The Fatherhood of God

I believe in God the Father
From a sermon on the Creed by Augustine of Hippo, 5th century

I believe in God the Father.  Notice how quickly itís said, and how much itís worth.  Heís God, and heís Father; God in power, Father in goodness.  How lucky we are, to have discovered that our God is our Father!  So let us believe in him and promise ourselves everything from his kindness and mercy, because he is almighty.  Thatís why we believe in God the Father almighty.

Nobody must say, ďHe canít forgive me my sins.Ē

ďHow canít he, being almighty?Ē

And I say, ďBut heís almighty.Ē

And you: ďIíve committed such sins as I canít possibly be cleansed and delivered from.Ē

I reply, ďBut heís almighty.Ē

Notice what you sing to him in the psalm: Bless the Lord, my soul, it says, and do not forget his recompenses, who shows himself gracious to all your iniquities, who heals all your weaknesses (PS 103:2-3).  Thatís what we need him to be almighty for.

The whole of creation needs this, of course, in order to be created; he is almighty for making heavenly things and earthly things, almighty for making immortal things and mortal things, almighty for making spiritual things and material things, almighty for making visible things and invisible things; great in the great things, and not small in the least things; in a word, he is almighty for making whatever he has wished to make.

I mean, let me tell you how many things he canít do.  He canít die, he canít sin, he canít lie, he canít be deceived or mistaken; so many things he canít do, and if he could do them he wouldnít be almighty.  So believe in him and confess him; For with the heart one believes unto justice, but with the mouth one makes confession unto salvation (Rom. 10:10).  Thatís why, once you have believed, you must confess, when you give back the Symbol.  So receive now what you are to retain, and afterward to give back, and never to forget.


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(c) 1999 Don Schwager