/ Profession of Faith / James Faris

We Believe:

Perhaps you have seen colorful yard signs like the following in your community that I have seen in mine. They vary a bit, but they say something like:

  • We Believe:
  • Science is Real
  • Women’s Rights are Human Rights
  • Black Lives Matter
  • No Person is Illegal
  • Love is Love
  • Water is Life
  • Kindness is Everything
  • Diversity Makes Us Stronger

Notice how creed-like the prologue stands “We Believe.” It asserts the belief of the owner, calls those who view the sign to consider their own beliefs, and implicitly challenges and welcomes the viewer to embrace the same statement set forth on the sign.

Whatever one may think of the particular statements or slogans on the sign, the sign immediately makes one ask, "What do I believe?” Not surprisingly, the first words that come to mind for me and perhaps for you are:

  • I believe in God the Father Almighty Maker of heaven and earth.

In the Apostles' Creed, we confess of foremost importance our belief in a personal, transcendent God rather than abstract principles. We do and should believe other statements of truth, but the essence of the Christian statement of faith is in the Triune God who is. And so we declare:

  • I believe in God the Father Almighty Maker of heaven and earth.
  • I believe in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord…
  • I believe in the Holy Spirit...

When we are at peace with God as we believe in his name, our hearts are warmed to gratitude toward our gracious God for his many benefits and our hearts are warmed to fulfill our duty to our fellow man.

Martin Luther, in his Small Catechism, asked what it means to believe in God the Father Almighty Maker of heaven and earth. He exhibited the kind of grace our profession of faith should engender when he wrote:

I believe that God has created me and all that exists; that he has given and still preserves to me body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my limbs, my reason and all my senses, and also clothing and shoes, food and drink, house and home, wife and child, land, cattle, and all my property; that he provides me richly and daily with all the necessaries of life, protects me from all danger, and preserves and guards me against all evil; and all this out of pure paternal, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness of mine; for all which I am in duty bound to thank, praise, serve, and obey him. This is most certainly true.

What do I believe? It’s a question of massive importance. Our confession of what we believe must always begin with and be rooted in our personal God. His nature and work will shape our perspective on the world and its current events. Finally, our confession will always result in humble, daily gratitude.

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. - Romans 11:36
James Faris

James Faris

Child of God. Husband to Elizabeth. Father of six. Pastor of Second Reformed Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. Ordained as a pastor in 2003.

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