Fiona in January

Fiona in January

Monday, June 13, 2011

Getting Back to the Basics

There is something to be said about getting back to basics...whether it involves simple and effective cleaning methods or perfecting classic recipes, basic foundational principles are vital.

A few weeks ago our church started a new series focusing on the solid foundational basics of our faith, "These Things We Believe". Having grown up in the church, so many of these principles are familiar, yet all too easy to forget and forget how important they awe-inspiring having a personal relationship with the Creator of the universe is. I'm enjoying being able to delve into the basics of my faith, the history of those who have gone before us and how I can apply these solid principles to my daily life.

In the first sermon of the series, Pastor Brian, gave us an overview that started with The Apostles Creed. I have never attended a church that regularly recited this ancient statement of the Christian faith (written in 140 AD) and was surprised how much it resonated with me.

I believe in God the Father almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell.

On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.


One of the first things our pastor touched on were two points in the Apostle's Creed that could be easily misinterpreted and confused. The first is the mention of "hell" in "he descended into hell". This has caused so many arguments and confusion in the Christian community, many claiming that after Jesus was crucified, He was sent to hell. This is theologically incorrect and also directly contradicts what the Bible says about Christians and what happens when we die.

When the word "hell" is looked at in the original text, the translation means "the grave". Literally, "the place of the dead". It was a term in the original Greek language that was commonly used to describe death, not the "hell" described in the Bible as eternal separation from God.

The other point that gets confused is the term "catholic", leading many Christians to shy away from this early statement of our faith, claiming that they "aren't Catholic". The term "catholic" (note the lowercase "c") means "universal" in the original Greek, not referring to a denomination - as in the Catholic church as we know it now.

After briefly giving us an overview of The Apostle's Creed, Pastor Brian dug into the second part of his message - focusing on why truth matters. One of his points was reflected in one of my favorite scripture verses - Colossians 1:23 Continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven.

Truth determines our eternal destiny, will set us free, gives us the ability to serve in ministry...when it comes down to it, what I believe determines how I behave. It becomes a constant balance of making sure that what I do, how I behave and what I think reflects what I say I believe...much easier to say than do some days!

I'm really looking forward to digging into these foundational beliefs as our church works through this new series. If any of you are thinking of checking out our church (Oak Ridge Baptist in Salisbury, MD), this series might be the perfect time - since we're really stacking up the building blocks of our faith.

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