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I Believe in God

August 4th, 2019

Minoh International Church
Pastor Joseph Ricohermoso
Genesis 12:1-8; 15:1-6
創世記12:1-8; 15:1-6


It is difficult to explain Christianity to an outsider if you haven’t thought about it much yourself. You cannot commend what you don’t have or know about. Yes, we trust in God—but we believe certain definite things about Him and this belief has a powerful effect on us as believers. The Apostles’ Creed is an ideal starting point for this vital process of consolidating our grasp of the Christian faith.

Let’s confess it together:

The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. 
And in Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord.
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and buried;
the third day He rose from the dead;
He ascended into heaven, and sat at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from there He shall come 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.


For over a thousand years, Christians in western Europe knew the Apostles’ Creed only in Latin. The English word creed derives from that word credo. It is an attempt to summarize the main points of what Christians believe. It is not exhaustive, nor is it meant to be. The earliest Christian creed seems to have been simply, “Jesus is Lord.”

that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:10-11 NKJV


ピリピ人への手紙 2:10-11 JLB

that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Romans 10:9-10


ローマ人への手紙 10:9-10

Anyone who made this declaration was regarded as a Christian. For someone to confess that “Jesus Christ is Lord” is to declare that Jesus is the Lord of his or her life. To recognize that Jesus is Lord is to seek to do His will. As time went on, however, it became necessary to explain what Christians believed in more detail. The full implications of declaring that “Jesus is Lord” needed to be clarified. What did Christians believe about God? About Jesus? About the Holy Spirit?

By the fourth century, the Apostles’ Creed as we now know it, had assumed a more or less fixed form. It is a brilliant summary of the apostolic teaching concerning the gospel, even though it was not actually written by the apostles.

All Christian traditions recognize The Apostles’ Creed’s authority and its importance as a standard of doctrine. And so, to study the Apostles’ Creed is to investigate a central element of our common Christian heritage. It is an affirmation of the basic beliefs that unite Christians throughout the world and across the centuries.

The Christian creeds had their origins as a profession or confession of faith made by converts at their baptism. Since then, they have served other purposes—for example, as a test of orthodoxy for Christian leaders or as an act of praise in Christian worship.

In our own day and age the creeds serve three (3) main purposes.

  • First, a creed provides a brief summary of the Christian

You do not become a Christian by reciting a creed; rather, the creed provides a useful summary of the main points of your faith.

  • Second, a creed allows us to recognize and avoid inadequate or incomplete versions of Christianity

By providing a balanced and biblical approach to the Christian faith, tried and tested by believers down through the centuries, the creed allows us to recognize deficient versions of the gospel.

  • Third, a creed emphasizes that to believe is to belong

To become a Christian is to enter a community of faith whose existence stretches right back to the upper room in which Jesus met with His disciples. By putting your faith in Jesus Christ, you have become a member of His body, the church, which uses this creed to express its faith.

Think of how many others have recited these words at their baptism through the centuries. Think of how many others have found in the Apostles’ Creed a statement of their personal faith. You share that faith, and you can share the same words that they have used to express it. First of which is …

I believe in God . . .
私は神様を信じる (Genesis 12:1-8; 15:1-6)

What does it mean to believe in God? What does it mean to have faith in God our Creator?

  1. Faith means assent

The Apostles’ Creed in Latin opens with the words Credo in Deum, traditionally translated into English as “I believe in God.” The statement, “I believe in God” could mean, “I am of the opinion that there is a God.” However, it expresses more conviction to say that, “I believe in God.” It is a much stronger statement. Indeed, faith begins with the acknowledgment that there is a God.
使徒信条のラテン語版は「credo in Deum」で始まりますが、それは訳すと「私は神様を信じる」と言う意味になります。それは、「私は神様の存在を認めている」と言うことになります。しかし、私は「神様を信じる」と言うとさらにその強い信念を表します。実際に、信仰の出発点は神様の存在を信じることにあります。

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Hebrews 11:6


へブル人への手紙 11:6

Faith means assent. A dictionary defines assent as to agree or approve of something especially after thoughtful consideration.

In both the Old and New Testaments, Abraham is a model of faith—that is, of believing. God called Abraham to go to a strange land to receive his inheritance, and Abraham trusted God and went. He believed. He gave his assent even in apparently hopeless circumstances.

Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the [people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan. Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as [the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land. Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.

Genesis 12:1-8


創世記 12:1-8

Abraham apparently knew very little about God when God called him. Why do you think Abraham chose to believe in this God?

