SERMON SERIES: Does It Matter What You Believe?
What comes to our minds when we think of God... REALLY MATTERS!
There's a difference between knowing about something, or someone...
and believing in something or someone!
Join us for the next 6 weeks as we look at the Apostles' Creed... at the scripture behind the creed!
From its earliest beginnings, the church has faced two challenges:
defining truth to correct error
helping believers grow in their faith!
Does it matter what you believe?
Week 1: Knowing About versus Believing In
This week is an introduction to the Apostles' Creed.
You need to be able to visualize the set-up for the object lesson at the very end of the sermon for it to make sense:
2 bridges were built between chairs.
One bridge was made from very flimsy wood that would not hold a person's weight.
The wood for the second bridge was sturdy enough to hold the weight of an adult.
3 things you need to know before we begin...
1. Creeds don’t hold any AUTHORITY of their own. To be valid, they must reflect the AUTHORITY of scripture.
2. The Apostles’ Creed is not an INCANTATION. Knowing it, or saying it, won’t make you a BELIEVER.
3. The Apostle’s Creed defines TRUTH to correct ERROR and helps believers grow in their FAITH.
What we believe matters!
What we believe SAVES us, or DESTROYS us!
It isn’t what we SAY that saves us. It’s what we BELIEVE in our heart that saves us!
There’s a difference between knowing and believing!
Belief always LEADS to action! Knowing may or may not!
What we believe defines who we are... whose we are… and WHAT WE DO.
Week 2 - Do You Believe in the God of the Bible?
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth!
RECAP FROM LAST WEEK
There is a difference between knowing about and believing in…
Our beliefs matter! You can’t walk across a bridge made from flimsy beliefs.
GOD (Exodus 3:14, 34:5-7; Isaiah 40:28, Matthew 28:19)
Do I worship God as He reveals Himself in SCRIPTURE?
Flimsy worldview: The difference between one faith and another is INSIGNIFICANT.
Christian worldview: The difference between believing in Jesus Christ versus anything else is SIGNIFICANT for eternity.
FATHER (Matthew 6:9; John 1:12-14; Galatians 3:26)
Do I confess God as both the Father of my Savior, Jesus Christ, and as my own Father THROUGH Christ… Do I understand I am adopted through faith in Jesus?
Flimsy worldview: God is the FATHER of everyone. Everyone is and always will be SAVED.
Christian worldview: God is only the Father of those who are brothers and sisters IN Christ. If we haven’t been adopted into God’s family through faith in Christ, we will not be saved.
ALMIGHTY (Psalm 135:6)
Do I believe that all that God INTENDS to do, He does?
Flimsy worldview: God’s sovereignty is DEBATABLE.
Christian worldview: God is sovereign. God’s Sovereignty is a reason for WORSHIP.
CREATOR (Genesis 1:1, 27; Romans 5:12; Isaiah 40:28; Hebrews 11:3)
Do I believe that the world was created by the WILL and POWER of God?
Do I believe that because I am not my own MAKER, I am not my own MASTER?
Flimsy worldview: The universe spontaneously emerged from a BIG BANG.
Human beings are the result of RANDOM EVOLUTION.
We are the product of CHANCE, not created by God with MEANING and PURPOSE.
Christian worldview: GOD created the universe and everything in it. God created it GOOD.
God created Adam and Eve DIRECTLY.
THE GOOD NEWS!
God is infinitely POWERFUL and intensely PERSONAL!
The truth that God is almighty and the personal relationship we have with God as Father, through faith in Jesus Christ is the basis of all our trust, peace and joy in God... and the safeguard of all our hopes of answered prayer, present protection, and final salvation!
Week 3 - Do you Believe in the Messiah?
It’s not enough to simply say “I love Jesus” OR “I follow Jesus.” Many who say they love Jesus and follow Jesus don’t follow Jesus as He has revealed himself in scripture… We must choose between Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord OR some incomplete, false idol. (1 Kings 18:21)
Jesus means “God is Savior.” It is a proper name, identifying Him as a HISTORICAL person.
