I want you to think about something. Think about a time when you read something for the very first time. Maybe you need a specific example. Do you remember the first time you read the book of Genesis? Or to be even more specific, do you remember reading the first chapter? Did you catch all the details? Did you understand all the nuances? If you are anything like me, then it takes reading through something multiple times and studying it to get more out of it. This is especially true of scripture. But it is also true of the things that have been given to help us understand scripture. Last week we talked about the importance of the gospel. I want to continue to think about the importance of the gospel but I want to start to dig deep into each of its parts. More specifically I want to look at the different parts of the church's confession from her earliest days. I introduced the Apostles Creed last week and this week I would like to start to dig deep to understand what it is we confess in this creed.
I Believe in God
The very first line of the Apostles Creed reads. "I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth." You might have wondered why I mentioned Genesis at the start of the focus of this is going to be on the Apostles Creed. That is because the very first line of the Creed points us back to the beauty of creation. In the Creed, we confess that God is the Maker of heaven and earth. When we turn to the very first verse of scripture we read the amazing proclamation of the character and work of God.
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1
What a way to start. Have you ever thought about the depth of this statement? God is the creator. He spoke the whole of creation into existence. Before God spoke there was nothing and after God spoke matter, space, and time came into existence. Think about that for a minute. Everything that we see today, was spoken into existence by God. We think a person is creative when they paint a beautiful picture or they think of a way to do something that you have not seen before, but every person who has ever existed has only ever been able to use the things that God spoke into existence. Think about the majestic diversity and creativity in creation. Think about the countless species of animals. Think about how beautiful the sky is at sunset. All of was spoken into existence by God. It is his handy work. To go even deeper down the rabbit hole, think about time. You and I exist in time, we operate from one moment to the next, God created that time. If you are like me this is so hard to grasp and so utterly mind-blowing that I cannot help but be in awe of the majesty of God. Before God spoke there was no time. What an amazing God.
The Father Almighty
But God is not just amazing, he is amazing because he is the almighty one. In the last book of scripture, the book of Revelation, we get a glimpse into the throne room of God.
"And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings , are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!" Revelation 4:8
This once again blows our minds. What must it be like to be in the presence of God and to understand his glory and majesty to the point that we can do nothing but continually confess the holiness of the Almighty God? Do you understand what the Creed means when it says "The Father Almighty"? It is confessing the something the angels confess. It is simply stating the truth that there is no power that is not God's. The Oxford dictionary defines almighty as "having complete power; omnipotent." This is one of the names of God. That he is God Almighty. Have you ever thought about how God's names are not like ours? Our names are given by our parents and they usually have special meaning to them and us. My children for example have a mixture of biblical and family names. But God's names are not like that. They describe to us something about God's character and nature. The Lord God Almighty describes to us the unlimited power that is in God. There is no power in heaven or earth that is not subject to the power of God. But that is not all that we confess in the Creed. We confess that God is "The Father Almighty." He has adopted the church into his family. We as Christians have been given the right to be called the children of God (John 1:12, Ephesians 1:3-6). The one who has all power, who created all things by the power of his Word, has given us the right to call him Father.
Time to Reflect
This week think about this first line of the Apostles Creed. Meditate on what it means for God to be the Father Almighty. I do not mean eastern mediation, but a dwelling on these things. Keep them in your mind throughout your week. Reflect on what it means for the Lord to be Almighty. We do not believe in a weak god who cannot accomplish anything but in the God of all creation. We believe in the one who spoke and all things came into existence. Think about that this week. Whenever you look up to the sky remember that "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork." (Psalm 19:1). Think about how the ants know when to hide and how to find food. Think about the beauty that can be seen in the trees blowing in the wind, each leaf moving and swaying as if to a song. God created each of those trees. This week be humbled before the Father Almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Soli Deo Gloria