Greetings in the name of Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior.
On our first Sundays we share communion and say the Apostles’ Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. A creed is a brief authoritative summary of fundamental beliefs. Personally, I think the Apostles’ Creed contains some phrases that really aren’t that important or fundamental. Some of the phrases are also vague and too open to interpretation; however, it is just a short summary, so it is apt to leave out some very important and fundamental beliefs. What does each part mean and why is it important? You can break it down into 12 parts.
1. I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. You have to believe that there is one true God who made everything.
8. I believe in the Holy Ghost; I moved number eight up here because it fits with the “I believe” of number one and sets up two and three. The Holy Spirit indwells, guides, equips and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service, and seals us for eternal glory. We probably don’t know enough about the Holy Spirit, but the Christian life is impossible with the Spirit’s power and work in our lives.
2. And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, and Born of the Virgin Mary. Due to the nature of his divine conceptions, Jesus Christ was both fully man and fully God. These first three parts also give the three aspects of God’s Trinity – Father, Son, Spirit.
4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried. The most important part is that Jesus truly died. He did not just lose consciousness. Jesus sacrificed himself to ransom or redeem us from our sin nature and the penalty for our sins. The bread of communion represents our sin nature and the wine or juice represents our actual sins. The ceremony itself points to Jesus sacrificial death and blood shed on our behalf.
5. He descended into hell; The third day he rose again from the dead; Jesus’ resurrection is a fulfillment of prophecy and a foundation for our faith.
6. He ascended into heaven, And sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; Jesus returned to his place with Father God in heaven, where he rules.
7. From there he shall come to judge the living and the dead. Jesus Christ shall return to judge the living and the dead, at which time we shall experience the resurrection of our bodies and the creation of a new heaven and new earth.
9. The holy Catholic Church; The Communion of Saints; “Catholic” means universal. There is one Church and many churches. The one, true, universal Church is comprised of all who have been justified by God’s grace through faith alone in Christ alone. They are united by the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ, of which He is the Head.
10. The Forgiveness of sins; All of our sins – past, present, and future – have already been forgiven by our faith in the redeeming work of Jesus Christ.
11. The Resurrection of the body, One day, everyone who has lived will be resurrected and judged, and then either sent to Hell or Heaven based on whether or not they truly believed in Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior.
12. And the Life everlasting. Believers will live forever in the new Heaven/Earth that God will create.
Amen. This word is from Hebrew in the Old Testament and is the same in Greek in the New Testament. It means “it is true” or “let it be so.”
Even though we can’t meet today, I hope you will have your own communion time and pray and affirm the Apostles’ Creed.