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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Apostles’ Creed, part 3

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From the Word: 7 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which person among you, if his son asks him for a loaf of bread, will give him a stone— 10 or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father—the one in heaven—give good things to those who ask him. (Matthew 7:7-11)

From the Confessions: The Apostles' Creed

“...the Father Almighty...”

Pulling It Together: Though the Apostles’ Creed was not written by the Apostles, we consider it apostolic because it teaches their chief doctrines, often doing so with the very words of Scripture. It begins with the doctrine of “God the Father,” who is so named 18 times in the New Testament. “God Almighty” is used nine times in both testaments. The creed combines these attributes, calling God the “Father Almighty.”

Luther called the Apostles’ Creed the “children’s Creed,” perhaps because it is simple enough for children to learn but also surely, because it first puts forth a belief in the almighty God as our Father. As such, even children understand that God is both stern and loving. So, the creed teaches and reminds the child in all of us that God deals with us through both law and gospel. The Father commands us and extends grace to us when we are disobedient.

It is no wonder then, that we profess the creed at baptisms and affirmations of faith. In baptism, we are called by God the almighty Father to live a new life. We leave behind the old ways of earning divine favor. Now, we seek to keep the Father’s commandments but believe in a forgiving Father just the same. We learn to give thanks to him “always and for everything,” (Ephesians 5:20) for in both law and gospel he has given good gifts to his children. As the Almighty, he commands; as Father, he gives us his grace.

Prayer: Help me pray, Father, with the trust of a child. Amen.

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