I Believe in God

Heidelberg Catechism: Question 26: What do you believe when you say, “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth”?

Answer: That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who out of nothing created heaven and earth and everything in them, who still upholds and rules them by His eternal counsel and providence, is my God and Father because of Christ His Son. I trust Him so much that I do not doubt He will provide whatever I need for body and soul, and He will turn to my good whatever adversity He sends me in this sad world. He is able to do this because He is almighty God; He desires to do this because He is a faithful Father.

 

Observations: One of the earliest creeds of the Christian Church is the Apostles’ Creed, and it defines what a Christian must believe. I say ‘must’ because if a church doesn’t believe the Apostles’ Creed it is officially a ‘sect,’ rather than a part of the Christian faith. The first line of the Apostles’ Creed is ‘I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.’ The Apostles’ Creed is Trinitarian in structure. It begins not with God, but God ‘the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Firstly, God ‘out of nothing created heaven and earth and everything in them.’ God is the source of all things. Secondly, God ‘still upholds and rules them by His eternal counsel and providence.’ God is not distant like the deist’s believe, rather God is intimately involved in the running and ruling of his creation. God rules according to his ‘eternal counsel and providence,’ which means that he is unfolding his plan throughout history, which means nothing happens by chance (see Q&A 27). Thirdly, this God, ‘is my God and Father because of Christ His Son.’ Just as God is not distant from his creation so he is not distant from those who put their faith in his Son, Jesus. The catechism teaches that God is the Almighty Creator God, that he is immanent, and that he is personal. As our God we believe that ‘He will provide whatever I need for body and soul, and He will turn to my good whatever adversity He sends me in this sad world.’ Because God is sovereign we believe that even ‘adversity’ comes from his hand, not because he is capricious, but because it will ultimately lead to our good. The catechism declares that ‘He is able to do this because He is almighty God; He desires to do this because He is a faithful Father.’ God is all-powerful, but he also cares deeply for his children.

 

Observations: When you say ‘I believe in God,’ what sort of God do you believe in? Is he the God of the Bible, the God who created all things, the God who sustains all things according to his sovereign will, the God who in Christ has reconciled you to himself and loves you as his own child? Do you believe that God will turn ‘all things’ to your good, that he is not only able to do so, but that he wants to do so? What we believe about God affects how we live. Do you live in the abiding confidence that in Christ God, the Creator of the universe, is for you?

 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, the Good News that in Jesus I can come to You not as the Judge who will condemn my sin, but as my Father who loves me and cares for me, is beyond comprehension. You are the Creator of all things, and You are in control of all things, and yet You are also my God, and You are watching over me and caring for me, and working out Your sovereign will through my life. Lord, I am amazed that You in Your Almighty power would regard me in my brokenness and my insignificance, and yet You do. I am forever grateful for Yoru great love for me in Christ. In His name I pray. Amen.

 

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