United Methodists & the Apostles’ Creed

I have enjoyed working on and preaching a sermon series on the Apostles’ Creed.  (Thank you Jesus Christ for allowing me to do so!)  It has stretched my thinking on what I believe.  It has also confirmed much of what I believe and know about my faith in God.

As we finish the section on believing in Jesus Christ, I realize that God has been most helpful in writing the sermon series and in life.  Even during the week of being the Minister in Residence at the church camp, the material flowed.  There is nothing like seeing elementary through high school age children open up to hearing God’s word.  It was refreshing enough to propel the sermon on Sunday!

Soon we will be starting the section about believing in the Holy Spirit.  If the section on Jesus Christ had some controversies, namely the “conceived by the Holy Spirit, born to the Virgin Mary,” then this section will also have its fair share of controversy.  Yes, the Bible does help us understand what we believe. It is this Creed, even though it is much shorter than the Nicene Creed, that summarizes our belief about what God says through the Holy Bible.

As a United Methodist, it is refreshing to articulate the faith once delivered to the saints.  It is the Bible that drives our lives as United Methodists.  It can be the Apostles’ Creed which helps us to speak what we believe.  Even our Doctrinal  Standards, which includes the Articles of Religion from the Methodist Church and the Confession of Faith from the Evangelical United Brethren Church, has much of the Apostles’ Creed in it.  Yes, there are some items added in the Articles and the Confession.  These additions help us to live our faith in Jesus Christ.

It is important to know our faith.  It is also important to live our faith. What does it matter if we know what we believe if we don’t live what we believe?  Unfortunately, not every United Methodist knows what we believe.  Then, there are fewer who live what our church believes!

Again, I thank God for helping me for working on and preaching this series on the Apostles’ Creed.  Hopefully more United Methodists, and other Christians, will know what the believe and live what we believe.  This might mean we have to live our baptism!  It is after all the Apostles’ Creed which helps us understand our baptism.  Maybe more Christians will live as though they were claimed by God through Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit as they understand the Apostles’ Creed!

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