Q. 20. Will all men, then, be saved through Christ as they became lost through Adam?
A. No. Only those who, by true faith, are incorporated into him and accept all his benefits.
Q. 21. What is true faith?
A. It is not only a certain knowledge by which I accept as true all that God has revealed to us in his Word, but also a wholehearted trust which the Holy Spirit creates in me through the gospel, that, not only to others, but to me also God has given the forgiveness of sins, everlasting righteousness and salvation, out of sheer grace solely for the sake of Christ’s saving work.
Q. 22. What, then, must a Christian believe?
A. All that is promised us in the gospel, a summary of which is taught us in the articles of the Apostles’ Creed, our universally acknowledged confession of faith.
Q. 23. What are these articles?
A. I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ, his only-begotten Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sits at 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.
There is an exclusivity to Christianity. Scripture does teach, “God desires everyone to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:4). But the very next sentence goes on to say, “there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 2:5-6). Jesus himself said, “God so loved the world he gave his only begotten, so that whoever shall believe in him … shall have everlasting life.” To be saved, we must have a saving knowledge, that is, a saving relationship, with Christ.
Rich Mullins sings of the Creed, “I believe what I believe is what makes me who I am. I did not make it, it is making me, it is the very truth of God, not the invention of any man.” Simply and succinctly the creed sums up what we need to know. Let it lead and guide you as you study God’s word and grow in your relationship with Christ the Lord.
Thank you, Father, for your salvation in Christ alone, and for ancient faith and creeds which show us your truth. In Jesus’ name. Amen.