Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.
What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.
Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Every now and then, especially walking along a busy street, the smell of car exhaust will take me back to Sunday morning in Jakarta. I’m five years old, dressed in my uncomfortable Sunday best—already dripping with sweat in the humidity of the tropics, heading into the community church, holding my mom’s hand as she walks my siblings and I across the street. We get inside and find a row of metal folding chairs—and my legs stick to it when they dismiss all the kids to Sunday School halfway through the service. The Sunday School classroom is more of a covered patio, with bamboo mats on the floor and a Noah’s Ark playset with pieces missing. The fans were constantly running but it never seemed to help, and neither did the little cup of Tang they would have available after service. It was there, in that hot and humid community church in Jakarta—with its metal folding chairs, bamboo mats, spinning fans and little cups of tang—where I first heard those words, spoken in rhythm…
I believe in God the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I am a long way from Jakarta and those bamboo mats—although the weather is pretty similar. And though I have been to many different churches since, the words of the Apostles’ Creed have remained—but that doesn’t mean they have stayed exactly the same across the years.
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