Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Need For The Creed

Our Lord Jesus Christ founded His Church upon the confession of faith of St. Peter. That confession made him the first rock, the first stone in the building of the Church. Peter attained that place because he was first to confess. "Flesh and blood did not reveal this, but My Father in heaven." God birthed faith in Peter and he confessed. "For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved," (Ro. 10:10 RSVCE).

Since then, many more have come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and, in confessing, so have been made part of Christ's one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. Over time, it has become necessary to clarify exactly what this saving faith is. Many have come along adding their own perspective and diluting that "one faith once for all delivered to the saints". The clarification that the Church has produced is known as the Creed.

In the very early days of the Church it was loosely known as the Rule of Faith. But by about 200 A.D. it took a form forever after known as the Apostle's Creed. This is still the baptismal Creed of the Church today. It is a succinct rendering of the essentials of the faith. To say that one believes in Jesus is to say he believes in the Creed. This is what Christians for centuries meant when they proclaimed faith in Jesus Christ. This is what was stated when they were baptized.

So what is this Creed? It reads as follows:

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord
He 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
The third day he arose again from the dead
He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty
From thence He shall 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 life everlasting

Now, I am no theologian. But I would like to break this down as best as I understand it. I welcome any input along the way. I will be posting in the next several days on the Creed.

Why the need for the Creed? Because, as it was in centuries past, so it remains today that, we need clarification as to what the Faith truly is. The Church has been the pillar and ground of truth from her inception (1 Tim. 3:15). She remains so to this day and ever shall be. The Creed is her succinct statement of truth. It's truth that we need in our day. We need to hear the concrete word of God spoken through the Church to bring clarity and perspective to the relativism of our modern era. I hope you will join me as we explore together what truth God has revealed through the Creed.

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