“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
Dear Saintly Seed-Sowers:
It is my hope and prayer that you will see the GLORY of Jesus in your life and that you will come to know that Jesus is enough.
Today we begin to look at the second section of the Apostles’ Creed.
Join with me in the reading of this ancient creed of faith that has shaped and changed so many lives for so many years.
The Apostles’ Creed
1. I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth;
2. and in Jesus Christ, His only (begotten) Son, our Lord;
3. who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary,
4. suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried; He descended into hell;
5. the third day he rose again from the dead;
6. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
7. from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
8. I believe in the Holy Ghost,
9. the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints,
10. the forgiveness of sins,
11. the resurrection of the body,
12. and the life everlasting.
This creed was used as a creed, to state exactly what the early believers believed. In fact, the word “creed” comes from “credo” which means “I believe.” I hope by the end of our series that you will have found your own “CREDO”! Do you remember that the early church used this creed as their baptismal confession? If you wanted to join the church—way back in the second century—you needed to proclaim your faith in the TRINITY: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. The Apostles’ Creed was one way to declare what you believed.
The first section of the Creed was about God, the Father–the creator and maker of all. The second section of the Creed is about the second person of the Trinity: JESUS. When The Apostles’ Creed speaks about Jesus, it takes us on a journey through Christmas, Holy Week, Good Friday and Easter as it unfolds the truth of who Jesus is.
Jesus is the name that Michael the Arch Angel gave to Mary when he announced to her the Good News of her pregnancy. “…the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.'” (Luke 1:30-33)
The name “Jesus” is Greek and comes from the Hebrew name for “Joshua” which means “God is Savior.” By giving him the name Jesus, this identified Jesus as a historical person: Jesus was Mary’s son. Jesus was the son of Joseph, a carpenter. Jesus worked in His father’s carpentry business until he was thirty years old and then Jesus began His ministry of healing, of miracles and of resurrections. Jesus labored for three years as a rabbi teaching that the Kingdom of God had come. He was put to death around 30 A.D. by Pontius Pilate. After Christ’s death, His followers became known as CHRISTIANS (little Christs).
Part two, line two of the Creed starts with: “I believe in Jesus Christ.” Here’s some trivia on the word “Christ.” “Christ” is the Greek word for the Hebrew word “Messiah.” Christ equals Messiah. Messiah equals Christ. The name “Christ” is a title, it is not Jesus’ last name. When we say “Jesus Christ,” it means “Jesus the Messiah.”
The title “Christ” also expresses the claim that Jesus fulfilled all three ministries that are anointed with the title in the Old Testament times: a prophet (a messenger from God,) a priest (one who mediates with God for us by sacrifice) and a king. Jesus Christ literally means: “Jesus, the Messiah, the prophet, the priest and the king.” “Christ” is a pretty impressive title. This is what we are saying when we recite the first two lines: I believe God is my Father who has power over all my Father has ever created. Line two: I believe that Jesus is the messiah, the Christ, the prophet, the priest and the king.
We continue in the Creed to proclaim that this Jesus Christ is God’s only Son.
Legend has it that sometime in the first century, a wealthy merchant was traveling through the Mediterranean world. He was looking for the distinguished Pharisee, Paul, when he encountered Timothy. Timothy arranged a visit between the merchant and Paul. Paul, at the time, was a prisoner in Rome. Stepping inside the cell, the merchant was surprised to find a rather old man, physically frail, but whose serenity and magnetism challenged the visitor. They talked for hours. Finally, the merchant left with Paul’s blessing. Outside the prison, the merchant inquired, “What is the secret of this man’s power? I have never seen anything like it before.” Timothy replied, “Did you not guess? Paul is in love.” The merchant looked bewildered. “In love?” “Yes,” Timothy answered, “Paul is in love with Jesus Christ.” The merchant looked even more bewildered. “Is that all?” Smiling, Timothy replied, “Is that all? That, my friend, is everything.”[i]
Christianity can sometimes be a crazy thing. The Church can sometimes be a crazy thing. There are all these “rules” of accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior. And there are many debates on how to accept Christ as your Savior but not as your Lord. Here’s what the WORD says in John 14:6, Jesus is speaking, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.”
I can only imagine that some of you might be wrestling with God’s call on your life. What is God calling you to do and become? Here’s your “SO WHAT?” for the week: IS JESUS ENOUGH FOR ME? Is God my Father, and is Jesus my Savior and Lord? Is Jesus all I need? Or do you need more than Jesus? It’s the age-old wrestling match: is JESUS enough?
I was 12 when I first accepted Jesus as my Savior. I believed in Jesus because I wanted to go to heaven to see my brother, Gary, who had died in a car accident. When I was 27, I asked Jesus to be the Lord of my life. Ten years later, I felt the call to go into full-time ministry. It took me three years of battling the “What ifs” before I told my wife. What if I give up everything, we’ve worked so hard to get? What if I walk away from security? What if I’m really bad at ministry? What if we never have much of anything? Is Jesus enough? If Jesus is my Savior and my Lord can I trust His call? “FOLLOW ME, Dave, and I will make you a fisher of people.”