Which values are the most important to you in your own life? Which values did your parents pass down to you and which values do you want to pass to your kids? As we look at the Apostles’ Creed, we see the most important values being passed down to believers for generations to come.
In other words, they pointed out what you need to remember! This is what is most important! These are the priorities that are key to living the Christian life in freedom and in joy. This is what you need to live your life by, every single day. This is what you need to teach those that follow you so that our beliefs are never forgotten. The forgiveness of sins is one of the most important and key teachings found in the Apostles’ Creed.
Upon pondering early life experiences, rich memories may include dad or mom teaching you several values through their example. They may have taught you how to help the poor by going into poor neighborhoods and putting on free sports clinics with food and prizes. Or, you may have experienced a family member teaching you how to love God by reading his words and attending church as a family.
These lessons continue as we watch our mentors give to and serve others. Hopefully, your family taught patience and forgiveness of others. These values should be shown through personal life examples, as well as explaining the importance of forgiveness and how to have peace, joy and freedom in a true believer’s life.
In Hebrews 12:15, it tells us that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled. The Apostles knew that Christ’s forgiveness on the cross was the ultimate sacrifice for us to live in freedom without guilt and remorse because we are cleansed of our sins and all unrighteousness by His blood that was shed on the cross.
The Apostles knew that for us to live in freedom and with joy and peace, we had to accept this value of forgiveness in our own lives and not hold past sins and burdens. The Apostles knew that to transform our lives, and the lives of others around us, we had to be willing to forgive as Christ forgave us. That is at the core of the gospel. If we hold on to bitterness and do not forgive, we not only defile our own lives because we have no peace, joy and freedom, but we end up defiling the lives of others as well.
The Life Decisions
Imagine going to the beach and seeing the words, “I hate my mom and dad” written in the sand. It was probably written by a young kid that was upset at their parents that day. Yet, farther down the pier, the contrasting words of, “I forgive you; I love you” are etched into the rocks.
Now, these words were going to be there for the rest of eternity because someone etched them into the rocks with deep stones or tools. It is a reminder that this is how forgiveness and the Apostles’ Creed should be in our lives. It should be etched in stone so that we never forget it and that we always forgive others no matter what.
Walking back to where the child who had written the words, “I hate my mom and dad,” the ocean had literally wiped away the words in the sand. The message could no longer be seen. No one would ever see them again. That is how forgiveness works. When it is etched in stone in our lives, we forgive ourselves and others. It allows us to be able to live in the power of Christ and his forgiveness and the sins and bitterness are literally washed away like the words in the sand that had been written by the boy. Our sins are forgiven and have been washed away by the blood of Christ. We no longer say, “I hate you,” but we say, “I love you and I forgive you!”
Who do you need to forgive in your own life? Do you need to forgive yourself for past sins that you have been holding on to and move forward? Do you need to forgive someone in your family that hurt you in the past? Do you need to forgive a friend, a co-worker or a boss? Do you need to forgive your spouse or your children?
Whoever it may be, the Apostles’ Creed reminds us in the words “the forgiveness of sins” that we need to do this in order to live a transformed life in Christ. We need to do this in order to truly experience freedom, peace and joy. What are you waiting for? Take that step right now and accept that Christ has forgiven you!
Forgive yourself and forgive the person you have been holding that root of bitterness in your heart towards. Will you pass this value of forgiveness on to your family, your friends and your kids? The Apostles lived this way and you can now live and experience this as well. May the peace of God now transcend upon your life as you take this step of forgiveness in your own life.
Want more? Check out all the articles from Theology Thursday and return each week for a new post. Learn more about the College of Theology and GCU's degree programs by checking out our website or requesting more information with the button on this page.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.