I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.
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, died, and was buried;*
the third day he rose from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and sitteth at the right hand of the Father Almighty.
from thence he shall come again to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic** Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
After my rant in my last Creed post, about how society is trying to do away with the concept of sin, I knew that I would need to revisit this line of the Creed and write about it.
To begin, this is the only line in the Creed that speaks to the reason for the Creed at all. Go back over the Creed, above, and you will see that there is nothing that speaks to why Christ came: all the “born”, “suffered”, “crucified”, “ascended” statements are declarative sentences of “what” He did, and don’t point to the “why” that motivated the “what.”
We know, however, that the “why” is so that we “should not perish but have eternal life.” (Jn. 3:16) God sent Jesus to save the world. (Jn. 3:17) And this line is the only line of the Creed that speaks to our need, salvation. Those who hate Christianity are wont to speak of Christianity as a “joyless religion”. However, when I survey the world around me, I don’t find joy there; merely desperation. It seems to me that those who aren’t living a subsistence-level life, but actually have time to think about the world and themselves are trying to find as many ways as possible to keep from thinking about their joylessness. We fill our lives with amusements, which, in the Greek, literally means ways to avoid thought.
But when we Christians think of our sin, and the reconciliation that Christ’s sacrifice provides, joys wells up as our guilt is removed, and we enter into the fellowship with God that was intended from Creation. The world is joyless; the Christian lives this verse:
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. Isa. 12:3