January 4, 2023 – This I Believe – God, the Father Almighty

The next little while we’ll be looking at the Apostles’ Creed.  You can find it below. And, if you’d not, I’d encourage you to memorize it.  It’s a great thing for all of us to have committed to memory: 

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

Today we’ll look a little deeper at “I believe in God, the Father…”  This phrase is more than you may realize.  We hear words like Father, and we hear them through our context. But calling God Father is not a statement of gender per sue; it is a theological statement.  This is a statement about what God’s nature is. This a huge statement.  So, let’s look a little deeper at what is happening here.  

What we do as humans is that we project what we understand upon God don’t fully understand. Our minds cannot conceive of all that He is. Remember, Moses could not look God in the face, but instead could only see the backside of God’s glory (Exodus 33:18-20).  That is one of the many reasons why scripture is so important; it shows us what we don’t understand.  

Remember, we project upon God, but Scripture tells us that God is not a human as we are. He has no body; He is a Spirit (John 4:24).  God is a Spirit and does not have human characteristics or limitations.  All the evidence contained in Scripture tells us, though, that when God revealed Himself to humans, it was in a male form. But we need to understand God’s true nature. 

God is a Person, as He exhibits all the characteristics of personhood: God has a mind, a will, an intellect, and emotions. God communicates, and He has relationships, and God’s personal actions are evidenced throughout Scripture.  He is personal, but He is not human. 

What does it mean to speak of God as Father if God is not human?  To speak of God as Father is to speak of the nature of the Father and Son.  He is a Father because Jesus is a Son.  To be a Father is to imply that there is a Son; you can’t have one without the other. 

In other words, this is about the Trinity. When the Creed speaks of God the Father, it reminds us of the doctrine of the Trinity.  When the creed speaks of God the Father, it deliberately reminds us of the doctrine of the Trinity. The first thing we learn from “I believe in God the Father” is that there is Trinitarian fatherhood in God. God the Father is Father not simply by virtue of His creation of us and of the world, but He is eternally Father because of His eternal Son.  To affirm God is a Father is to affirm the personhood and the identity of the first person of the Trinity. 

God is a Father is a statement of belief in the Holy Trinity.  As we see, the Trinity is the core of the Creed; it is at the very core of what we believe as Christians.  

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