“I believe in one God, the Father almighty…”
The Creed is a lovesong in praise and thanksgiving for God who is the Trinity, Father, Son and Spirit. Everything done by God is done by the whole Trinity: yet there is something appropriate about attributing the work of creation to the Father, the work of salvation to the Son and the work of sanctification to the Holy Spirit. That is, as long as we ‘see’ the actions of each person of the Trinity in all actions with each other: a wonderful exuberant interconnection of love.
Our Christian profession of faith begins with a radical assertion that God is one! So our belief is in continuity with the faith of the people of the Hebrew Scriptures. Belief in one God challenges us to acknowledge God as the author of all life and existence, the source of everything. Such belief calls forth a response of trust and hope in this one God and an attitude of praise and thanksgiving for the very gift of our own life, and indeed, all life.
God’s invitation to respond to God’s gift of creative love draws humanity to a humble acceptance of all life as gift. It is also an invitation to refuse making other, or any ‘thing’ into a god. For example, the early Christians were characterised by their refusal to worship any power, including emperor worship, that was not the one God, even if it meant death.
God as Father invites us into a profound and personal relationship with God. However through the life death and resurrection of Jesus, Christians have come to experience the loving intimacy of the Father and the Son through the gift of the Spirit. Astonishingly, as children of God, who, as it were put on Christ through baptism, we too are drawn deeply into this relationship – called to intimacy with the Father, such that together with Jesus through the Spirit, we can pray ‘Our Father’.
When we use the title ‘Almighty’ we acknowledge God’s creative power, we assent that all strength and potency in the universe has its origin in God’s own power and creative will. We can but marvel and wonder that an all powerful God chose in generosity to give us such an important role, the better to serve God.
‘Maker of heaven and earth’ says that everything ‘seen and unseen’ owes it existence to the creative act of God. Creation ‘out of nothing’ invites our confession of faith because it is beyond our understanding, it is impossible for us to conceive of such a thing. Creation is an ongoing process and we are still awaiting its perfection in the fullness of time. It is the work of the one God for whenever God is acting, the whole Trinity (the Father, the Son and Spirit) is involved.
Christians believe in a transcendent, personal God, who is one God but three equal persons who are a Trinity or communion of love.