Friday, March 15, 2013

The Apostles Creed -- And in Jesus Christ His Only Son, our Lord

For our 2013 Hymn of the Month we will be exploring the Apostles Creed.
With each post we'll look at one of the statements in the creed,
consider its significance, and share an appropriate hymn.
I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker 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 into hades; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick ad the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
What we believe is fundamental to who we are. We live out of our beliefs; they influence our thoughts, our attitudes, and our actions. The paragraph about Jesus in the Apostles Creed is a collection of many things we believe about Him as His followers, but they all flow from the paragraph's first statement, And in Jesus Christ His only Son, our Lord.

Because Jesus Christ is the Son of God, He is fully divine. It is His divinity that makes it possible for Him to forgive our sins and be made right before God the Father. God requires righteousness and humans, on our own, are incapable of righteousness. But God's divine Son stands between us and God,  having paid the price for us, and secures our righteousness (Isaiah 53:6, John 3:16).

The statements to follow affirm the humanity of Christ.  We see the birth, suffering, death, and resurrection of a man, the man Christ Jesus, who identifies with our sufferings. He became one of us -- fully human -- that He might show us the Father and lead us to Him. But this was only possible because He is also fully divine.

In Jesus' day, the citizens of the Roman Empire called Caesar Lord. So when the early believers began to call Jesus Lord, they were saying that He was above Caesar. In fact, they believed that there is only one Lord, and the title belongs to God alone. This is a cornerstone of the Christian faith: Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live (1 Corinthians 8:6).

As Lord, Jesus has a kingdom and citizens of His kingdom need to know the ways of being within that Kingdom. The teachings of Christ, the parables, the healings, His interactions with people, are all revealed to us in the gospels, which give us insight into what it means to live in Jesus' kingdom, under His lordship. And as we study the book of Acts and read the epistles we see how the early church worked out kingdom life. Through the scripture we learn how to live today under the lordship of Jesus.

Jesus Christ His only Son, our Lord. Such a simple statement but packed with powerful truth. This we believe.

With special thanks to Pastor Sam Schaar for his input. To see earlier posts on the Apostles Creed, click here and here.

1 comment:

sonia wolfe said...

There is a song by the late Rich Mullins. He has put this beautiful Creed to music. He writes....

And I believe what I belive, its what makes me what I am. I did not make it, it is making me!

Or something like that. I attend a Lutheran church, and for me one of the best part of whorship is reciting the creed together with other christians.
We may disagree on many things, but the Creed reminds of how we are all one. We are the children of the Living King, and He is coming back.