We Believe - Song Devotional

Travis Ryan



“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow-citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”

-Ephesians 2:19-22 (NIV)

In the baptismal services of the early Church (3rd-4th centuries), this was the high point of the ceremony: When each of them to be baptized has gone down into the water, the one baptizing shall lay hands on each of them, asking,

"Do you believe in God the Father Almighty?" And the one being baptized shall answer, "I believe."

He shall then baptize each of them once, laying his hand upon each of their heads. Then he shall ask, "Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was born of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and died, and rose on the third day living from the dead, and ascended into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of the Father, the one coming to judge the living and the dead?"

When each has answered, "I believe," he shall baptize a second time.

Then he shall ask, "Do you believe in the Holy Spirit and the Holy Church and the resurrection of the flesh?"

Then each being baptized shall answer, "I believe." And thus let him baptize the third time. 

(from the Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus, ca. 315AD)

This declaration of faith became (with some later refinements) what we refer to today as the Apostles’ Creed—not that Jesus’ first disciples wrote it, but that it is an excellent summary of their beliefs.  It was a framework of teaching for new believers preparing to be baptized in the early church.  They were required to memorize it to give them a solid foundation of truth as they embarked on a life dedicated to the Triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—which was reinforced by the three-fold baptism.  These words became a powerful weapon of spiritual warfare as they declared what they believed against doubt, fear and the Devil.  (Even today, these same words are being used again in some baptism ceremonies across the Christian church.)

New believers start their new life, not alone, but part of a community of faith built on the foundation of good news—how God the Creator has shown His love in sending the Son and then pouring out the Holy Spirit.  That community, the Church, was created to be so filled with the Spirit that “the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (Mt 16:18, NIV)  As part of that living, breathing organism, Christians stand together to be an invading force of love against the darkness, of power against the enemy of our souls, and of life overcoming death.

Our faith is not so much “me” as it is “we.”  We believe—we know—that God exists.  He has revealed Himself to us in the person of Jesus Christ and in His life, death, resurrection and ascension.  The power of the Holy Spirit shapes us together as “living stones” (1 Peter 2:5) into a community that can stand the onslaught of enemy tactics—desperation, doubt, fear, brokenness, weakness, and temptation.  Together, we believe we can defeat these tactics and bring God’s redemption as we walk in His power and love.

That is the Christian life.  That is the church of God.  That is what we believe.  And, that is what we are sent to do:

Let the lost be found and dead be raised

In the here and now, let love invade

Let the church live loud, our God will save

We believe, we believe

And the gates of hell shall not prevail

For the power of God has torn the veil

And we know Your love will never fail

We believe, we believe!


For Consideration:

It’s not the size of your faith; it’s Who your faith is in.  It is not enough to “just believe.”  Do you know what you believe in?

Consider joining with the early church and memorize the Apostles’ Creed.  It lines out Biblical truth and gives a way to simply lay out the foundations of our faith. Here’s the version from the Church of England’s Common Worship:

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.

I believe 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.

On the third day He rose again;

He ascended into heaven,

He is seated at the right hand of the Father,

And He will 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.  Amen.

* catholic=universal


By Fred J Heumann

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