NCC 31 – What Do We Believe By True Faith?

Creeds have been used throughout Christian and Baptist history to identify core beliefs and unify believers. The Apostles Creed was created to identify the essential beliefs of the Christian faith (i.e. what all Christians should believe). While the creed is called the Apostles Creed, it was not written by the Apostles; in fact, the creed was not written until the third century. Rather, the creed was meant to be a faithful summary of the apostles’ teachings from Scripture. The creed developed over a period of five hundred years, from the mid-third century to the mid-eighth century. The creed consists of three sections: God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit. But while there is Trinitarian teaching, the creed is more gospel than Trinity. In the creed we find God the creator, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and salvation leading to eternal life. The one noticeable omission is the response of man. The creed, though, is focused on God’s activity in salvation through the Trinity, so it is not surprising that there is no mention of man. As such, the Apostles Creed serves as a basic summary of the gospel. The creed is not only saturated with the gospel, but it is also saturated with Scripture, taking many phrases directly from the Bible. Therefore, believers should not shy away from the use of the Apostles Creed, but rather confess it joyfully alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ from the last two thousand years.

Everything taught to us in the gospel. The Apostles’ Creed expresses what we believe in these words: We believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and 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…The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into 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. We 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.

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