The Apostle's Creed
Page 2 of 12
This is the second of our devotions on the Apostle's Creed. The First Article together with Luther's explanation:
I believe in God the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth.
What does this mean?
I believe that God created me and all that exists, that he gave me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my mind and all my abilities. And I believe that God still preserves me by richly and daily providing clothing and shoes, food and drink, property and home, spouse and children, land, cattle, and all I own, and all I need to keep my body and life. God also preserves me by defending me against all danger, guarding and protecting me from all evil. All this God does only because he is my good and merciful Father in heaven, and not because I have earned or deserved it. For all this I ought to thank and praise, to serve and obey him. This is most certainly true.
In the previous reading we considered the nature of "belief" and faith and why we have "creeds" and confessions of our beliefs and faith. We also considered the source of all of our Christian beliefs—the Bible. We were reminded that the Bible's teachings preclude any sort of evolutionary view of the origin of all things. Rather, we trust that God created everything by means of His word, in six 24-hour days.
God shows His goodness to us through His creation and especially by giving each of us our "body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my mind and all my abilities." The Psalmist writes: "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." (Psalm 139:13.14)
God also shows His goodness to us by preserving us and He does this, first of all, by providing everything we need to keep our body and life. Luther's explanation gives us just a short list of all the blessings that our Heavenly Father showers upon us, for which we give thanks every day. All too often we take God's blessings for granted. We often forget why God gives us all of this—because He loves us, right? That's right. But He really provides for us because He has a plan for us—to save us for eternity through His Son, our Savior. This is a good definition of "providence"—that God provides for us now with our future in mind. Our future in God's view is our eternal good.
God also preserves us by protecting us from harm and evil. He does this in two ways: He either keeps evil from us, or if He allows harm or evil to touch our lives, He uses it for our ultimate good. When Joseph's brothers caused him great harm by selling him into slavery in Egypt, he assured his brothers: "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives" (Genesis 50:20). Perhaps you can look back on events in your life that looked bad at the time, but now you can see that God was using it for your spiritual good—for the strengthening of your trust in Christ.
In the next lesson, we will consider God's agents of protection—His angels. We will consider also our lives of thanks for all of these blessings. May the Lord's blessings be with each and every one of you. AMEN.