The Apostles' Creed and Communion of Saints

Apostles' Creed  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  27:35
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Welcome/Opening Prayer
Music Ministry
Let Us Break Bread Together(1,2,3)
This I Believe
Word of God - 1 John 1:5-7
Message - “The Apostles’ Creed and Communion of Saints”
I, along with many other pastors, often teach that we need to seek unity
In our core text today, 1 John 1:5-7, we just heard about
God being light with total absence of darkness
Believers are supposed to walk in God’s light in fellowship with God
But what does this mean?
and what does it have to do with the Apostle’s Creed?
Stay tuned
In the first verse today, 1 John 1:5
1 John 1:5 ESV
5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
“God is Light”
“light” is a commonly used metaphor in Jewish literature and in the OT
“Light” means perfection or truth
“Darkness” is the opposite, so “darkness” means lies or sin
Believers are called to live in “light” like Jesus says in John 8:12
John 8:12 ESV
12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
This is where things get a bit sticky
Jesus was, and is, perfection
We are NOT perfection, so we have some level of darkness
The people around us see our darkness, often easier than we do
One of my pet peeves is people driving without headlights when there is fog.
I’m sure they think that the headlights don’t help THEM see the road or other cars, so why bother turning them on
Headlights in fog are used so OTHERS can see you, not so you can see
Those people THINK they are driving in the light
But truly, they are driving in darkness
It’s the same when we see others living their life in sin
They think they are “spiritual”,
Their god is personal and not described in a book
For that matter, they may be attending church and believe in God with a big “G”
But they criticize others for their beliefs or practices
The form of baptism
The type or volume of music
The selling of a raffle ticket in the church
Whatever the pet peeve
All these are examples of seeds of division that hurt the unity of body of Christ
Which means we are not walking fully in the light of Christ
The Apostle Paul called Believers to unity of the body of Christ
And we continue that call today
Ephesians 4:1–4 ESV
1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—
I hope you see the significance of the statement in verse 4.
“There is ONE body”
Those who sow seeds of disunity are not really a functional part of the body of Christ
They are working for Satan, not God
We truly must keep ourselves building up the body of Christ
not letting little things separate us
That is the heart of what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:10.
1 Corinthians 1:10 ESV
10 I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.
One way we bring the body of Christ together is the Apostels’ Creed
Whenever there is disagreement or division
It is a good idea to start any discussion with where you agree, not disagree
That’s been at the center of our push for “Keep Christ in Christmas”
To get Believers, regardless of denomination or church, to stand together in full unity
To profess that Jesus is the reason we have and celebrate Christmas
To show Christ in action, especially during the celebration of Christ’s birth
Likewise, The Apostles’ Creed clearly states our common ground
First, we’ll talk about what the creed does
• [image]
Takeaways – The Apostles’ Creed
1. Summarizes our faith
It’s a series of “I believe” statements
that have been defined, refined and recited by Believers since the fourth century
In fact, the Creed is a good starting point if anyone asks you about your religious belief - start here
I believe in God
The Father Almighty,
Creator of heaven
and earth;
And in Jesus Christ,
His only Son our Lord;
You could continue with the full Creed, right?
Yes, the Creed summarizes our faith
Our second takeaway is
Takeaways – The Apostles’ Creed
1. Summarizes our faith
2. Defines and facilitates unity in our faith
Indeed, it is considered to be a unifying factor for Christians
Whatever our religious practices
On these things we should agree
Pastor, author, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Al Mohler put it this way
“All Christians believe more than is contained in the Apostles’ Creed, but none can believe less” (-Al Mohler)
We often recite it on Communion Sundays
But, it’s not JUST to be recited
The creed should be much more than proof that we can memorize and recite
In fact, to be of real value the creed needs to be an accurate reflection of what each of us believes
All Christians should be able to be in agreement on the Apostle’s Creed
from this foundation we should be strong and united
·Third Takeaway [image]
Takeaways – The Apostles’ Creed
1. Summarizes our faith
2. Defines and Facilitates unity in our faith
3. Based on Scripture
I am not going to go through each statement in the Creed in detail today
I did that a couple of year ago
For each element, there is a direct connection to the Bible
Each statement rests soundly on the writings of the Apostles
We know each statement to be completely true
Today, though, we focus on a statement near the end
The communion
of saints;
The forgiveness
of sins;
This is the ninth article of the Creed
but what does is really mean to us?
In Protestant churches like ours,” Communion of saints” typically means the fellowship of Believers
That word “communion” here can be interesting
The word really means a close, sincere relationship of care
“Communion” is active care for another person
“Communion” is actively being alongside and with someone
Truly connected in a strong way as we “walk” together
Or “Becoming One With the other”
So, “I believe in the gathering of believers in sincere fellowship”
That sums it up
From our core text today 1 John 1:7(a)
1 John 1:7 ESV
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
We are reminded that action is required in our faith
The Bible doesn’t say that “if we sit on our coach in the light”
“But if we WALK” in the light
Charles Spurgeon describes it like this
1 John Exposition

Christian life feeds upon contemplation, but it displays itself in action.

So, when you tell someone they are in your “thoughts and prayers”
Consider it the Christian thing to do when you actually pray WITH them
Let them know later that you have lifted them up, too
We must actively walk with God and actively walk with the little-”s” saints
Each of many steps constitutes “walking”
Not for a time, but constant
When we walk with God, or anyone else
We can only do that constantly if we are headed in the same direction, right?
That means all of us within the Body of Christ generally
And certainly all of us here at Grace Church
There is one final and VERY significant point made in 1 John 1:7(b)
1 John 1:7 (ESV)
7(b) and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
It’s that three-letter word, “sin”
Each of us is a sinner, true
and since we Believers admit our sin, that’s what prepares us to accept that we are forgiven
Forgiveness is available by the blood of Jesus
Our sin-debt has already been paid
But, we do have to ask for forgiveness and repent or turn from our sinful ways
Recall the section of the Apostles’ Creed we are focusing on today
The very end of it was
The forgiveness
of sins;
We, as the body of christ, not only CAN, but MUST seek and offer forgiveness
In 1 John 1:8 we are reminded of the importance
1 John 1:8 ESV
8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
We cannot gather in sincere fellowship with our hearts filled with lies
We must truly accept our sin as real, seek God’s forgiveness and leave that sin behind
1 John 1:5 told us that God is “light” which means God is “truth”
and that we are to walk in truth as well
Now is the time for us to be truthful about our sin, toward God and others
It is in truth that we can come to the Lord’s table, acknowledging our own sin
But we are receive at the table as children of God, forgiven by our Father
Forgiveness available to all who ask
It is that which allowed us to celebrate complete communion with Him
Forgiveness will be a part of our prayer in a moment
So, ready your heart so our prayer can be sincere
Here is the final takeaway
Takeaways – The Apostles’ Creed
1. Summarizes our faith
2. Defines and Facilitates unity in our faith
3. Based on Scripture
4. Unites us
Note that the Apostles’ Creed starts “I believe”
When we gather as a church and individually say “I Believe”
We really create a “We believe” moment, right?
Because we individually and collectively believe these things
With this understanding, let us now recite
No, let us do more than recite from memory
Let us stand united and profess together our common beliefs found in the Apostle’s Creed
AMEN - Remain standing for our Hymn of Commitment
Hymn of Commitment - “Trust & Obey”
Prayer seeking forgiveness in preparation for Communion
Holy Communion
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