10 Lessons on the Lutheran Faith

Lesson 5: Maker of Heaven and Earth

a resource from www.lutheran-resources.org

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Getting Started
 
 

When a company or organization is formed, often a constitution and by-laws is written to help preserve order.

Can you think of some ways that having a structure can serve as an aid?

A creed is a statement of belief intended to portray the faith and also to give a standard against which to harmonize teachings of the faith.

We use the 3 creeds, the Apostleís Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed, as instruments to sum up the true teachings of Scripture so that we can preserve order in teaching.

What are some of the benefits of having a creed?
 
 

What are some of the drawbacks?
 
 

Excursus on the Creeds:

The Apostleís Creed

Once called the Roman Creed, its origin is ancient, being the old baptismal creed in the church of ancient Rome.  In time it gained wide acceptance as a faithful expression of the Holy Scriptures.

The Nicene Creed

Was constructed at two world-wide church councils in 325 and 381 AD to settle disputes about Scriptural teaching regarding Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

The Athanasian Creed

IT was adopted by the world-wide church at a council in 589. This Creed was constructed to settle disputes regarding the Scriptural teaching of the Holy Trinity.
 

click here to read the creeds

The Bible Teaches

The Apostles Creed has three parts, which each deal with a person of the Trinity. This is because the Scriptures present God as Triune, or three persons in one God and one God in three persons.

  • NAB Matthew 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,

 
Today we study those Biblical teachings which are summarized for us in the first article of the Apostleís Creed.

We confess "I believe in God" because each person must trust in God and accept His teachings as true for himself or herself.

  • NAB Psalm 31:14 But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD, I say, "You are my God."

The First person of the Trinity is called Father because He is the Father of Jesus Christ and also our Father though faith.

  • NAB Matthew 3:17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased."
  • NAB Galatians 3:26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

 
We call God the Father "maker of heaven and earth" because in six days God created all things. God brought all things into being from nothing through His Word.

See Genesis Chapter 1

  • NAB Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

That we confess that God the Father made heaven and earth does not mean that only the Father was involved in creation. We know from Scripture that also the Holy Spirit and the Son were involved.

  • NAB Genesis 1:2 The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.
  • NAB Colossians 1:16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities -- all things have been created through Him and for Him.

Part of Godís creation includes the holy angels. Angel is a Greek word which means "messenger". The angels are seen in the Bible as carrying important messages of God to the world.

  • Luke 1:11 And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. 12 Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and fear gripped him. 13 But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John. 14 "You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth&ldots;.

These angels were created holy. But some of them rebelled against God. These angels are known as the demons. The chief of these rebellious angels is Satan.

  • NAB Genesis 1:31 God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
  • NAB 2 Peter 2:4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment;

God sends His good angels to serve and care for those who are His children through faith.

  • NAB Hebrews 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?

 
The evil angels hate God and are very evil and powerful. The main goal of Satan is to destroy faith in Christ. Satan will often times try to disguise himself as the servant of God in order to lead people away from Jesus to some false image of God.

  • NAB Mark 4:15 "These are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them.
  • NAB 1 Peter 5:8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.
  • NAB 2 Corinthians 11:14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

In the first six days of creation God also created human beings. God created human beings in His own image and gave them authority over the earth and all the creatures within.

  • NAB Genesis 2:7 Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
  • NAB Genesis 1:26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

Many people wonder about the theory of evolution. Evolutionary theory attempts to explain the creation of the universe with God absent. We understand from the Scriptures that God created all things.

  • NAB Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

 
God created human beings in the image of God. While we do not fully understand the depth of this truth, we do understand that because of this human beings were perfectly happy with God, that human beings knew God and communed with God, and that people were righteous and holy, and they communed with one another without sin. We have a glimpse into the nature of the "image of God" from the Bible passages that speak of our redemption.

  • NAB Colossians 3:10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him --
  • NAB Ephesians 4:24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

When our first parents, Adam and Eve, sinned they lost this image of God and our human nature became corrupted by sin. Because of this sin it became impossible for human beings to please God or even to know God or to commune with Him. This corruption has been passed down from parent to child ever since.

  • NAB Genesis 3:8 They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?" 10 He said, "I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself."
  • NAB Genesis 5:3 When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth.

The "image of God" is restored to us through the redemption of our sins given to us through Jesus Christ. In this life God has began to restore in us a new life which is full of the blessings that He gave Adam and Eve in the beginning. However, sin still is found inside of us and so in this life, while we grow spiritually from the nurture of God, we shall not be able to attain to perfection. But in heaven the "image of God" will be fully restored to us.
 
 

  • NAB Romans 7:18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want&ldots;. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?&ldots;8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

 
Not only has God created all things, but He works to care for us and all creatures.

  • NAB Psalm 36:6 Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; Your judgments are like a great deep. O LORD, You preserve man and beast.
  • NAB Hebrews 1:3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

 
Evil and suffering remain in the world because of sin. But in Christ God has demonstrated His victory over sin and death. While we may suffer in this world, we know that we shall pass through this suffering to find everlasting and eternal life through Christ.

  • NAB Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • NAB Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Each day God cares for us. He makes sure that we have everything we need for life.

  • NAB Psalm 145:15 The eyes of all look to You, And You give them their food in due time. 16 You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing.

God loves and cares for us because He loves us. We may not deserve all Godís good gifts, but because of His great love for us, we receive blessing upon blessing from God.

  • NAB Genesis 32:10 I am unworthy of all the lovingkindness and of all the faithfulness which You have shown to Your servant; for with my staff only I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two companies.
  • NAB Psalm 103:13 Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.

In response to all Godís good gifts we should be thankful to Him. Also we should make good use of what He has given us. He has given us authority over all the earth. With this authority comes responsibility to take care of what He has given us.

  • NAB Psalm 118:1 Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
  • NAB Genesis 2:15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.

 
  copyright Rev. David D. Reedy, 1999-2005