“The Almighty God” Genesis 1:1-10 / Revelation 21:1-4

Genesis 1:1-10: 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 a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so.God called the vault “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. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

Revelation 21:1-4: Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

(Sitting down) – Think of all the things we do standing, and how important they are!

Imagine if we did them seated. What if I had just read Scripture while sitting?

Think about the other times when we stand…

  • Weddings
  • Baptisms
  • National anthem
  • Pledge of allegiance
  • In a courtroom – Judge enters, bailiff yells, “All rise!”
  • Orthodox Jewish tradition, older folks

Sermons! Obviously, you’ve noticed I’m seated – that’s not very respectful of the Word of God, is it?

At the end of my sermon, we will STAND to say what we believe – it’s called The Apostles’ Creed.

Why do we stand? Because it’s important! It’s what we believe! Again, there are some of you out there who are not able to stand, and we don’t want to give the wrong impression…

The next five Sundays, we will be looking at the Apostles’ Creed. At least once a month, we stand and declare what we believe. But do we really know?

Even though the Apostles’ Creed is the most widely used creed today, it’s not the oldest (Nicene), but its roots can be traced all the way back to the original Apostles, and their obedience to the Great Commission, found in Matthew 28:

Why do we have Creeds? The word “creed” comes from the Latin credo, which means, “I believe.”

Many creeds, many statements of faith, begin with the words, “I believe” or “we believe.” A creed is a concrete expression of personal or corporate experience, written at a particular point in time, or in response to a particular situation.

Even though we begin the Apostle’ Creed with, “I believe,” some scholars think it originally began with “we believe.” As a community, as the Body of Christ, when we STAND and say what we believe, we are saying just that – WE BELIEVE something.

A creed is necessary:

  • To define the faith
  • To provide a norm, a standard – a touchstone
  • To provide the material of Christian teaching and preaching

No creed can be complete or final. Obviously, we cannot capture the whole idea of God’s truth in any formula or words, no matter how long.

The PCUSA has 11 creeds, beginning with the Nicene, and ending with the Brief Statement of Faith, authorized by the denomination in 1983. Over the centuries, across the worldwide Christian Church, dozens, if not hundreds of creeds have been formulated.

So, let’s begin – I BELIEVE – what do we mean when we say, “I believe?”

Belief can come from experiment & demonstration – “I believe water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit.”

Belief can come from a process of reasoning – “I’ve looked at our finances, and I believe we can afford that car.”

Belief can come from the acceptance of authority – “If you’re not home by midnight, you’re grounded!”

Belief comes from the evidence of people whom we can trust – I tell every High School senior to go to every class!

Belief can come from seeing the effects of something – maybe eating too much, no sleep, etc.

Belief can come from experience – maybe you have your own experience – if the sign says, “wet paint…”

On a more positive note, I have seen the behavior of certain folks after they’ve given their lives over to Christ

I BELIEVE in God the Father Almighty…

Let me stop for a moment and repeat something I have said before. By calling God FATHER, we are pointing to the paternity of God. God is the begetter of all humankind – by calling God FATHER, we are not saying that God is a man.

By calling God FATHER, we point to the idea of us being children of God and God being our parent – as children of God, that means we have an intimate relationship with God.

In Jewish thought, God was the Father of the Jewish nation. But even though God was called Father, there was still this distant, unconnected relationship between God and his people.

But thanks to Christ, when we call God FATHER, a new relationship with God begins; because of Christ, we can say “our Father” when we pray.


When God is ALMIGHTY, we are now prevented, even prohibited from becoming sentimental or trivial about God.

  • God is not our co-pilot (where are you sitting then?)
  • God is not “the man upstairs”
  • God is not “the big guy in the sky”

When God is ALMIGHTY, he is infinite in might, majesty, and power

  • God is omnipotent – all-powerful
  • God is omniscient – all-knowing
  • God is infinite – there is no limit
  • God is eternal – there is no beginning, there is no end

My friends, God is all these things – he is ALMIGHTY God. But at all times, this might is motivated by love – more important than being ALMIGHTY, God is all-loving.

I BELIEVE in God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth…

As I prepared this sermon, I was struck by the number of passages that speak of God as Creator – besides the Genesis passage we read earlier, here are two more:

Isaiah 42:5: This is what God the LORD says – he who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it:

Isaiah 45:12: It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts.

There are some great passages in Job and other writings.

As Christians, we are compelled to look at Jesus’ role in creation

John 1:1-3: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

Colossians 1:15-17: He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

I BELIEVE in God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth…

Genesis 1 – what are the first five words in the Bible? In the beginning God created…

Revelation 21 – How does Scripture end? Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…

To repeat, a Creed states the essential facts of the Christian message. The focus of any Creed is to focus on the person of God, and on God’s activity in human history.

Since the early days of the church, and throughout its history, leaders have examined Scripture, and have established Creeds to say what the church believes.

The two passages we read today serve to reinforce what we believe – WAIT, I HAVE IT BACKWARDS – I should say, the opening line of the Apostles’ Creed reinforces, or comes out of Scripture.

I BELIEVE in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth…

I BELIEVE – as individuals, as a community, we stand together and say what we believe

God the father – thanks to the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of God’s only Son, we are adopted children in God’s eternal family – God is our Father

Almighty – look the passage from the last book of the Bible – God conquers all, God is eternally victorious.

Maker of Heaven and Earth – in Genesis, we see God as Creator – God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) has been there since the very beginning, and has created everything.

Maker of Heaven and Earth – again, from the last book of the Bible, we see God as Creator – creator of the new heaven and new earth.

God Almighty – from the first words of the Bible, we see God as Almighty – immortal, eternal, creator, and calling everything good.

I BELIEVE in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth…

My brothers and sisters in Christ, this is what we believe.