I Believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and EarthMay 28, 2017 The Apostles' Creed
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This morning I started a sermon series called The Creed. Christ Covenant is going through the Apostles' Creed. Why would I do a series on this?
I've met many people, particulary in the South, who would say they are Christian, but they don't really understand what this means. They may have prayed a simple prayer at a high school youth retreat when they were a teenager, but when they got home, they went on with their lives as if nothing happened.
Christianity offers incredible truths that change lives! The Apostles' Creed unpacks foundational, essential doctrines that are core to our Christian beliefs. In fact, the word creed means "belief." This Creed was written over 1,000 years ago to correct false teaching and to provide a spiritual formation plan for the people of God. This creed has no authority except that which comes from the Bible. Each statement of faith in the Creed is packed full of Scripture.
Let's start with God the Father.
I Believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth
In Acts 17:16-28, Paul is in the city of Athens, Greece. Paul noticed the city was full of idols, and he wanted the people of Athens to know about the one true God. He went to where the people were (Acts 17:17), and he engaged in conversation with many different groups of people.
One group was called the Epicureans. The Epicureans were inward focused and believed that this life is all there is, so they promoted pleasure and taught to avoid pain at all cost. Their motto would be, "Have fun, there's only 1 life to live."
The other group was called the Stoics. The Stoics believed in fate, that life happened by chance. They believed that we are here to do the best we can without any direction from God, and that we are on our own.
Do you know what? There are people living all around us who have similar thoughts and beliefs. Some people think this life is all there is, while others feel we got in this world randomly, and we are all alone.
So, what do our friends who believe these things need to know?
They need to know that believing in a powerful and personal God will make your life purposeful.
God is powerful. The Creed describes God as Almighty. Almighty means that God has unlimited, matchless power. One great way we know of His incredible power is through His creation of the world (read Genesis 1:1-2:25; Psalm 19:1-2; Psalm 33:1-11).
Paul tells the Epicureans and Stoics, "The God Who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of Heaven and Earth (Acts 17:24)."
The Epicureans needed to hear this from Paul because they needed to believe in Something much bigger than themselves. They needed to believe in this Almighty God.
God is personal. What's amazing about the Christian God is that He is not only powerful, He is also personal.
Have you ever met a famous singer, author, or artist? You know of the magnificent work they do, and when you meet them, you probably freeze, or you act a little nervous and giddy. Why do you do this? Because you are so impressed with their work, and you see them on tv, but when it actually comes time to meet them face to face, you can't believe it! What's amazing about the Bible is that it teaches us that we can meet God, who just so happens to be the most amazing artist in all of history. But, what's even better is that God knows you by name!
I grew up in a country radio home. I have had the privilege of meeting several country music singers over the years, and you better believe I was giddy! But do you know what? None of them have no idea who I am and none of them don't remember me.
Well, I have good news. The Almighty God not only remembers your name (Isaiah 43:1; Jeremiah 1:5), He knows about every single hair there is on your head (Luke 12:7; Matthew 10:30).
Paul told his audience that "God determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. He did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us (Acts 17:24-27)."
The Stoics needed to hear this message. They needed to hear they weren't alone, but rather, there is an all-powerful God who is personal, who they can even call their Father.
Once we understand that God is powerful and that He is personal, it makes life worth living. This gives us reason to live and purpose and meaning in life. Paul says, "In Him we live and move and exist (Acts 17:28 - NAS)." He is telling his audience because God is alive and with us, we exist and have a purposeful life.
If you are Christian reading this, please go where the people are and tell them about this great God that we serve.