In his letter to Titus, Paul, after introducing himself, addresses himself to ‘Titus, my true child in a common faith.’ (Titus 1:4) While ‘common’ for some people means ordinary or standard, nothing further from the truth could be on Paul’s mind.
Here is a trained Jewish rabbi addressing a young Gentile convert as his own child, and admitting that the same Lord and eternal destiny. Such ideas were scandalous at worst and radical at best.
And, yet, it is true, this common faith.
At Trinity we have been taking time to look at the Apostles’ Creed on Sunday mornings as an expression of ‘our common faith.’ Appearing as early as 200 A.D., the Creed, as most know it, has come to be an expression of our common faith.Tertullian (150-240 A.D.) is thought to have first formulated the Apostles’ Creed
In the Creed we confess our belief in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. It speaks in detail about the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus, as well as his second coming to judge. It also affirms essential unity of the church, fellowship of all believers and our eternal hope.
It is this commonness of the Creed that needs to be rediscovered. Too often it feels that churches are competing. To attract worshippers, we appeal to our differences by comparing ourselves with other churches. This, in many instances, produces a crass form of spiritual pride and boasting the exalts the outward form of our life and worship over the Spirit who indwells all of us, and the faith that unites us.
As we face growing secularism and increasing intolerance, we would do well to stand together around our common faith.
I believe in God the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord;
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;
the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit;
the holy catholic church;
the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body;
and the life everlasting.