Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.
Belief changes the world.
Bill Gates believed that every desk should have a computer on it. And so they do. And our world is different because we all have access to a computer – from our phones, to our cars, to our home- and work-desks.
Belief changes a person.
Roger Bannister believed that he could run 22 feet per second for just about four minutes – and so he did, becoming the first person to run a mile in under four minutes. This changed his life and opened the door for him to pursue a career in medicine.
For this Lenten Season, I invite you on a journey that can change your life and change the world. I know, I know. I say that every year. Several years ago I wrote a book of Lenten devotions called “Journey to Calvary.”
But we really are going on a journey. A journey of faith, a journey of belief, a journey that Jesus Himself invites us to take with Him. Not just to the cross. Not just to the Empty Tomb. But a journey through this life and into eternal life.
As you and I take this Lenten journey together this year we are going to explore fifteen aspects of the Apostles’ Creed.
Here’s why we chose the Apostles’ Creed for our Lenten Journey.
Almost everyone here knows the Apostles’ Creed. Almost everyone here knows it by heart.
The danger of that is that we say the Apostles’ Creed, but we don’t really confess the Apostles’ Creed. We don’t hear what we are saying.
The Original Intent of the Apostles’ Creed
The Apostle’s Creed was put together by Christians in the early 2nd and 3rd Century. This Creed was intended to be used as a short, succinct, yet powerful, way to tell someone what we believe.
It came to be used regularly at Baptisms. It was the way to confess the Christian faith into which we baptize people.
But it is also an expression of faith that answers the question “What do you believe?” You’ll have to admit, the Apostles’ Creed is a much shorter answer than saying, “I believe that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. The Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.”
Then four days later concluding your answer, “I believe that He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you all. Amen.”
In other words, answering the question “What do you believe” by reciting the entire Bible.
The entire Bible is in the Apostles’ Creed!
The Creed is a short, succinct way of telling someone else what the Christian faith is. It is a way of telling them what we believe.
The Intent of This Journey of Faith
Our intent in using the Apostles’ Creed for this year’s Lenten Journey is three-fold.
First, we will once again focus on daily contrition and repentance. Which is a phrase right out of Martin Luther’s Small Catechism. It is the Lutheran way of saying what Baptizing with Water Indicates.
Lent is a penitential season – a time specifically set aside to repent of our sins. This is part and parcel of the Baptismal Life and the Apostles’ Creed is the way we articulate the faith into which we are baptized.
Second, this Lenten Journey will be a time for us to learn – or re-learn – what we believe so that we know what we believe in our hearts as well as our heads and on our lips. And I believe we have to know what we believe before we can tell others what we believe.
Which is the third intent of this sermon series on the Apostles’ Creed. To tell others what we believe.
That’s what the Christian Church is all about – telling others what we believe: that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior from sin, death, and the power of the devil. Telling others what we believe in love – the love of God and the love of our neighbor.
So, let’s begin our journey with daily contrition & repentance, knowing what we believe and telling others what we believe.
Heavenly Father, bless us on this journey of belief, contrition, repentance and faith. As we travel to Holy Week, Easter, and beyond together, may we always know your great love for us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
© 2018 True Men Ministries