“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 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.
2) Guide for teaching and preaching.
Because many doctrines of the Christian faith are not sketched out in a single section of the Bible (i.e. the incarnation of Christ, trinity, etc.), creeds are helpful by categorizing the biblical evidences and historical church teachings and arranging them in a simple way to understand and memorize. The creeds become helpful tools to teach and disciple others about the truths found in God’s Word.