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Saturday, October 1, 2011

October 2011

Creed

The great Christian musician of the late 20th century, Rich Mullins, once wrote a song using the words of the Apostle's Creed. It was called "Creed." The words are taken from the Creed itself, except for the chorus, which sings:

I believe what I believe is what makes me who I am.
I did not make it, no, it is making me;
It is the very truth of God, and not the invention of any man.

This captures the truth of the faith so well! We do not invent our faith because we do not invent our God. Christianity is a belief in the truth that is given to us by God through the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:19-20; 3:4-5, Jude 3). We believe in a God, not that we invented, but who has revealed himself to us in Jesus Christ (Isaiah 44:6-20, John 14:6). We did not make this faith up, no, it is making us!

The Apostle's Creed is a summary of the faith that has been entrusted to the saints (Jude 3). Though not actually written by the apostle's themselves, it captures everything they taught us in their inspired Scriptures. In the ancient church, when adults were preparing for baptism, they were asked what they believed about God. The Apostle's Creed is how they would answer. "Do you believe in God the Father?" "Yes, I believe in God the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth." And so on. Instead of reciting the whole Bible, they confessed what the Bible taught to demonstrate they were prepared for baptism. They were confessing that they were leaving behind their old beliefs and old gods and were being formed and shaped into the people the true God had created them to be. They were being baptized, reborn, into life under the one, true God. Basically, in order to be a member of the church you had to confess faith in the God confessed in the Apostle's Creed.

You may think this is a strict way of welcoming people into fellowship, but regardless, in our day we seem to have run in the other direction. Instead of requiring belief in God for membership in church, the culture has made belief in truth obsolete. Our culture has made what a person believes about God a personal matter and, thus, irrelevant. The church has been impacted by the culture to the point that she seems to not care so much about what a person believes about God so long as they show up on Sunday and are nice to people around them. We have become more concerned about how people live and act than We are about who God is and what He has to say to us.

Don't get me wrong, going to church and being nice are very important. They just can't save you. What really matters, even more than our own lives themselves, is God. There is nothing more important than who God is and what He does. If we begin to think our lives are more important, then we begin to fashion a god in our image. We make him or her or it or whatever in Ways that fit our lifestyles and culture-shaped belief systems. But that is not the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The true God is one triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who loves us for Christ's sake.

As we begin to live out this new vision of worshipping, growing, and serving, we do so as those who have been made in the image of God, born anew through baptism into Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. We worship, grow, and serve the way we do because God is the way He is. Our new sermon series will be an in-depth look at this God who is so much bigger and better than any God we could form. We will learn the truth of this God from the Apostle's Creed which summarizes the truth of God, and not the invention of any man!

Pastor Bob

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Faith Lutheran Church • 123 Park Lane • Moorpark, CA 93021 • (805) 532 1049 • Send Email