Daily Dose, Sept. 25 — I Believe: The Apostles’ Creed

  Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person -- though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. (Romans 5:1-11)   “I believe in the forgiveness of sins” is included in the Apostle’s Creed. This is our crisp and clear way of saying that we believe that we are forgiven all the hurtful and hateful and selfish behaviors that stink up our living. John Wesley, the founding father of the Methodist church, really struggled with this truth. He had it planted in his mind beginning in his childhood. But the seed never put down roots into his heart until he was well into his 30s. He desperately wanted to find the assurance that he was forgiven. But it was like holding onto a wet frog in a rainstorm for Mr. Wesley. He wanted to earn God’s mercy with all his religious activity. He wanted to deserve God’s redeeming love by doing good and doing right and doing both all the time. He was so stuck and so confused and absolutely miserable, until one evening in May at a church meeting on Aldersgate Street in London. The Holy Spirit stirred within him, and he understood that forgiveness is a gift from God. He came to a heartfelt faith in Christ and found the assurance he wanted. I hope you know that God forgives you. This forgiveness is a gift with not a single string attached. You are forgiven. God is not against you. God only wants to help you. Trust the message of Christ, and you are on the path of peace and joy and love. I beg you to leave your sins at the foot of the cross and accept the news that God loves you. Nothing would please God more. -- Y’all come, Dr. Don