Why You Should Know The Apostles’ Creed

Does your church recite a creed during its worship service?

Growing up as a Pentecostal Christian, the churches I attended never did. I was never taught about the historic creeds of our faith. I’m not even sure I ever heard the word creed. Creeds—historic confessions of faith—weren’t valued as part of the ideal worship service. That ideal was all about experience, i.e. feeling an intense emotion, chiefly via music or prayer with music playing.

But, I have come to believe that there are far more valuable and spiritual aspects of biblical worship. For example, a congregational confession of faith using a historic creed or catechism. The creed identifies what we believe, who we belong to, who we hope in, and binds us together as belonging to the one body of Christ.

Each Sunday, the pastor helps the congregation prepare to receive the bread and wine by asking, “Christian, what do you believe?” In response, we often recite the Apostles’ Creed—so much so, that many in the congregation have it memorized. And really, that’s the intent of a creed: to help all believers commit the essentials of biblical faith to memory.

When we recite the Apostle’s Creed it reminds us that we are part of the great story of redemption that encompasses all our lives and all of history since The Garden. My faith is refreshed, and I am often moved with emotion as I consider in my heart and confess with my mouth who God is and what Christ has done.

Do you know the Apostles’ Creed? I encourage you to memorize it and use in your private devotions. Study the truths it holds. Use it in your public worship. Encourage your Christian friends and churches to unite around it.

Here it is:

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,

Maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
On 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 thence 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.

If I had been with those who wrote the confession 16-or-so centuries ago, I could wish that I might suggest a minor addition or two:

“What about and Savior after the word, Lord?”

“Should we mention anything about Jesus’ perfect, righteous life?”

If you want to study the Apostles’ Creed to gain a richer understanding of what you’re confessing, read J. I. Packer’s Affirming the Apostles’ Creed. Packer is an emminent and pastoral theologian, and wonderful to read.

We share one faith, one hope, one body of Christ.

May your faith be strengthened today as you believe with your heart and confess with your mouth:

Jesus is Lord.

 

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Sunday Call to Worship: Give Thanks to the Lord

PSALM 107:1-2

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
2Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble.

DOCTRINE

The psalmist sings out the call for God’s redeemed people to come before Him with gratitude in their hearts and on their lips. Why?—Three reasons.

—Because His character is all goodness.

—Because His covenant love for the redeemed is steadfast and enduring.

—Because of His redemptive work to save them from many troubles.

CALL TO WORSHIP

Come before the Lord, our Redeemer with thankful hearts and joyful songs!

Give thanks that He is good, and has been good to His people. Give thanks for His constant love, which will never fail, nor turn away from those He has redeemed.

Sunday Call to Worship: The Lord Is Robed in Majesty

The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed; he has put on strength as his belt. Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved. Your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting.—Psalm 93:1-2

DOCTRINE

The Psalmist uses the metaphor of a mighty King in majestic robes, seated on an ancient throne to depict God’s rule over the world.

His rule is almighty, everlasting, unchallenged. His majesty embodies all power, all dignity, eternity, and beauty. The whole world is established by His word and subject to His command. Nothing can thwart his power.

CALL TO WORSHIP

Doesn’t such majesty arouse adoration and praise?

As you prepare for church, use the words of Psalm 93 to meditate on God’s great power, dignity and beauty. Consider the power of His command, that at His word all things exist and are established. Remember that He rules in heaven and earth.

Come, let us bow before the Almighty, and adore His beauty. Come, let us worship and bow down.