Sermon Summary (3/15/20) “What We Believe About Jesus Matters” (Matthew 16:13-16; Galatians 1:1-5; The Apostle’s Creed.)
I just shake my head. I recall a conversation with my pastor when I said, “I believe in God, but I’m just not sure about this Jesus.” He said nothing. Either he was biting his tongue or in his wisdom he knew that I’d figure it out.
But I wasn’t the only one. Jesus asked, “Who do people say that I am...who do you say that I am.” We find out later that Peter didn’t fully understand when he said, “You are the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
But who do you say that I am? We are in series of sermons on the Apostle’s Creed, the dogma of Christianity, what nearly all believe about our faith. “I believe…” But it’s one thing to believe, quite another to change our hearts, change our behavior. What you believe about Jesus matters.
Many today say it doesn’t matter. The largest growing religious group in America are the “None of the Aboves” the “Nones.” Yet it is a consensus from non-biblical sources that Jesus lived, walked, taught, was crucified at the hands of Pontius Pilate, that his disciples reported that he rose from the dead. The “Nones” would say that is myth, legend, made up four centuries later. I’m going to show you that what we say in the Apostle’s Creed was believed weeks, months, or a few short years after his death if not at the time of his death by hundreds of people and surely by his disciples.
The miracles of Jesus were to show that he was divine, power over the spirit world, “Who is this that even the unclean spirits obey him?” Power over disease by healing Peter’s mother-in-law; no one can forgive sins but God; Power over chaos (creation), “Who is this that even the winds and the waves obey him?” For those who followed Jesus, he was the divine Son of Godl
The earliest creed of the more than likely dating from 35 to 35 ad was “Jesus is Lord.” (1 Cor 12:3) The sign of the fish, IXTHUS, “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior,” was from the late first century. In the 2d or 3d century came the Old Roman Symbol, nearly identical to the Apostle’s Creed. Lastly, Paul’s introduction to the Galatians states “Jesus is Lord,” “Jesus is Son,” “Jesus is Christ,” “Jesus gave himself up for our sins,” “Jesus died for us,” “Jesus rose again,” all as Creed which had to be part of the church by 40 ad. Philippians and Colossians have hymns of he early church declaring the divinity of Christ that have to range from the 40s ad.
So what do you believe about Jesus? That he is Savior? That he died for me? That he rose again? That’s what the Apostles believed and they would go to their deaths before they would recant of their beliefs.
Who is this that even the unclean spirits obey him, that forgives sins, that even the winds and waves obey him? That gave himself up for me, for me? He is Lord. He is the source of everlasting life. What we believe about him matters.