The Apostles’ Creed: I Believe in Jesus Christ…

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WEEK 2, DAY 1: I Believe in Jesus Christ

If you were to ask scholars in history, archaeology, and even the sciences what happened on the night Jesus was born, or the days he was crucified and resurrected, nearly all would agree that something happened. It’s likely these scholars would have some differing thoughts on exactly what it was that happened, but they would be in agreement that something happened. 

Fortunately, we have the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, as well as eye-witness accounts from Peter, Paul, and many women to fill in the blanks. Each was either an eye-witness to Jesus’ ministry, or they interviewed dozens of eye-witnesses. They weren’t uneducated nomads who simply happened to be wandering through the area. Luke was a trained doctor. Matthew was a government employee for the Roman Empire. John was well-educated in Greek philosophy. Paul, too, was an extremely well-educated scholar. 

With so many eye-witnesses, it’s easy to see why scholars of all fields today would agree that sometime around 2,000 years ago, something happened. Something so significant, it changed everything. 

READING & JOURNALING:

     MATTHEW 16:13-20

What is the very first memory you have of hearing the name Jesus? 

When did you first profess your faith (belief) in Jesus Christ? How have your beliefs about Jesus grown through the years?

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, it’s perplexing to think that there are so many eye-witnesses to Jesus’ life, ministry, death, and resurrection, yet so many who don’t believe. Today, I simply offer myself, my life, and my ministry, to be used by You to help others recognize that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible through a year (September 2019 – August 2020). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: PSALM 51

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

 

 

The Apostles’ Creed: Week 1 Review

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WEEK 1, DAY 5: Review

What was your biggest takeaway from this week’s teaching — “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth?” 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible through a year (September 2019 – August 2020). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: Samuel 11 & 12

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

 

 

The Apostles’ Creed: Maker of Heaven and Earth

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WEEK 1, DAY 4: Maker of Heaven and Earth

The Bible is filled with vast amounts of information. There’s history of ancient peoples. Geography of distant lands. And wisdom about God and His people. 

Another core teaching of the Scriptures is that they provide information on the very beginning of all things. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,” is one of the most memorized verses in all of the Bible. Everything that happens after Genesis 1:1 hinges on whether or not this is true. If God didn’t create or make all things, then everything else the Bible says about God and what He has done can be questioned. But if God did create all things, then everything that happens after Genesis 1:1 provides us more information on who He really is – His very nature. 

To be sure, this is a core teaching of the Scriptures. The Bible does not set out to describe how old the earth may be, just as it doesn’t set out to describe how fast light travels, or the physics of black holes. It simply begins by saying that we have an eternal God who started it all, and He wants us to know Him. 

READING & JOURNALING:

     GENESIS 1:1, PSALM 8

Why do you think it’s important to believe that God is the maker of heaven and earth? Explain your answer. 

What verse in Psalm 8 sticks out to you the most? What thoughts or feelings does it lead you to have? 

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, it’s easy for me to see the ocean, a sunrise or sunset, or the colors of Autumn and to fall in love with nature. But more than this, I simply want to fall more deeply in love with You, the One who created it all. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible through a year (September 2019 – August 2020). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: Psalm 18, 2 Samuel 9

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

 

 

The Apostles’ Creed: I Believe in God the Father Almighty

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WEEK 1, DAY 3: I Believe in God the Father Almighty

In his book Atomic Habits, author and researcher James Clear discusses the importance of making decisions based on one’s identity (who they believe they are), as opposed to making decisions based on what they hope to accomplish. 

He writes, “Imagine two people resisting a cigarette. When offered a smoke, the first person says, “No thanks. I’m trying to quit.” It sounds like a reasonable response, but this person still believes they are a smoker who is trying to be something else. They are hoping their behavior will change while carrying around the same beliefs. The second person declines by saying, “No thanks. I’m not a smoker.” It’s a small difference, but this statement signals a shift in identity. Smoking was part of their former life, not their current one. They no longer identify as someone who smokes.”

This same logic applies to our relationship with God. Imagine two people wanting to know God on a deeper level. One may say, “I hope to know God better one day,” while the other says, “I believe in God and I’m getting to know Him better every day.” One identifies as somebody hoping to know God, while the other identifies as somebody who does know God.

READING & JOURNALING:

     JOHN 17:3

Are you more likely to identify as somebody who desires to know God, or as somebody who does know God and is getting to know Him better every day? Explain your answer. 

What is at least one significant life experience you’ve had that has led you to question what you believe about God?

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I confess there are days in which I would say I want to know You better, instead of saying I am knowing You better and better every day. Continue to do a transformational work within me so that I am one who truly is knowing You better and better each and every day. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible through a year (September 2019 – August 2020). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: 2 Samuel 6 & 7

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

 

 

The Apostles’ Creed: What You Do vs. What You Believe

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WEEK 1, DAY 2: What You Do vs. What You Believe

In his song titled Creed, songwriter Rich Mullins writes, “I believe what I believe. It’s what makes me what I am. I did not make it, no it is making me. It is the very truth of God and not the invention of any man.” In other words, Mullins rightly points out that it’s our beliefs that make us who we are.

So think about it: What is the first question you ask somebody when you meet them for the first time? Chances are, you ask them something like, “What do you do for a living?” 

But how would you respond if somebody you just met for the first time said, “So tell me who you are?” If you’re not sure how you would respond, take some time today to journal it out. At the top of the page, simply write out, “Who is (your name)?” 

If your response is to naturally go to what you do for a living, it’s important to remember this is simply what you do, but it’s not a reflection of who you are. If your response is to identify as a husband, wife, father, mother, son, daughter, or friend, this is simply a reflection of how others may see you, but it may not be who you really are. If your beliefs define who you really are, then…who are you? 

