2 Corinthians 13:14
Johnny Roberts (our sainted shut-in). Every time I went to see her, we met for the very first time. I would give her the Lord’s Supper and before she took it, I would lead her in the Apostles’ Creed. She always knew the Apostles’ Creed word for word. (When I first got to Christus Victor, we only used the Nicene Creed in worship because we celebrate the Eucharist weekly. Johnnie inspired me to reintroduce the Apostles’ Creed. It seemed strange to me for our confirmands to learn it and then to never hear it again in worship.) There are churches that include it in the fine print of their statement of belief on their websites, but sadly you could walk through their doors on any given Sunday and never hear it. It’s a wonderful, succinct statement of belief that has served the church throughout most of its entire post Ascension history. It’s why Martin was adamant that it be one of the parts of his Small Catechism. It’s Trinitarian. It speaks of the entire plan of creation, redemption, and sanctification through faith in Christ.
I. First article. Pretty short. You know why? Cuz throughout most of the history of the church on earth, no one’s really questioned God the Father. No one questioned a 6 day creation or any of the events of Genesis. That is, until the 1800s when rationalism showed up on the world’s scene. And today, people challenge the Creator Father even further. They decide when life begins and when it ends. They decide what gender God created them. But I didn’t write this to rail on the obvious. Ya know what’s fascinating? How was Adam created? Anyone recall? And yet just last week we had dust and ashes imposed on our foreheads to remind us that, in the presence of a holy and almighty God, that is all we are: destined for the grave. But think about it: God’s original intention was to create man outta the dust of the earth. NEVER for him to return to it. That was our undoing.
II. Second article. So he fixed it. Ya know why we say the creed after the sermon? Just in case it was an awful sermon. The creed is a much better one cuz it faithfully proclaims or expounds on what all of this (Bible) has to teach us. So guess what? I ain’t gonna preach in my own words on Jesus. I’m gonna let the creed do it for me. (Read 2nd article.) I will only add that the Nicene Creed adds a few words about Jesus’ passion that really convey the Gospel even moreso: For us and for our sake. The 2nd Person of the Trinity has indeed redeemed us fully in the eyes of his Father.
III. Third article. Pentecostals and other Christians who believe in special spiritual gifts will often times accuse us and Catholics of sorta giving short schrift to the Holy Spirit. What are the first two words of the entire creed, though? That’s right. (Picture the Holy Spirit with sunglasses on.) We can’t confess our faith without having been given that faith to begin with. No one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. We march forward during this time of Lent knowing that we still belong to the Father because of the saving work of the Son, believing such solely by the converting work of the Holy Spirit. So yeah the creed’s like pretty great and stuff. I think we’ll keep it around.