On Sunday, I introduced to you the Apostles’ Creed, a statement of faith that I hope will strengthen our theological framework and deepen our affections for the Lord. I want to take a moment and give a brief overview of the Apostle’s Creed and why we will be reading it together when we gather as a church on Sundays. First, here is the Apostles’ Creed:
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He 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, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
A BRIEF OVERVIEW
A creed is a statement of what we believe and teach.
The Apostles’ Creed does not come from the apostles, but its doctrines or teachings are rooted in the doctrines and teaching of the apostles found in the Holy Scriptures. Written sometime around the 3rd century, local churches around the world have recited this confession of faith and have made it their own.
The Apostles’ Creed gives a very clear and Biblical summary of the doctrines we hold dear to our hearts. It speaks to the Trinity, the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, it speaks to the church, and it even speaks to what will happen in the end. It’s really a summary of God’s redemptive mission through the message of the Gospel.
In his Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin stated that the Creed “furnishes us with a full and every way complete summary of faith, containing nothing but what has been derived from the infallible word of God”
Church history shows us that Christians have used the Apostles’ Creed as a guard against heretical teachings. In fact, that is likely why it was written in the first place and one of the reasons why we will read it together as a church in the 21st century.
WHY WE ARE READING IT TOGETHER
When it comes to memorization, one of the most helpful tools we can implement is consistent repetition. The Apostles’ Creed was written in a way to be easily read, understood, and memorized. The more we repeat something, the more we will know it. This is the case with the Apostle’s Creed. The more we recite it, the more we will know it and the more we will be able to teach it.
It’s also a great tool to read with during your family worship time. As you gather at home to read the Bible, sing to the Lord, and pray together, you can implement the reading of the Apostle’s Creed with your children and then teach them the different elements of the creed that come from God’s Word.
It’s important for us to be frequently reminded of what we believe about the God of the Bible. If we do not, then we will be tossed around by every wind of doctrine and likely give in to the demands of the culture. Knowing what we believe is not only a defense against heresy, but is solid ground in a wicked culture. Theological formation is one of the biggest needs within the church today. We need to know what we believe and by faith, believe it to be true!
As we read it together on Sundays, we will take the time to give a brief description from Scripture to explain the contents of the Apostle’s Creed. I pray that as we learn this confession of faith that has been read and recited numerous times throughout history by our brothers and sisters in Christ, our love for the Lord will be greatly enriched.
By His Grace,
The Apostles’ Creed: Discovering Authentic in an Age of Counterfeits by Albert Mohler Jr.
The Apostles’ Creed by R.C.Sproul