We believe in one God
As we continue to look at the Nicene Creed, it is important to notice the first word of the creed, ‘We.’ One of the great benefits of professing a creed is the summary of Christian doctrines as revealed in the Scriptures. Also, these truths have been confirmed and said by the saints throughout the ages. In a post-modernist world, where the mantra phrase might be, you can have your truth, and I will have my truth, which focuses on the individual’s perspective and opinion. The communal and collective plural pronoun of we is important to the church, not only with the people who say it today but also the great cloud of witnesses who have confessed the same truth. The church can be divided on many issues; however, most Bible Believing Christians would have more in common than differences.
The second word is ‘believe,’ which is common in religious terminology, generally as ‘beliefs.’ Again, we seek to individualize this term, my beliefs, but should see the creed’s covenant community aspect. The New Testament Greek word pisteuo (believe) means to “be convinced of something” or “give credence to.” We see this frequently in John (x90) and Acts (x40). Acts 4:4a says, “But many of those who had heard the word believed…” We say the creed out loud together, but it does not remove the personal connection to the belief. We could discuss this more in detail, but I will leave it for the moment.
The final section of this line explains what we, the church, believe in one God. God is one (Deut 6:4). James explains that even the demons believe this, “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” (Jam 2:19). You do well for the fool says there is no God (Ps 14:1-3). This basic truth is taught in the opening passage in the Bible, “In the beginning God…” (Gen 1:1a). Often the world seeks to disprove or deny God’s existence. Cornelius Van Til explains that they are like a child sitting on their father’s lap, slapping his face. They can only slap their father’s face because he holds them there. Same with people who seek to disprove or deny God.
Ultimately, this single phrase might be the only thing we can utter at times, but this basic truth can give us great comfort. Because there is one God, we know that we are created for a purpose. Because there is one God, we trust and believe in him, that he is God and we are not. The Christian walk is not one where we know the answers. However, the Christian faith can be summarized in simple statements that carry great doctrinal truths. When we get the doctors’ phone call, we might not be able to explain why this might be happening to us, but we can state, we believe in One God. We rest in these simple truths in our complex lives.