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The Apostles Creed: What do I believe?

 

apostles creed

apostles creed

Why is it so difficult to tell others about our Christian faith? Are we really clear about what it is we hold to be true?

How do we tell others about the mysteries at the heart of our faith: that God became flesh and blood to die on a cross in order to save us from our sins – that God the Father, Jesus as the Son, and God’s Holy Spirit are separate persons yet somehow in a relationship of unity that defies explanation?

The early church also wrestled with these questions of what constitutes the basics of the gospel, and so evolved various statements of belief that attempted to encapsulate the essence of what it means to be a Christian.

Such statements of belief, called creeds, were important for the induction of converts into the church in a formal way through baptism.

A creed summarises what is commonly held to be true by the wider Christian church regardless of denomination. The word creed comes from the Latin credo (I believe). Creeds are helpful, but don’t tell us everything about God.

This week we look briefly at the Apostles Creed, probably the best-known of the universal creeds of the church. We’ll see how this Creed hints at the threefold nature of God, touching on different aspects of our faith such as the meaning of church, the humanity of Jesus, judgement, forgiveness, resurrection, and eternal life.

When we say together the Apostles Creed or the Nicene Creed in our worship services, we are standing in solidarity publicly declaring our commonality in Christ. And that’s a mighty act of prayer and unity!

 

1 Corinthians 15:1-21   The Resurrection of Christ

1Now I should remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, 2through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you—unless you have come to believe in vain.

3 For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8Last of all, as to someone untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace towards me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them—though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come to believe.

The Resurrection of the Dead

12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? 13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; 14and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. 15We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ—whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. 17If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. 19If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. 21For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being;

 

Matthew 28:16-20 [NRSV] The Commissioning of the Disciples

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’