Merry Christmas to you all! What a joy to hear God’s Word, and know that the one who takes away the sins of the world has come! We confess our faith in this wondrous gift, and know the same confession ties us to Jesus’ death, and resurrection. We confess that Jesus was raised from the dead, and so we will be also living forever in a new heaven and a new earth.
There are some signs in various places around town confessing what people believe. Confession of belief is important. So important that Jesus’ Church has put together statements of belief that tell us the content of Christian faith. These were called “Credo”, a translation of their opening statement, “I believe.” These Credo are the Creeds that Jesus’ Church confess together. The Ecumenical of universal Creeds.
These Creeds begin in the same way that the signs begin, a plain, but powerful statement. “This is what I believe.” The signs around town confess some beliefs that are supported by God’s Word, and some beliefs that oppose God’s Word. The Ecumenical Creeds are entirely supported by God’s Word and agreed upon by the historical church. The most common of these is the Apostles’ Creed, an ancient Baptismal formula of the Christian faith first used about 140 AD.
It begins with a confession of creation, “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.” It continues on to a confession of salvation, “And 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, dead, and buried. He descended into hell; The third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, And sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead.” It ends with a confession of the way God saves us,” I believe in the Holy Ghost; The Holy Christian Church, the Communion of Saints; The Forgiveness of sins; The Resurrection of the body, And the Life everlasting. Amen.”
This confession does so much more than a simple statement on a yard sign. This confession describes God’s salvation of men. We were created by God, saved by the birth, death, and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ, and those wonderful gifts were given to us through Jesus’ Church and the work of the Holy Spirit in Baptism, in Holy Communion, and through the Holy Word of God. Because we believe and confess this all we are God’s children. As God’s children we are heirs of heaven. This confession is not just a thing for Christmas. It is a thing that is true year-round. Forever.
This is what Jesus’ Church believes. The anchor that moors our faith. Other beliefs may come and go as those around us change their minds and actions. But this is what we believe. A solid confession in a world that changes constantly.