Weekly Belong Group Lesson
Title: I Believe
Series: The Creed
Icebreaker: What is the most important thing you believe and how does that belief shape your lifestyle? Read the Apostles' Creed. Do these listed beliefs sound unfamiliar, similar to, or different from your own?
This Sunday our Bishop introduced a new sermon series entitled, The Creed. The Apostles' Creed is a declaration of faith intended to define and defend the truth of Christianity. Early believers once called this creed the "rule" of faith because it was an essential outline of their beliefs. Sadly today many Christians don't know how these foundational truths of the faith. So, as we dive into this series we begin with the first article of the creed and its opening declaration: "I believe..."
I. Why the Creed Today?
a. The early church did not have the Bible like we do today. They had the experiences and words of their leaders, the apostles, to guide them, but no quick reference like what we have access to now. Eventually, the Apostles' Creed was written as a clear and concise outline of what Christians believe. This creed served as a foundational text, a pledge, that early Christians and new converts had to know.
b. But we have the Bible, so why would we need any external references? Well, frankly speaking many people don't bother reading their Bible, and the Bible is a huge comprehensive text! Yes, we need to know and understand and live by the words of God found in scripture, but the Apostles' Creed and other historical texts can give us a simplified reference when we just need to learn the basics of our faith.
c. The creed defines truth (John 8:32). It sets a standard and correct erroneous thinking for those coming into or challenging the Christian faith. The creed makes it very clear that we believe in one God, and there is only one way to reach him, through Jesus. The creed is a summary of all that we believe to be right and true.
d. The creed also teaches us how to worship and helps us connect to the faith of our forefathers. When we recite the creed in unison it is a picture of how our worship magnifies God and releases his blessing on our assembly. As we recite the creed we not only join in unison with those around us, but with the heavenly cloud of witnesses that have gone before us in the faith.
Who or what is the central focus of your faith? Is it just about you personally making it to heaven, or is there more to what you believe?
II. "I" (Matthew 12:37)
a. The beginning of the creed begins with the phrase, "I believe..." As humans we can't help but to make everything about ourselves, but the truth is your faith is not about you. Of course, God loves you and has great plans for you! However, the focus of our faith is on glorifying Him and He's all about His bride, the Church.
b. When it comes this creed, it must begin as a personal declaration, which is why it does begin with an "I" statement. But something happens when we confess our faith in this way. Suddenly, the "I" in that opening statement joins with the global and historic body of believers, and now that "I" represents the body of Christ as a whole instead of you as an individual believer.
c. There is strength and victory when you join yourself to the body of Christ. This declaration, "I believe," is a notice to the world, and to the enemy, that you stand in unity with a great host of others. Again, this creed begins as a personal declaration, but it opens the door to a corporate blessing.
Have you ever repeated something, or heard something for so long that you started to believe it? Even if it was something you disagreed with, why is repetition so influential to forming our beliefs?
III. "Believe" (Romans 10:9-10)
a. There are many religions in the world, and most religions share a common belief that your good deeds determine your salvation. Christianity, on the other hand, is a confessing-faith. We believe that our confession of faith is what grants us salvation. We still believe in being good people and doing good deeds, but our deeds are in response to the salvation we were freely given, instead of in efforts to earn salvation.
b. Romans 10:9-10 puts it simply, we confess out of our mouths and believe in our hearts the gospel of Jesus to be saved. The first step here is confession, that just means to make something known, you tell somebody that you believe in Jesus. The other piece of that is belief, and beliefs influence actions.
c. It's an interesting progression because you would think that belief has to come before confession. But if you say, or recite something enough, you start to believe it and become it (Romans 10:17, Mark 11:23).
d. What are you believing about God, about Christianity and are those beliefs rooted in truth? As we learn more about the Apostles' Creed and the foundations of our faith it may be a good time to evaluate the confessions we've been making.
Friday Night Prayer: Join us this Friday, September 24th, at 7pm in the sanctuary for a powerful night of worship and prayer. See you there!
Become a Member: Remind your group members, family, and friends that they can now join our church family at any time by visiting citychurchnola.life/membership and completing the online membership application.
Grow Classes: Grow classes are now available online! You can join our instructors virtually to begin your next steps in Christ. Please visit citychurchnola.life/growworkshops to register.
Wednesday Morning Prayer: You can participate in corporate prayer every Wednesday morning at 7 AM on Facebook. Join us each week as we continue to pray for our church, our city, and our nation.
City Life TV: You can watch our Bishop deliver thoughtful messages throughout the week. Tune in to WHNO, channel 20, Monday-Friday at 7:30 PM.
Please continue to report your virtual group meetings!
By using the same email you would normally receive, you may update your group information and report your weekly meetings.
If you need help with reporting, please contact your district pastor.
Have an amazing and spirit-filled group!
College & Young Adult Lesson
There will be no college lesson this week. Please follow along with the general lesson and have a powerful, spirit-filled group!