Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI

Lent 2021 - Apostle's Creed (Belt)

Week 3 – Apostle’s Creed

March 1 – Pastor Belt

The commandments of God show us our lack and deficiency.  It reveals that we are not right before God.  The law reveals that I have not been loving, that I lack God, that I lack his gifts, that I lack being human.  Sin makes me less than human.

            In response to this terrible crisis we turn to the Apostles’ Creed.  This is the summary of our faith.  This is the summary of what the Scriptures are trying to teach us.

            The creed tells us who God is and what he has done for you.  Since you have a lack and a deficiency, the creed should highlight everything that God gives.  In Luther’s small Catechism it goes like this.

            God made you.  He is the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth.  He has given you your being.  Your flesh and blood, your spirit, you name it.  Your body works and lives.  God takes care of that and supports that too.  He gives you everything so that your body and life continue to function.  The moment he withdraws his hand, you die.

            God also gives you all your possessions.  As Luther says, God daily and richly provides you with all you need to support this body and life.  We will call that daily bread in the Lord’s Prayer.

            But God also keeps you and guards you from all evil.  Why does he do this?  Because he loves his creation and does it because that is who He is as God.  He does not do it because you are so good and deserving.  He does it because he is merciful and good.

            And not only that, but God has also given to us salvation through Jesus Christ his Son.  By his blood and not with gold or silver.  God has given us Himself.  The price for you is God own self.  Jesus is True God and True Man.  He has made you and the Second article tells us that he has redeemed us.  Once again, not because we deserve it or have been entitled to salvation, but because God chose to save and so has sent Christ our Lord.

            Christ is our sovereign Lord.  He calls the shots.  You follow him.  He gives to you life, forgiveness, restoration to His Father, and also a kingdom to live in where you enjoy righteousness, bliss, and holiness.

            Then the third petition goes for the throat.  You can’t even believe all this.  You can’t even receive it or hold any of what I have written so far.

            So God does that too.  God sends his Holy Spirit to change and convert our hearts so that we can confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.  The Holy Spirit, wait for it… makes you Holy!  Imagine that.  The Holy Spirit’s work is right in his name.

            The Holy Spirit calls you to faith, allows you to believe, brings you to forgiveness, keeps you in the faith, puts you in the Body of Christ, and will preserve you in the true faith.  And what is more, when you die, the Holy Spirit will raise you to life again and give eternal life to you because you believe in Jesus, which He has done.

            There, that is the Creed.  We confess that God does it all.  He made you.  Saved you.  Makes you Holy.  So after seeing our deficiency in the law, and now seeing all that God does, what is our response?  What should we do?  To that we turn to prayer, especially the Lord’s Prayer where we learn to ask this Giver what we lack.

March 2
Read Mark 5

March 3
Read the Apostle’s Creed in the Catechism and the following readings. Attend Divine Service.

Genesis 1:1-2:3
Psalm 130
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Matthew 10:16-32