I believe in God

Apostle's Creed  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Why is the Apostle’s Creed important?
What we believe is important
It is biblical
The creed teaches, anchors, directs
I believe in God the father almighty, maker of heaven and earth


Genesis 1:1–2 NIV
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
Matthew 7:9–11 NIV
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!


Illustration: What are you preaching about.....? God.
Years ago at a party, someone said hey, tell me about God. Uhhhhh what do you want to know?! haha .... where do I start.
That is where we are today. There is two important and seemingly paradoxical, descriptors of God right here in the beginning.
Father and almighty.
Infinitely powerful and intimately personal
Lord’s prayer..... Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
These two go together.
Trinitarian. The first line is about all of God and God the Father. 3 distinct persons, one God.

Infinitely Powerful

Genesis 1:1.....
Let’s go back to creation. Genesis, likely written by Moses or someone in Moses camp… The best illustration I have heard is Moses at a campfire. years and years later....”Grandpa Moses, how did we get here?!”
Genesis is not meant to describe in detail how God created. but that he did create. Genesis 1-2 is poetry with rhythm describing the beauty of creation. God of the universe hovering in the chaos, spoke and creation was brought to be.
Listen, I know you have been inoculated with years of hearing this story, VBS and children’s books have made this too accessible....it has been flattened. But you should read Genesis 1-2 in awe and healthy fear.
That there is a being who created everything including you and me from dust and breathed life into.
God’s power is in everything, not simply a solution to problems in this world, but the reason that there is a world at all.
All throughout the bible and history, there is this idea that the name of God is to be revered.
Jewish believers, early Israelites would not even say his name yahweh or write it for fear of taking the name in vain or misusing it.
By the way you know the commandment to not take the Lord’s name in vain has nothing to do with cussing.
Healthy fear or awe.
Example from candidacy review.....
I think there are some of us that probably need a little more of this in our life.
Gospel. This God created, brought life into the world, invited us to be co-creators. When we couldn't and were separated from God, God came himself to be the representative that we were to be. The kingdom of God was inaugurated in that moment. And the kingdom is in process right now....and will be consummated when Jesus comes again.
This means that God will finally set everything right.
The lion will lay down with the lamb, no more evil and suffering. No more brokenness. No more death.
This infinitely powerful God tells death to knock it off. WHO DOES THAT?!?!

Intimately Personal

God is also intimately personal.
There has been a movement to drop the name Father for God. Because God the father is confusing.....it causes us to see him as a bearded man in the sky or it is patriarchal....or it is a struggle for those that did not have a good dad.
I know those are challenges, but that is who God is. Suggestions of calling him creator…that is just what he did. Who God is…Father.
God’s character has within it the necessity of relationship.
Look at the Matthew text again:
Matthew 7:9–11 NIV
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Father is present

(this means he knows what you are struggling about. confessing is about telling the truth).
Some of us have grown up with distant fathers and we cannot help but project that upon God. But one of the underlying things found here and throughout scripture is God is not some distant far away God. He is present.
1 John 5:14.... this is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
Judgement and love
now listen, can I ruffle your feathers for a second. This intimately personal Father is a Father of love and judgement. I hear this all the time, well I just don’t believe in a God who would judge, or condemn.
Love without discipline is another kind of absenteeism.
This present Father, knows what you are struggling with, knows the sin you are plagued by, knows all and has come so that evil and sin will be broken. This Father will not enable and will not turn away.
It is good and loving for God to discipline his children.
And listen, in my weakness there are times I discipline because my kids have inconvenienced me or have not done what I have told them, and that is sometimes not as altruistic as I would like.
God’s discipline is never petty or self-needing. God’s discipline is about helping you to be who you were created to be.

Father gives gifts

The father gives gifts. Even dads who are broken, don’t give a snake when a child asks for bread. God is present and gives gifts.
This father is the giver of life
this father sustains life
this father has invited you into being co-creators in the world
this father has provided all that we have
This father has provided mexican food.

Father gives good gifts

Intimately personal Father gives what is needed, not what you want.
Notice in Matthew the petition is for bread. In the Lord’s prayer Jesus teaches us to ask for our daily bread. This would be a different scripture if the story was “which of you, if your son asks for a Lamborghini, will give a stone....
We know this right, like thank goodness God did not give me what I asked for Freshmen year of college.
God’s intentions in this life are not to make sure you are happy. That has never been the bottom line. That would be a much different world. God’s intentions have always to be in relationship with you and to create a world where his characteristics of love, mercy, justice, peace, and joy would be abundant.

God the Father Almighty

Ok, we have talked about each one of these but why is it so important that they are together. These two crashing into each other in the creed and in the greater witness of God.
Luke: This weekend I rented this big piece of equipment called a dethatcher. Have you ever done this in your yard? This thing is heavy. Size of a push mower, but defintely a two person job to get it out of the bed of my truck. I was needing to wait for my neighbor to come by and help me get it out of my truck… Told Luke we needed to wait....
But, Dad you are the strongest.
Yeah son.
Here is the thing. There is a day when he is going to learn that I am not the strongest. That in many ways I am a pretty weak man. But I want him to know the Father Almighty.
I dont know where you stand today, like I dont know what dad baggage we all carry in the room. Some of us had the dad that we just don’t want to mess up. We walk on egg shells or have tried our whole lives to please him. Some of us have other experiences of distant parents or still worse something abusive.
This creed gives us a healthy symmetry that should challenge everyone in the room.
Do you know the infinitely powerful and intimately personal Father.
2 traps I see and all kinds of variations in between:
1. God is distant:
God wound this thing up and set it in motion. We believe in this higher power. But we do not believe God interacts with this world much. This is not Christian. This is called deism. We do not pray much, we do not think there is much value.
2. God is my friend: Jesus is my homeboy. God of love, God of grace. You might think what is wrong with this? Well a couple of things, when things go wrong or you do not get what you want, your faith falls apart because it was built on a facade. Or worse, you walk in sin and justify it. God is not purely therapeutic. He is the one who died on a cross to face evil.
Rylie.... just recently my daughter has decided she likes me. A wonderful feeling. I have never known a love like this. Yall, I would go to prison for her. Will I provide what she needs, yes undoubtedly. When she calls my name, it does not matter what is going on, here I am. Will I protect her from evil and suffering....absolutely to the best of my ability.
But I am still weak, broken, in process. I am inconsistent. I am unknowingly selfish at the end of a long day. My love is not always bottomless.
There is a Father who is all powerful, all knowing, all sufficient, always present. There is a father that leaps if she will call his name. There is a father who loves her more than I could ever imagine.
And this father has a word for evil, a word for death, a word for cancer, a word for any suffering that my sweet girl may face in this life. This father can bring life, healing, redemption.
This father is almighty. Infinitely powerful, intimately personal. And I want her to know him. I want us to know him.
In the name of the Father, the son, the holy Spirit.
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