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New City Catechism 31.1

This week we begin with Question 31 of the New City Catechism, found in Part 2 (questions 21-35), which focuses on Christ, redemption, and grace.

Question 31: What do we believe by true faith?

Answer: Everything taught to us in the gospel. The Apostles’ Creed expresses what we believe in these words:

We 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, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

We 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.

The content of our faith is expressed succinctly in the words of the Apostles’ Creed, which is a historic confession of the story of the gospel used by all branches of the church for centuries. It is divided into three sections that follow a broadly Trinitarian order.

In the first section, we confess faith in God the Father Almighty and acknowledge that he is the Creator of heaven and earth. The story of the gospel begins with creation itself, where God’s lordship over us and our accountability to him are established. Without a doctrine of creation, nothing else in the story of the gospel makes sense. The Apostles’ Creed rightly begins there.

Suggested passage for family or personal reading: Acts 17:22-34. How does Paul’s address to the Athenians begin with an appeal to the doctrine of creation? What does that teach us about how we might share the gospel today?

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