READING & JOURNALING:

     ROMANS 5:11, JOHN 1:12

How would you respond to the question, “Who are you?”

What Scripture verses would you use in your response?

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, the question Who are you? is a really big question, and I’m not exactly sure how to respond to it. I know that the Scriptures declare that I’m Your child and Your friend. But I believe there’s more You want me to know about who You’ve created me to be. As I engage with Your Word, the Bible, throughout the rest of this week, I pray that my eyes would be open to the wonders of who You are, and how You see me. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible through a year (September 2019 – August 2020). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: 2 Samuel 3:1, 5:1-25, Psalm 23

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

 

 

The Apostles’ Creed: I Believe…

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WEEK 1, DAY 1: I Believe…

The Apostle’s Creed opens with the words, I believe. Why were these words used to begin the Apostles’ Creed? 

First, these words are important because what follows after is at the core of who we are as followers of Jesus. Our beliefs make us who we are.

Additionally, these opening words brought unity to Christians in the early church. When the Apostles’ Creed was first written, many Christians were not well educated, and copies of the Scriptures weren’t nearly as common as they are today. As such, the Apostles’ Creed was a way for Christians to memorize some core beliefs of the faith on their own, and was also a way for them to, in unity, declare with one voice what they believe. It didn’t matter if they were Jewish, Roman, or Greek, rich or poor, educated or illiterate. It was an opportunity for the early Church to be united, living out Jesus’ prayer in John 17 in which He prayed, “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one.”

READING & JOURNALING:

     JOHN 1:12

Today, take the opportunity to write out the Apostles’ Creed on your own (you will likely want to hand write it out using your own journal). The text of the Creed is provided below, but writing it out is important for today’s questions.

12 Articles of the Apostles’ Creed:

  1. I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
  2. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord;
  3. who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary;
  4. suffered under Pontius Pilate; [He] was crucified, dead, and buried;
  5. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead;
  6. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
  7. From there He shall come to judge the living and the dead. 
  8. I believe in the Holy Spirit;
  9. the holy catholic church*; the communion of saints;
  10. the forgiveness of sins;
  11. the resurrection of the body;
  12. and the life everlasting. Amen.

*“Catholic” means universal; that is, there is one church across all times, places, and peoples 

Are there any specific words or phrases within the Apostles’ Creed that stick out to you? 

As you write it out, consider the question: Is this really what I believe?  

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, while I think I know what I believe, I recognize I may have some doubts or fears about how to respond to questions about what I believe. Help me grow in confidence that I may be ready to share my beliefs when any opportunity arrises to do so. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible through a year (September 2019 – August 2020). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: 2 Samuel 1:1-2:7

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

 

 

The Apostles’ Creed: Introduction

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A Note from Pastor Justin:

Your beliefs are at the very core of who you are. They determine the decisions you make, how you will act or respond to different people or situations, and ultimately shape you into the person you’re becoming. Your beliefs shape your entire worldview. In short, what you believe matters. A lot. 

The Apostles’ Creed, which was likely written and in use by 390 AD, provided a set of core Christian beliefs individuals could easily memorize and recite. Though much has changed over the past 1,600 years, many church denominations today – Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, and more – recite the Apostles’ Creed regularly. 

Today, the Apostles’ Creed is broken down into 12 separate statements, or Articles. Over the next 9 weeks, SRC will be delving into each of these Articles, focusing on some of the core teachings of Christianity. 

As we begin this series, let me encourage you to take a few important steps: 

  1. Write out the Apostles’ Creed on your own (this exercise is part of Day 1 of this Reading Guide). As you write it out, ask yourself, Is this really what I believe? Also take the opportunity to write down any questions you may have about the Apostles’ Creed or the Christian faith.
  2. Commit to joining us every week of this series.
  3. Commit to reading through this Reading Guide, reflecting and journaling through the questions provided within each daily reading.
  4. Use a good Study Bible and/or other resources as you read through this Reading Guide. Refer to https://southridgeblog.com/study-bible-info for more information on many excellent Study Bibles available today. Some suggestions include:
    • NLT (or NIV) Life Application Study Bible, Third Edition
    • NIV Zondervan Study Bible
    • ESV Study Bible
  1. Write down questions you have about what you’re reading, and take opportunities to seek out answers to those questions. 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

 

 

Week 16 F260 Reading: Day 5

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DAY 5:

Join us at SRC on January 5 as we kick-off the New Year with a new series focusing on The Apostles’ Creed. A new Devotional & Scripture Reading Guide will be available at that time. Until then, the F260 readings for December 30 – January 3 are provided below.

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible in 260 Days (5 Days a week, 52 Weeks a year). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.s

Read: 1 Samuel 28 & 31

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

 

 

Week 16 F260 Reading: Day 4

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DAY 4:

Join us at SRC on January 5 as we kick-off the New Year with a new series focusing on The Apostles’ Creed. A new Devotional & Scripture Reading Guide will be available at that time. Until then, the F260 readings for December 30 – January 3 are provided below.

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible in 260 Days (5 Days a week, 52 Weeks a year). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: Psalm 22, 1 Samuel 24:1 – 25:1

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

 

 

Week 16 F260 Reading: Day 3

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DAY 3:

Join us at SRC on January 5 as we kick-off the New Year with a new series focusing on The Apostles’ Creed. A new Devotional & Scripture Reading Guide will be available at that time. Until then, the F260 readings for December 30 – January 3 are provided below.

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible in 260 Days (5 Days a week, 52 Weeks a year). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: 1 Samuel 21 & 22

Journal: Write it out. Following the pattern from 7 Arrows Page (click here) what did you learn from today’s reading?

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.