At this point Abraham did not have a theological statement of faith setting forth who God was. He knew only that God had spoken to him and that God had great plans for him not only in the short term but also far into the future.

Based on this knowledge, Abraham obeyed and set out for an unknown destination. His bare-bones knowledge and experience were enough to put him on the road in obedience.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.

Hebrews 11:1~2


へブル人への手紙 11:1-2

  1. Faith means trust

Christians don’t just believe—we believe in Someone. More accurate translations of “I believe in God” would be “I have confidence in God,” “I put my trust in God” or simply “I trust in God.” Faith is not merely believing that God exists; it is anchoring ourselves to that God and resting secure in doing so. Faith is the response of our whole being to the person of God.

It is saying, “Yes!” to God

faith means trust.

ILLUSTRATION: Someone shared this story. Uncle Oscar was apprehensive about his first airplane ride. His friends, eager to hear how it went, asked if he enjoyed the flight. “Well,” commented Uncle Oscar, “it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be, but I’ll tell you this. I never did put all my weight down!” 

Sadly, a surprisingly large number of people who think of themselves as Christians never get further than accepting the truth of Christianity. They believe that God is there, but they have never met Him. They believe that God is able to forgive sins, but they have never allowed God to forgive their sins. They believe that God is reliable, but they have never relied on Him.

What can we call people like them? Is it fair to say that we call them, “halfway” believers? They are on their way to faith, but they have yet to arrive! For such people, “I believe in God” can mean little more than “I think there may be a God somewhere.” The richness and depth of the gospel remains unknown to them.

Which of Abraham’s actions indicate that he said yes to God when God took the initiative to speak to him? Abraham put his full weight down!

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Hebrews 11:8~10


へブル人への手紙 11:8-10

  1. Faith means commitment

Time and again, Scripture encourages us to think of our faith as a personal relationship with God. God has publicly demonstrated His commitment to us and love for us in the cross of Jesus Christ; He will not abandon us. Faith is our response of commitment to God, a joyful and willing self-surrender to God.

What were some radical consequences of Abraham’s trust in God, for himself and for his household?

After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” But Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!” And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.” Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be. And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

Genesis 15:1-6

神とアブラムの契約 そののち主が幻の中でアブラムに現れ、こう語りかけました。「アブラムよ、心配することはない。わたしがあなたを守り、大いに祝福しよう。」「ああ神様、私に息子がないのはご存じでしょう。どんなに祝福していただいても、子どもがいなければ、全財産は一族のだれかほかの者が相続することになるのです。」「いや、そんなことはない。ほかの者があなたの跡継ぎになることは決してない。財産を相続する子が、あなたに必ず生まれる。」それから主はアブラムを外へ連れ出し、満天の星空の下に立たせました。「空を見なさい。あの星を全部数えられますか? あなたの子孫はあの星のようにとても数えきれないほどの数になる。」アブラムは主を信じました。主はアブラムの信仰を義と認めました。

創世記 15:1-6

Faith is saying yes to God. Faith involves knowledge but cannot be equated with knowledge. It is not a cold and cerebral idea that enlightens the mind but leaves the heart untouched. Faith is the response of our whole person to the person of God. It is our joyful reaction to the overwhelming divine love we see revealed in Jesus Christ. It is the simple response of leaving all to follow Jesus. It is a decision, an act of will to trust God.

Almost twenty-five (25) years had passed since God promised to give the land of Canaan to Abraham’s offspring (Genesis 12:7). At that point, he might Abraham have had reason to lose his trust in God, but he didn’t. He was committed to God and His plan for him.

  1. Faith means obedience

Faith and good works in no way exclude each other. We do not come to faith by doing good works, as if we could buy our way into the kingdom of God. But real faith naturally gives rise to good works. Faith is active, seeking to express itself in the way we live.

Faith means obedience.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:8~10


エペソ人への手紙 2:8-10

In our life of faith, obedience is not an option. It’s our calling, but thankfully God doesn’t turn His back on us every time we disobey. He remains faithful.

In the two passages from Genesis, we see Abraham’s obedience to God. His faith was confirmed by his works of obedience.

Thomas a Kempis: “Instant obedience is the only kind of obedience there is; delayed obedience is disobedience. Whoever strives to withdraw from obedience, withdraws from Grace.”


Abraham showed his belief in God through radical obedience. Consider ways that God might be challenging you to express your faith in some life-altering way: in your relationships, ministry, finances, vocation, etc.

Pray about specific areas of life where you need to deepen your trust, commitment and obedience to the Lord.