Christ is a title, identifying Jesus as God’s anointed king, the MESSIAH the Jews had been promised. (Matthew 16:13-16)
HIS ONLY SON
Proclaims without a doubt that Jesus is 100% God!
God doesn't just relate to me from HEAVEN. God knows what it's like on EARTH. God gets my life.
If Jesus is God the Son, our co-creator, and is also the Christ, the anointed Savior/King… then He has a right to RULE us, and we have no right to resist His CLAIM. (Colossians 1:15-20)
CONCEIVED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT… BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY
Proclaims without a doubt that Jesus is 100% human! (Isaiah 7:14)
The display of scandalous love on the cross, calls God’s people to lay down their lives for the surpassing worth of knowing Christ! I will never OUTSUFFER God!
CRUCIFIED, DEAD, BURIED
The cross is the intersection of God’s divine LOVE and JUSTICE.
DESCENDED TO THE DEAD
We can face DEATH knowing that when it comes, we shall not find ourselves ALONE. He has been there before us, and he will see us THROUGH.
It is a flimsy bridge to think of Jesus as a great prophet or teacher.
Jesus didn’t give us that option!
Jesus Christ clearly stated that he was the divine Son of the Father,
the long-awaited Messiah – their Savior and Lord!
C.S. Lewis, said Jesus' claims make him either a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord.
Great prophets or teachers are not liars.
Great prophets or teachers are not lunatics.
So, if Jesus is who he says he is, we cannot be indifferent to that claim!
Week 4 - Do You Believe in the Victory of God?
Without an empty tomb, the cross is the flimsy bridge of a LIAR or a LUNATIC. (1 Cor. 15:3-4, 17)
I believe in the VICTORY of God.
1. My sins have been FORGIVEN because Jesus ROSE FROM THE DEAD.
2. I have a REIGNING king because Jesus ascended into heaven.
3. I have a POWERFUL INTERCESSOR because Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father.
4. I have a RIGHTEOUS JUDGE because Jesus is coming again to judge.
5. I have HOPE for the future as I anticipate my own resurrection and the fulfillment of all God’s promises when Christ RETURNS.
Week 5 - Do You Believe in the Holy Spirit?
I Believe in the Holy Spirit...
The Holy Spirit is CHRIST’S gift to us!
The Holy Spirit is the MUSIC of the Trinity!
He DRAWS us to the dance.
He GUIDES us through the dance.
He GETS us to the final note!
1. The Holy Spirit INITIATES our dance with God! (JUSTIFICATION: John 16:7-8)
He CONVICTS us of our sin and INTRODUCES us to Christ.
2. The Holy Spirit is our dance PARTNER for life! (SANCTIFICATION: 2 Tim. 1:7, Acts 1:8)
We can’t live up to God’s STANDARD without God’s PROVISION.
Jesus described the Spirit as THE One who:
ABIDES (John 14:16-17)
TEACHES (John 14:26)
TESTIFIES (John 15:26-27)
and BEARS TRUTH (John 16:13-14)
Satan cannot OVERCOME us because the Holy Spirit DWELLS within us!
3. The Holy Spirit stamps our ETERNAL dance card! (GLORIFICATION: 2 Corinthians 1:22)
Week 6 - Do You Believe This Involves You?
Recap: What do you believe about the identity of God?
Today: What does the Bible tell us about the identity and character of God’s people?
I believe in the holy catholic church;
The church is not an event VENUE, where religious goods and services are dispensed.
Not, ME but WE! Not I but US!
We are not just redeemed by Him and for Him. We are saved into RELATIONSHIP with one another.
The church is a FAMILY REUNION, where the children of God BUILD up and REACH out.
the communion of saints;
All Christians are CITIZENS of heaven.
There is a common UNION in Christ, between the church here and the triumphant church there!
the forgiveness of sins;
To understand the splendor of the cross, we must grasp the horror of our SIN.
The forgiveness of sins is the heartbeat of all our HOPE as believers.
the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting!
In raising believers, God completes our redemption. The raising of the BODY means the restoring of the PERSON.
Christians inherit the destiny that fairy tales imagine… We LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER!