Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Apostle's Creed, Part 1

“I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell. The third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.”

The Apostle’s Creed is considered the oldest of the church creeds. The word “creed” comes from the Latin credo which means “I believe.” When the church began, it became fertile ground for heresy and false doctrine, so the early church leaders needed to set parameters of what it means to be a Christian. Though creeds are not the Word of God, they are helpful for three reasons:

1) Church liturgy.
Teachers and disciples needed to know the bare minimum of what Scripture says about certain teachings of the Bible. When someone wanted to be a Christian or be baptized, they were questioned about the Christian faith: “What does it mean to be a Christian? Who is Jesus Christ? Who is God?” What are the necessary answers that one needed to confirm and believe in order to be a Christian and develop a solid Christian life.

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