The Heidelberg Catechism: Back to Basics – Lord’s Day 9 – “I believe in God the Father Almighty…”


I love to hear those words. Every evening at the dinner table, when we are getting close to the end of the meal my oldest son asks: “Are we going to say what we believe now?” –he’s five. He’s five and can already quote the Apostles Creed from memory. Whenever he hears that opening line he’s off and doesn’t stop until he reaches the end.

Here and there we have opportunity to connect real life to what we recite at the table and during worship.

“Son, do you remember when we confess…”

It’s always a good conversation. His younger brother and sister follow along too, even though they can’t talk yet, they perk up and listen.

What we teach our kids now will echo through their entire lives. The writer of Proverbs isn’t kidding when he says to train a child correctly and they won’t forget.[1]

I hinted in my last article that the Creed reflects the Triune God and their roles in the history of redemption. Lord’s Day 9, question 26 looks at the first line of the creed:


What do you believe when you say:

I believe in God the Father almighty,

Creator of heaven and earth?

That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

who out of nothing created heaven and earth

and all that is in them,

and who still upholds and governs them

by his eternal counsel and providence,

is, for the sake of Christ his Son,

my God and my Father.

In him I trust so completely

as to have no doubt

that he will provide me

with all things necessary for body and soul,

and will also turn to my good

whatever adversity he sends me

in this life of sorrow.

He is able to do so as almighty God,

and willing also as a faithful Father.

I don’t want to get bogged down here in an origins’ debate. You might be surprised to know that there are variances within Orthodox Christianity regarding the creation account and the earth’s age.

That’s okay.

I tend to agree that such a debate is a product of QIRC or the Quest for Illegitimate Religious Certainty. [2] The Christian is only bound to believe what the bible teaches clearly and that is this: That God created everything out of nothing (ex nihilo) and upholds and governs them with the power of his word. That’s the confessional stance. If you leave that, then you are no longer within the faith. God created all, including our first parents: Adam and Eve. What does that imply? God owns that which he creates and he sustains all that he creates, including us.

Jesus tells us to look at the animals: God feeds them and gives them all that they need.[3] This God who creates and sustains the universe is, because of Christ, our Father. He loves you, Christian. I love my kids. Every day I go to work so that my children can have what they need to live. They eat a whole lot and I’m happy to give it to them, because I love them. As surely as a father loves his children, so surely, and more so, does God loves his people. He gives to us all that we need and more for body and soul.

He can do these things because he is almighty God. This isn’t difficult for him to do. Imagine the vastness of the universe. We know much more than the writers of the catechism did about our universe and still there is so much we do not know. The world. Our solar system and everything beyond. God created it and rules over it. There is not one rogue molecule in the universe.

That giant storm on Saturn? God runs it.

The Kuiper asteroid belt at the edge of the solar system? God maintains it and every asteroid is in its place.

Whatever Voyager 1 encounters next in interstellar space? God made it.

It truly is mind boggling. God created and upholds all of that and it isn’t even an effort. I’m a grown man and my office isn’t even clean. Work can be stressful and, at times, give me anxiety. Not so with God. He knows where everything (everything!)  is and keeps it going without even breaking a sweat.

He will do these things because he is our faithful Father. God loves you. He wants you to fulfill your chief end: to glorify him and enjoy him forever. And even the adversity he sends to you (yes, he sends it) will be for your good.[4] This is God’s providence.  We will discuss more next time on Theology Mix.

[1] Prov. 22:6

[2] Read more about QIRC (Quest for Illegitimate Religious Certainty) and QIRE (Quest for Illegitimate Religious Experience) in Recovering the Reformed Confession by R. Scott Clark:


[3] Matthew 6:25-34

[4] Romans 8:28

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