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
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy universal church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
“I was saved, I am saved. I am being saved. I will be saved.” This is what any Christian can say about the full picture of what the Bible calls “Salvation.” Salvation means to be rescued from danger. Humans are in danger from God’s righteous wrath, sin itself, hostile forces of men and demons and death.
The Apostle’s Creed closes with a dense yet easy to remember way to describe the Christian hope. The Christian ground for hope us summed up in this phrase “the forgiveness of sins.”
Forgiveness is not the only way to describe salvation, but it is a good one. Instead of God wiping us from his existence we are wiped clean by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 1:7). Jesus saved every Christian the moment he rose from the dead after he bore our sins on the cross. The Christian receives the experience of that salvation the moment he believes. Forgiveness means “I was saved” and “I am saved.” Christians are at the same time still tempted and failing. Because of the death and resurrection and the life-giving work of the Spirit, Christians are being saved.
Physical death and a coming judgment are still looming. Christians are secure by the forgiveness Jesus granted, but still need final salvation. When a Christian dies now, his soul goes to be with God, but he awaits bodily resurrection (1 Thessalonians 4:14). “The resurrection from the dead” means that the body of a Christian will be reunited with his soul. The resurrection body is made for “the life everlasting.” Both heaven and the millennial kingdom are temporary places. Heaven is now God’s worship center and throne room. The Millennial kingdom will be Christ’s reign on earth. Both will be recreated.
One day we will dwell with God in the new heavens and the new earth. There with sin’s penalty paid, sin’s power removed, and sin’s presence eradicated, we will worship the Trinity unhindered. With ever expanding joy the Christian will dwell with God forever in life everlasting.