As a child, I attended Mendenhall Presbyterian Church in East Grand Forks, MN. Services were predictable there and had similar, or exactly the same, elements each week. Singing the Doxology each week as the offering was brought the front of the church was one of my favorite parts of the service.
Every Sunday morning as part of the service, we recited the Apostles’ Creed. I do not remember a time in my life when I did not know the creed, so we can guess that I learned it early on. This is not surprising – when we say something weekly, it tends to stick.
In early high school, I joined Grace Baptist Church in Grand Forks, ND (yes – just across the river). Services there were predictable as well, but they lacked elements like the Doxology and the Apostles’ Creed.
In addition to preaching through the Bible right now (the reason for this blog), my pastor man husband is teaching adult Sunday School this summer and is focusing on the Apostles’ Creed. Yesterday morning, nearly 50 people attended the class, and I am thrilled because I love the Apostles’ Creed!
As I read the passage of Scripture for today’s reading (John 1-3), I was delighted to discover that the reading and yesterday’s Sunday School lesson intersected.
The opening verse of John seems to be an intentional parallel to the opening verse of Genesis.
John 1:1 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
John seems to make the case that Jesus is God, was with God, and was with God from the very beginning of time.
What do you mean so what?
As Christians in the past have done, we also need to protect theological truths from being watered down or dismissed. While we can be gentle with how we do this, we cannot back down from the truth of this statement.
The Apostles’ Creed is full of “one-liners” of theological truths.
…And in Jesus Christ His only Son Our Lord…
John 1: 1-5 along with other texts such as Daniel 7, Titus 2:13, and John 10:30 affirm, solidify, and make very clear (theologically) that Jesus is God.
CS Lewis says that Jesus is one of three choices: liar, lunatic, or Lord.
While this may be something that we need to accept by faith, it seems pivotal to how we view God, salvation, redemption, and even our purpose in life.
If Jesus was a liar, I do not want to have anything to do with Him because I cannot stand to have people lie to me. It is a major pet peeve of mine…so hard to forgive that (working on it!).
If Jesus was a lunatic, I am sad. I just have a hard time thinking that this is true. While lunatics can be pretty convincing from time to time, it would seem hard to have historical authors writing about a lunatic.
So – if Jesus is Lord, that changes how I live because He commanded His followers (that would be me too…) to go and tell others about how life in Him can change the direction of our lives.
When I say credo – “I believe” – I have to remember that this unique belief in Christ requires that I live that belief.
Mark 9:24 – “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”