This weekend we begin a new sermon series entitled “We Believe.” We will take the next 12-weeks to unpack some of the basic historic Christian beliefs and doctrine contained in the Apostles’ Creed, which is the earliest of the Christian creeds dating back to between 120-180 A.D.
A creed is a concise statement of faith used to list essential truths, to clarify doctrinal distinctives, and to distinguish truth from error. The word creed comes from the Latin word credo and means, “I believe.” The Bible contains a number of creed-like passages. For example, The Shema, based on Deuteronomy 6:4-9, is used as a creed. Paul wrote a number of simple creed-like statements in his letters (see 1 Corinthians 8:6; 12:3 and 15:3-4). 1 Timothy 3:16 also appears to be a creed, or a portion of a creed that was circulating among the churches. We could also identify The Lord’s’ Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) as a creed. Not only was it meant to be prayed but it is also meant to describe and teach us some basic concepts about prayer — What does it mean for God to be “our” Father? “Hallowed” means we are to reverence and worship God. We are to long for God’s Kingdom to come in fullness. Etc…
As the early church spread, there was a very practical need for a statement of faith to help believers focus on the most important doctrines of their Christian faith. The Apostles’ Creed was not written by the Apostles’ but was written to reflect the essential teaching of the Apostles. As the church grew, heresies also grew, and the early Christians needed to clarify the defining boundaries of their faith. Here at CCC we view this series as an opportunity to review and teach the basic doctrines of our Christian faith.
This weekend we will be considering the theological and practical implications of the first two words of the Apostles’ Creed: “I believe” by looking at Romans 10:9-10…
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” (English Standard Version, emphasis added)
We will also turn the corner and describe, specifically, the pathway (or order) of salvation.
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary:
Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into hell:
The third day He rose again from the dead:
He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:
From there He shall come to judge the living and the dead:
I believe in the Holy Spirit:
I believe in the holy [universal] church: the communion of believers:
The forgiveness of sins:
The resurrection of the body:
And the life everlasting. Amen.