Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI

Lent 2021 - Apostle's Creed (Anderson)

March 4 – Pastor Anderson

If I were to walk up to you on the street and ask, “What is it that Christians believe?”, how would you answer me? People flounder at this sort of question, but the answer has been simply given in the Apostles’ Creed. Its history is deep, since it dates back to at least 390 AD. Some scholars have suggested that the statement of faith was written by the apostles of Jesus themselves (hence the name). While that origin is questionable, the Creed does proclaim the faith of the apostles who walked with Jesus. This is the same Christianity that has been confessed since Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. You stand in line with Peter, James, John, Andrew, and all the others.

            Therefore, you believe in one God who is three persons. Each article of the Creed is devoted to one of these persons and their characteristic activities. The Father is the maker of heaven and earth. The Son is the Redeemer of the fallen creation. The Spirit is the sanctifier of those who believe in the Son’s redemption. In order to be a Christian, you must confess the existence, work, and power of all three persons of the Holy Trinity. Someone who cannot confess the Apostles’ Creed cannot rightly be called a Christian. Christianity is a religion which believes in a Triune God who made, redeems, and sanctifies His whole creation.

            That God enables you to confess with your mouth these very words. The explanation of the Third Article reminds us that “I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him.” The Holy Spirit dwells inside of your heart and enables you to believe these words. He is also with your mouth to allow you to confess these words. Thus, the words of Saint Paul are true: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Romans 10:9–10).

            When you confess the Apostles’ Creed, you are speaking of a God who breaks into history. Christianity is a historical religion, because God acts in this world throughout antiquity. There are records of Jesus walking here on this earth. The very fact that the universe exists is a testimony to God’s activity in history. Every time that a baby is baptized or an adult comes to believe the Gospel, God is working in the history of our world. He is not aloof from it…He is intimately involved in its very functionality. The Trinity is not some abstract theological concept (though I suppose it is that also). The Trinity is first and foremost a description of who God is, what He is like, and how He behaves. God is a Father who made it all and sustains it still. That Father has a Son who redeemed it all with His own precious blood. That Father and that Son have a Spirit who makes it all holy, so that the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting shall come to pass.

Say a hearty “Amen” every time you speak the Creed. Amen means “yes, yes, it shall be so.” The Apostles’ Creed is true: a true account of what your God has done, is doing, and will continue to do for you, until the life of the world to come. Amen.

March 5
Read Mark 6

March 6 & 7
Read Sunday’s Lectionary Readings and attend Divine Service

Exodus 20:1-17
Psalm 19
1 Corinthians 1:18-31
John 2:13-25