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The Apostles’ Creed (Part 6)

The garbage truck has been arriving earlier than normal. They used to do our street between 11am and 3pm. This week they arrived at 7.15am and I had not yet collected the dirt bins in the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen for emptying into the large refuge bin, neither had I put the four bags of grass cutting into it. Jenny heard the truck and alerted me and in a rush I unlocked the kitchen door, opened the garage door and gate … and they stopped right outside our house. I ran in and out bringing things for the bin and once finished, one of the young men said … “Is that all daddy?” To me this was quite funny. Each week he calls me daddy. Today we look at the Lord Jesus as the “only Son” of His “daddy”. Abba (Father) means daddy in the most reverent way.

1) His only Son.  The word “only” is key because it refers to a unique relationship between the Father and the Son. After Jesus’ resurrection, once Mary had “found” Him, we read

Jn 20:17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father.

Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ The first time “Father” is used here it is referring to God the Father, but the next two times Jesus implies different things. (a) “My Father” and (b) “Your Father”. This is followed by (a) “My God” and (b) “Your God”. The later qualifies the former. Jesus is saying the relationship He has and enjoys with God the Father is different to the one we have with God the Father. His relationship is as God’s own Son. Our relationship is as adopted sons. This is also seen in the Family Prayer Jesus taught His disciples

Mt 6:9 “This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven”.

Jesus did not include Himself in this prayer. It was and is for His followers, not Him.

(b) Another thing we need to note is that the Creed uses the masculine genitive because the Bible does not refer to God the Daughter but God the Son. Recently on a Radio Program they were debating why the Church speaks of God as Him and not Her. I found it rather entertaining listening to the variety of comments people made. No one gave the right answer which is that in the Bible God might refer to Himself in motherly terms, like in feeding and caring for children, but He only presents Himself in the masculine in the Bible (He, Him, Father). This is not a translation decision, this is God saying it in His Word. Perhaps another important point is the fact that God is Spirit. Spirit does not have a body as we know it therefore there is no gender. Remember:

Lk 20:34 Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage”

(See also Matthew 22:30.)

2) Our Lord. This part of the statement is very personal, yet addresses the necessary relationship between the Lord Jesus and His followers.

(1) God being Triune means that His Name LORD is applicable to God the Son as it is to God the Holy Spirit.

(2) Lord implies ownership, control, and submission. He owns His people (we are Blood bought). He controls us as Master. Because of this we live in submission to His Lordship.

(3) A great tragedy is that many want Jesus as Savior but not as Lord. You see they want their sin forgiven and they want to go to heaven but they do not want Jesus as their Lord because that will affect their life style. You see, Lordship implies that Jesus needs to control every aspect of our lives … our heart, mind, soul, body, relationships, career, finances, pleasures, etc. This is where the dividing line appears. For so many it is hard to let go of the mastery of this world. As soon as Jesus told the rich young man to sell his possessions and give the proceeds to the poor, we read:

Mk 10:22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

His lord was his wealth. In different ways this is true with many today. If Jesus is not Lord of all He is not Lord at all.

(4) This raises another important issue … Jesus cannot be Savior of your soul until He is LORD of your heart! It is incomprehensible that a person can be saved and live under his or her own lordship. That is not Gospel. Many want it like that but it cannot be. As we have said, if relationship is based upon obedience, then salvation requires Lordship. Nowhere in the Bible does it say you cannot have wealth or possessions! What the Bible speaks against is these possessions and the wealth being your masters.

Mt 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

The word “money” is better translated as “Mammon”, which includes money and possessions. This verse does not say you can’t have either it is saying you cannot serve God and Mammon. Only one can be Lord. You see, it is a heart matter. If your heart is fully surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ, money and possession will not be your Lord because Jesus is!

1 Tim 6:9 People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.

Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. Once wealth and possessions become your god (idolatry), your heart is controlled by them. The term, “the love of money” explains the heart. It is indwelt, possessed and controlled. Right here we see the reason why many people cannot surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. You see, the wealth and possessions determine morality … and when the heart is controlled by this god, the true God cannot feature. This is where the person could … “wander” from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. That is, prove they we only close to the faith but not in the faith. Jesus was not Lord. We have an opportunity today to ask God the Holy Spirit search our hearts and examine every crevice and crack to see what is in the heart. As He convicts of resident sin, we need to repent immediately. This is the way we keep short accounts with God, insuring Jesus is Lord and is Lord of all in our life. Why not make Psalm 139:23-24 your prayer for today?

Ps 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

O Lord, we truly want You to be pleasured because we are truthful and faithful to You. Help us to live under Your Lordship daily. Amen.

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