Month: January 2022

This I Believe (The Creed)

We sang “This I Believe” in our men’s group. The song is based on the Apostle’s Creed and the linked version is from Hillsong.1

Both the Apostles’ creed and “This I Believe say I believe many times.

Is that just a list of facts to believe? You may have heard the statements in the Apostle’s Creed as cold intellectual truths. I know I used to. But there’s quite a difference between assenting to cold facts and saying “Yes!” to a truth that our life depends on.

If someone says, “Atlantic City is the capital of New Jersey,” not much is at stake in whether that is true or not. 2 But what if I were driving a fully loaded 18-wheeler towards an old one lane bridge across a deep gorge. Can it support me and my load? To go across that bridge is to trust it with my life.

That second kind of belief, trusting with our lives, is the kind of belief sung about in “This I Believe.” Full-bodied genuine Christian belief is much deeper than simply saying “Yes” to some facts, and “This I Believe” takes what might only remain as head knowledge and transforms it into wonderful warm praise.

How do we get that kind of heartfelt belief? In certain circles you are ordered to believe each point in the Apostle’s Creed … or else. You must persuade yourself to believe and confess each of the points or you are in trouble.

But that attempt at self-persuasion is futile because we can only truly grasp these truths by faith. And that faith is itself a gift from God. In Ephesians 2:8-9 it says For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

We have been rescued from sin and death by faith in what Jesus accomplished in being crucified on the cross for our sin and then brought back to life. And as we follow Christ today, we continue by faith. By faith, we trust our lives to the God who gave us the creed’s truths:

I believe in God our Father. I believe in Christ the Son. I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe in the resurrection, that we will rise again. I believe Jesus rose again. I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord.

The preceding truths all focus on our personal relationship with God in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But now consider these truths:

I believe in the saint’s communion and in your holy church.

Here, we have union with Christ —– we join the faith and life of everyone who has ever loved Jesus —- in the unity of the Holy Spirit. God is invisible and we demonstrate our belief in this unseen God by loving real life people. Real life people whose flaws start to disgust us — until we look in the mirror! 

That’s when the great theological truths of the apostles’ creed stop being only abstract and cerebral. God is the God who changes us. The creed comes alive as we live out the Lord’s command to Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32.)


  2. Atlantic City is not the capital, Trenton is


Disappointed but not Discouraged

Christian counselor Jeremy Pierre impacted me by writing “We don’t project on God things from our experience. He reveals himself to us, by which we then understand our experience.”

Here’s how I see the quote working out at the start of 2022:

I am disappointed with the renewed covid rampage. Various groups & meetings are being forced back onto Zoom.

In view of that crummy development, it is easy to start to complain – asking “God why are you are doing this letting the pandemic resurge ??”  and to descend into discouragement.

Yes, if I base it on my experience, then it might seem that God is mad at us or judging us or indifferent to our plight. Might figure it’s a miserly God that we have.

But what if I look to what God reveals about himself, and then apply that to our experience.

In Scripture, God says he is loving, caring and sovereign.

In view of that, God is telling us something along these lines: “I am the Lord your God. Regardless of how long the pandemic lasts or any new variants that occur, I remain your loving and compassionate father.”

Those words keep my disappointment from turning into discouragement. To be discouraged is to lose sight of God being in control and God loving us. While during disappointment we know God IS in control and loves us even when we haven’t yet gotten what we are asking for. There is grace for what we are walking through.

May the Spirit empower you to walk in that grace of God in Christ going forward in 2022!