Convictions About God 1996/2011 (1)

[Back in the mid-1990s, I co-pastored with my wife Kathleen in a rural Mennonite congregation in the Midwest. Not long before we moved to Virginia for me to begin teaching I did a series of sermons trying to state in concise terms what I understood to be key Christian beliefs. I am going to post excerpts from those sermons here as an exercise in reflection. I will follow each post from 1996 with a post looking briefly at changes (and lack thereof) in my convictions in the past 15 years.]

What Do We Believe About God?

Ted Grimsrud—January 7, 1996

At our 1995 General Assembly, North American Mennonites approved a confession of faith.  The Apostle Peter wrote that we are responsible “always to be ready to give an answer to anyone who demands from us an accounting for the hope that is in us” (1 Pt 3:15).  We are responsible to explain about our faith.  Use of our new Confession of Faith can help us to answer for our faith.

For us to be able to talk about our convictions with others—be it our children and grandchildren, our neighbors who are Christians and those who are not—we need to have clarity within our own hearts and minds about those convictions. Here are some of the most basic questions for Christians: What do we believe about God?  What do we believe about Jesus Christ?  What do we believe about the Holy Spirit? These are the questions I will be dealing with.

What do we believe about God?  That is today’s issue.  I will read from the very first paragraph of our Confession of Faith.  “We believe that God exists and is pleased with all who draw near by faith.  We worship the one holy and loving God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit eternally.  We believe that God has created all things visible and invisible, has brought salvation and new life to humanity through Jesus Christ, and continues to sustain the church and all things until the end of the age.” Continue reading “Convictions About God 1996/2011 (1)”