The Apostles Creed (Introduction)
“Christian, what do you believe?” Every week during our worship service, I ask this question. From the oldest member to the youngest, we recite these words together:
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
Maker 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;
he descended to hell.
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.
I 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. Amen.
By reciting them week after week, these words may become rote, mechanical. Reciting the creed is like reciting your multiplication tables or state capitals or the alphabet. Of course, few suggest those things aren’t important (except maybe the state capitals) … the alphabet and the multiplication tables are foundations for what is to come. In the same way, when we recite the Creed, we recite the foundations, foundations which will serve us well as Christians when we encounter trials and temptations.
And just as we distinguish between letters in the alphabet or between the 2s table and the 7s table in multiplication, it is very important to know what each of these words that make up the Creed mean. With this in mind, I believe it would be fruitful to have this year’s Seedling articles focus on the details of the Creed. May the LORD bless that effort and may we all be encouraged and strengthened in our faith.
One more thing. By saying the Creed weekly, something else is accomplished. Visitors will receive a clear declaration of what they have walked into, i.e., what these people believe. It is a sort of witness to the world. I hope you see it that way and will always declare the truths contained in the Creed with a joyful, evangelistic heart.