Jesus was once asked, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"
Jesus answered, "The most important one is this: 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:28-31 )
Loving God with everything you have, and loving others for God's sake, has been described as Jesus' personal credo—his personal mission statement.1 And though some may quibble with the terminology, Jesus certainly lived his life by these twin priorities. He also holds these two commandments up for all those who would follow after him. He makes it clear that they are the first and foremost principles his disciples need to apply in their daily lives.
It is important to note that Jesus was not pulling these first principles out of thin air. He was quoting two pivotal passages from the Hebrew Scriptures. Jesus made it clear that these two 'Great Commandments' summarized the law and the prophets.
"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." (Deuteronomy 6:4-5 )
"Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself." (Leviticus 19:18 )
1The Jesus Creed, Scott McKnight; Paraclete Press (October 1, 2009)
Our Historical Christian Faith
We affirm the bedrock faith of historic Christianity. What has been believed and wrestled with and fought over for millennia continues to shape and form what we believe and how we live at Saint Andrew. For instance, we use the following version of the Apostle's Creed as instruction into the faith of our young people who join our community of faith as 7th and 8th graders through confirmation. We occasionally use this type of creed in worship, as a response to the reading & preaching of the Word. It is an excellent and valued foundation upon which so many of our beliefs are built.
Do you believe in God the Father?
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
Do you believe in Jesus Christ?
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;
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and will come again to judge the living and the dead.
Do you believe in the Holy Spirit?
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy universal [catholic] church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.