I Believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. God called the expanse “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.
And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.
Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.
And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.
And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.
And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
Note the recurring phrases throughout this opening passage of Scripture. (hint: “And God said,” “And God saw,” etc.) List the phrases in a journal.
For a moment, suspend any propensity to read Genesis 1 from a scientific method or worldview and ponder these phrases: “God said. And it was so. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning . . .” Repeat the phrases aloud over and over so your ears can hear. Mull the words over in your mind so your eyes can see. Ponder them in your heart and behold the awesome God of such creative power, sovereign order, and unparalleled beauty.
I believe in God the Father. Notice how quickly it’s said, and how much it’s worth. He’s God, and he’s Father; God in power, Father in goodness. How lucky we are to have discovered that our God is our Father! So let us believe in him and promise ourselves everything from his kindness and mercy, because he is almighty. That’s why we believe in God the Father almighty.
Nobody must say, “He can’t forgive me my sins.”
“How can’t he, being almighty?”
And I say, “But he’s almighty.”
And you: “I’ve committed such sins as I can’t possibly be cleansed and delivered from.”
I reply, “But he’s almighty.”
Notice what you sing to him in the psalm: “Bless the Lord, my soul,” it says, “and do not forget his recompenses, who shows himself gracious to all your iniquities, who heals all your weaknesses” (Ps. 103:2–3). That’s what we need him to be almighty for.
The whole of creation needs this, of course, in order to be created; he is almighty for making heavenly things and earthly things, almighty for making immortal things and mortal things, almighty for making spiritual things and material things, almighty for making visible things and invisible things; great in the great things, and not small in the least things; in a word, he is almighty for making whatever he has wished to make.
I mean, let me tell you how many things he can’t do. He can’t die, he can’t sin, he can’t lie, he can’t be deceived or mistaken; so many things he can’t do, and if he could do them he wouldn’t be almighty. So believe in him and confess him; For with the heart one believes unto justice, but with the mouth one makes confession unto salvation (Rom. 10:10). That’s why, once you have believed, you must confess, when you give back the Symbol. So receive now what you are to retain, and afterward to give back, and never to forget.
—From a sermon on the Creed
St. Augustine of Hippo, 5th century
Express your questions, doubts, curiosities, and conundrums.
Share any fresh affirmation stirring in your heart and mind from today.
Now affirm the Apostles’ Creed aloud:
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth, I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord . . .