Last week I was out with a couple of students. One of them was from a church that incorporated traditional elements in their worship services, such as readings and formal prayers and responses. The other was from a church that was more modern in expression. When the young man from the more traditional church mentioned that his church all recited the Apostles’ Creed, the other guy said, “What is the Apostles’ Creed?” Honestly, I would have been asking the same question 20 years ago. I had never heard of this rich and very important piece of Church history, which I now have tremendous respect for.
The Apostles’ Creed was not written by the Apostles, but embodies the essential doctrines they taught, and is the oldest summary we have of the core beliefs of the Christian faith. The Creed was created as a statement of faith to be used in worship, and first appears in history in the 4th century (390AD).
1. I believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
2. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
3. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
4. Under Pontius Pilate, He was crucified, died, and was buried.
5. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again.
6. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
7. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
8. I believe in the Holy Spirit,
9. the holy catholic (universal) Church, the communion of saints,
10. the forgiveness of sins,
11. the resurrection of the body,
12. and the life everlasting.
We would do well to memorize this tremendous declaration. Perhaps you would consider taking one line a day over the next two weeks to meditate on.