Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Apostles' Creed Part II (The First Article)

First Article

Of Creation.
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.

What does this mean?--Answer.

I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my limbs, my reason, and all my senses, and still preserves them; in addition thereto, clothing and shoes, meat and drink, house and homestead, wife and children, fields, cattle, and all my goods; that He provides me richly and daily with all that I need to support this body and life, protects me from all danger, and guards me and preserves me from all evil; and all this out of pure, fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me; for all which I owe it to Him to thank, praise, serve, and obey Him. This is most certainly true.


I like how Lutheranism 101, a book that gives an introductory glance at confessional Lutheranism, approaches the topic of Creator and Creation.  Genesis does not only give an account of the details of God creating, but it certainly speaks to the implications of God being the one who creates.  It states at one point:  "If you created everything that exists, then you are God.  If you did not create everything that exists, then you are not God."    When scripture says:  "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth," it is saying that God created everything that exists.  It is like saying He created everything from A to Z.  All of it, he created out of nothing.  It sounds very simplistic, but this is something of which we need to be reminded. Who God is, and who we are in relation to Him.

"Through God's Word, our identity crisis is solved once and for all.  Here is the truth:  we are God's creatures, made by Him.  We are not accidents."   That being said, it is vital to understand the following:  As we are creatures, created by God, we are "NOT independent, autonomous, self-sufficient, self-determining beings.  To the contrary, as creatures we are by definition dependent beings."  Dependent on our Creator.  St. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 4:7. "What do we have that we have not received?'

At creation, God the Creator gave our bodies all their powers and He gave us this physical world that sustains us in our lives.  From birth to death.  Whether it is realized or not, "we live and move and have our being" in Him (Acts 17).  If God should for one moment stop giving to His creatures, we all would cease to exist.  We depend on Him completely.  To make this a bit more practical, this matter of fact that we are created, being His creation, we need to learn to live as creatures rather than trying to live as if we were God.

In the story of creation as written in the Scriptures, it is clearly visible that we, as God's creation, had no part in at all, but to receive from Him.  To refer back to the premise laid out in the first post of this series, this concept indicates that we are to view our relationship with God as monergistic, instead of synergistic.  We are, again, depended on God completely in everything.  We are not God nor do we do anything to accomplish or supplement anything He does. Hopefully, I have explained this well in regards to God and Him creating us, the heavens and the earth

I like how Luther explains this relationship in this manner, taken from the response to the article of this Creed:
and all this out of pure, fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me; for all which I owe it to Him to thank, praise, serve, and obey Him. This is most certainly true.

As we continue with this series on the Apostles' Creed, I want this to be the emphasis: this idea that our whole life as the children of God is a life of reception.  We are His creation.  And in all of the creation around are His good gifts that He has given us.  And it doesn't stop with our physical needs.  The next article of the Creed I will review is what it says of salvation.

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