“I believe in God the Father Almighty.”
Every person you have ever met, every person who will ever walk this earth, is a theologian. Of course, only a few people ever make formal theological studies their career. But whenever a person thinks about God, or even doesn’t think about God, they show they are a theologian. “Theology” just means “the science or study of God.” So everyone is a theologian – but not every one is a good theologian. Can you explain what you believe about God to someone else? Does it make sense, and is it consistent with the Bible?
One of the ways basic theology has been defined, taught, and defended through the centuries is through creeds. A creed is simply a statement of faith. The most ancient and honored creed among Christians is called “The Apostle’s Creed.” Despite some old legends, the Apostles didn’t write it, but it does wonderfully express the essence of what the Apostles believed, taught, and died for in the New Testament.
The first line of the Apostle’s Creed is simple enough: “I believe in God the Father Almighty.” Can you say it, and believe it? Most Americans believe God exists, but far fewer actually think and live as though God exists. You may not be a theological atheist, but you might be a practical atheist.
But it isn’t enough to just say we believe in “God.” Those three words – G, and O, and D, might mean something very different to different people. That’s why the creed is more specific, declaring belief not only in God, but in “God the Father Almighty.”
The Bible tells us that God can be described as a Father, and God the Father is the first revealed person of the Trinity. God has a fatherly care and concern for us. For many, there is great power and healing in understanding what a wonderful and loving Father God is. Even if you weren’t as blessed as I was to have a great father, you know instinctively how a loving father should care for his children. If you don’t know it by experience, you know by instinct what a great father should be. That is how God is towards you and how He cares for you.
“Father” describes God, but it doesn’t completely describe Him. He is more than a Father. He is the “Father Almighty.” God has all power and ability. Nothing can stop His determined will. I like the literal meaning of the word translated “Almighty” in the New Testament: “The One who has His hand on everything.” That describes the God we serve – He has His hand on everything. Click here for more on the idea of Almighty.
For those in the midst of tragedy, that sometimes seems cruel. If God has His hand on everything, how could He perform – or at least allow – a particular tragedy? There is no single answer to this question; but one answer is what we learn in Romans 8:28: And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Taken in isolation, any one event may be unexplainable. Yet God promised to work all things together for good, not each thing in isolation. It is all part of the tapestry of His plan that He weaves with His almighty hand.
Will you let this encourage you today? Knowing that a loving Father has His hand on everything in your life? It can’t encourage you if you don’t believe it. In your heart, agree with the creed: “I believe in God the Father Almighty.”