question of whether we believe God is good. Why is that question foundational?
- When have you wanted something and didn’t understand why God wasn’t saying yes?
- What is the difference between deism and Christianity?
- How does it affect your view of God to know that He delights in you? How does it affect your view of yourself?
- Why do love and wrath necessarily go together in God’s character? Why would a loving God expose secret sin?
- How should the fact that God is infinitely powerful and intensely personal shape our daily lives? Our relationship?
- Which of the two attributes of God do you tend to think of most when you think about God: powerful or personal?
- Why do you relate to him that way? Why is it vital to relate to God as both/and, not either/or?
- READ MATTHEW 6:9-13B (The Lord’s Prayer)
- How does each phrase in the Lord’s Prayer reveal God’s character as both personal and powerful?
- What’s your primary takeaway in response to the teaching on “God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth?”