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The Apostles Creed
~
I Believe




The Apostles' Creed 



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I Believe

Read : Matthew 7: 21-29  


Jesus said "Not everyone who says to me 'Lord, Lord' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do the will of my father in heaven." Years later, James was to write "Faith without works is dead". Indeed. What kind of faith is it that does not change how we view the world, how we treat others, how we live out our lives?! Any faith that is simply the belief of the mind or the experience of the heart is less than true biblical faith and less than true Christian faith. Calling out "Lord, Lord" no matter how frequently or fervently, how piously or passionately is not a substitute for doing the will of the Father in heaven 

Faith must affect life and actions. 

But that does not mean that faith is to be disdained! Nor is faith replaced by actions as if good actions can be a substitute for true faith… or even make faith somehow unnecessary. Far from it! 

"I believe" says the Creed… it is not a statement of simply intellectual assent. It is a statement of faith, of trust, I believe, I trust, I have faith in…  

…in what? In whom?  

In God; Father Almighty, Creator; in Jesus Christ, his only Son our Lord; in the Holy Spirit; 

I have faith - put my trust - in this God who is one and three, who in himself is an eternal relationship of endless and infinite love, and who calls me into that relationship. 

Do we need a Creed? Some have argued not. I can sympathise with their views - But we certainly need a faith!  

Do we need a creed… well yes.  

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To attempt (however inadequately) a description of the faith To provide (however feebly) a touchstone for true belief  

But, people argue., Christianity is a way to live not a set of doctrines to believe. As already implied in the quoting of James, if someone does not live out a Christian life then believing the whole of the Creed will not make them a Christian! Indeed 

But, in fact, and in reality, we all live by a creed, acknowledged or unacknowledged…. And the creed by which we live ultimately governs the actions we perform, the choices we make and the lives we live. The way we live is determined by the things we believe.  

And that in itself may cause us to pause and wonder. Even those of us who profess the Christian faith and affirm the Creed… are we really living by it, or do our lives betray the truth that we live by another creed… be it comfort, or pleasure or gain, or achievement or success or family or fear or compulsion or… the list is endless. 

And that is where we come to the two house builders of whom Jesus spoke! 

Having warned us that it is not crying out "Lord, Lord" that will win us entry to heaven, but doing the Father's will, Jesus goes onto teach the parable of the two builders, the one who builds on an unstable foundation… and when the storms come his house collapses… and the other who builds on a firm foundation, and when the storm comes, his house stands firm. 

And what is the rock foundation which will secure the stable building of our lives? Jesus teachings… and putting them into action! 

Reciting a creed is not enough. 

Believing the fundamentals of the faith is not enough.  

Faith must lead to action.  

Our creed must be demonstrated in conduct. 

On what are we building our lives? 

The foundation will determine the strength and stability of the building…  

The nature of our creed will determine the way in which our lives are lived and the values that prevail… 

The faith we have will motivate and direct the lives we lead; our creed will determine our conduct; our grounding will determine our ultimate stability and fate; a wrong creed will sooner or later show itself in wrong conduct.  

But a creed in itself is empty and lifeless. The foundation on which we build is our readiness to put faith into action; to hear and obey Jesus' teaching; to allow creed to issue in conduct. 

Rev David Denniston, 2009

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St Cuthbert's Parish Church. 5 Lothian Road. Edinburgh. UK. EH1 2EP


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