The third article of the Apostle’s Creed focuses on the Holy Spirit, who works faith in our hearts and keeps us in the faith each day.
The Holy Spirit is God
Read Acts 5:34
Underline: Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit … You have not lied to man but to God
Write: Circle Holy Spirit and God, then connect them with a line.
Read Matthew 28:19-20
The Holy Spirit is the third “person” of the Trinity. He is referred to as God by Peter in the story of Ananias and Sapphira. He is also connected with the Father and Son in the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20.
The Role of the Holy Spirit
Read 1 Corinthians 12:3
Underline: no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.
Margin: Holy Spirit Converts
Read John 3:5-6
Underline: that which is born of the Spirit is spirit
Margin: Holy Spirit Converts
Read 1 Peter 5:7
Underline: since you have been born again, … through the living and abiding word of God;
Margin: Holy Spirit uses God’s Word
The Holy Spirit is responsible for bringing people to faith. While we have a “decision” to make regarding whether we believe in Jesus or not, we are only able to say “I believe in Jesus” because the Spirit has already worked faith in our hearts. Imagine you are falling off a cliff with nothing to grab onto. God reaches down through the Spirit and grabs your arm as you fall. You now have a choice: Grab on to God, or don’t. But you can only grab onto God because He first grabbed you. The Holy Spirit works through the Word of God. He uses the Bible to work faith in our hearts.
Read 2 Corinthians 5:17
Underline: Entire verse
Margin: I am a new creation!
In addition to working faith in our hearts, the Spirit renews us daily. Each day, we are being made new through the power of the Spirit. He makes us new not because we deserve it, but because we belong to Jesus.
Read Philippians 1:3-6
Underline: he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Margin: Holy Spirit is still working
When you struggle with doubts about who Jesus is and whether you actually believe in Him or not, it is the Spirit that works through those doubts and fears to increase our faith. Paul promises in this passage that God, who started this “good work” or building faith in us, will not let it go unfinished. While we struggle with doubt, we are confident that God is still working to perfect our faith, making us believe in Him more and more each day.
The first article of the Apostle’s Creed focuses on God the Father, the creator and sustainer of all life.
The Triune God
Read Matthew 28:19
Circle: Father, Son, Holy Spirit
Margin: Write “3 in 1” and circle it.
One of the mysteries of God is that He is one God, yet there are three persons (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). All three are God completely, and yet there are not three Gods, but one. By examining each “person” of the Trinity, we can more clearly and completely understand who God is and how He interacts with His people.
God the Father
Read Job 38:1-7
Underline: Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Margin: God created the earth
Read Hebrews 11:3
Underline: By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God
Read Genesis 1:26-27
Underline: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Margin: God made humans.
Read Psalm 139:13
Underline: you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
Margin: God created me.
God the Father is the creator of everything. He actively shaped and formed the earth, not though evolution, but by speaking it into existence. Not only did he create the earth and all living things, but He specifically created humans to be in relationship with Him and one another.
However, God is not a “watchmaker.” He didn’t create the world, “wind it up”, and let it run on its own. God continues to provide for His creation. He sends rain and sunshine, so crops can be grown. He provides jobs and income so we can provide for our families. He protects us from harm and danger. He has an ongoing relationship with us, caring for all our needs.
The second article of the Apostle’s Creed focuses on Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In this lesson, we focus on how Jesus is both True God and True Man, and why that matters. Also, despite our sinfulness, He loves us and wants a relationship with us, and will stop at nothing to win us back.
Two “Natures” of Jesus
Read John 1:1-2
Circle: “the Word”
Margin: Write “Jesus” in the margin, then draw arrows connecting “the Word” to Jesus.
Read Matthew 4:2, John 11:35, and John 19:28
Underline the human needs and emotions that Jesus had.
Because God is holy (without sin), He needed a holy (sinless) sacrifice to pay for our sins. The Father knew we could never pay that debt, because we are sinful beings from birth. But the payment had to be made by someone under the Law (ie, a human). Therefore, God chose to send His Son, Jesus, who was truly God (John 1) to be born as a man, and therefore truly human in all respects (Matthew 4, John 11, John 19), only without sin. Jesus was therefore able to be the holy sacrifice the Father required to pay for our sins.
In addition, we know that Jesus is able to empathize with us and understand our needs and wants because He lived as one of us, experiencing the same emotions and feelings that we do. He is not a distant God, unable to understand our daily struggles, but rather one who walked through life with the same struggles we face.
How does Jesus relate to us?
Read John 10:25-30
Underline: I know them.
Margin: Jesus knows me.
Read Luke 15:1-7
Underline: What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it?
Margin: Jesus pursues me.
Read John 7:53-8:11
Underline: And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”
Margin: Jesus forgives me.
Read 1 Peter 5:7
Underline: Entire Verse
Margin: Jesus helps me.
Jesus died not only to make the payment for our sin, but to have a relationship with us. He knows all of our joys and fears; all of our strengths and faults. He knows me better than I know myself, and yet He loves me. Like a shepherd who has lost just one sheep, Jesus pursues me, forgives me and helps me in my time of trouble. He doesn’t do this because we deserve it, but because He loves us. He relates to us as friend and brother, always concerned about what’s best for us.
The second article of the Apostle’s Creed focuses on Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In this lesson, we focus on our own fall from sin and the need for a Savior.
The Fall into Sin
Read Genesis 3:1-5
Underline: neither shall you touch it, lest you die.
Margin: No! See Genesis 2:16-17.
Read Genesis 2:16-17
Eve mistakenly added to God’s command (He never said not to touch the fruit, only to not eat it) and the devil took advantage to tempt her to sin. We must be careful to pay attention to what God actually says, not what we think or wish He said.
Read Genesis 3:6-7
Underline: she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
Margin: Original Sin
This first sin is referred to as the “original” sin. There are two types of sin: original and actual. Adam and Eve actually committed this sin, but everyone else since then was born with original sin. That means that from the moment we are conceived, we are sinful people, inheriting that sin from our parents, all the way back to Adam and Eve.
The Need for a Savior
Read Genesis 3:8-13
Underline: “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” … The serpent deceived me, and I ate.
Margin: Take Responsibility
After the Fall, God confronts Adam and Eve about their actions. Adam’s first instinct is now to blame others (God, this is really your fault for giving me Eve). We try to say things like “The devil made me do it” or blame our friends or siblings. Instead, when faced with sin, we should take responsibility for what we’ve done and ask for God to forgive us.
Read Genesis 3:14-15
Underline: I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.
Margin: Jesus (Messiah)
Read Genesis 3:16-19
Underline: dust you are and to dust you will return.
Margin: Sin Led to Death
After confronting them, God promised hope for Adam and Eve in the form of a Savior, namely Jesus. Jesus would come and defeat sin, death and the devil because we are powerless to do so. After confessing our sin, we place our trust in Jesus, who forgives our sins, not because we deserve it, but because He has paid the price for them. However, as we see in verses 16-19, there are still consequences for our sin. There is death, sickness and suffering in our life because of our sin. Yet God triumphs in the end, bringing eternal life to all who trust in Jesus.