This week has talked a lot about correct doctrine, how believing the right things will lead us to truth. So, today, I wanted to share with you two of our main creeds as Christians that tell us exactly who Jesus is, what we know to be true, and are the foundations of correct doctrine.
Correct doctrine (or belief) is so important because it leads to correct living. If you know the fullness of who Jesus is, you understand how you are loved and how you are called to love others. Correct doctrine teaches us who God is, who we are, and who our neighbors are. It shows us the correct way to live and serve others. It gives us an intellectual and moral compass.
In one of my favorite classes from seminary, we read the Gospel of John together as a class. We took notes as we read and each week in class we’d read our notes together and everything that we wrote down that fell outside the creeds was erased. These creeds provide for us the guardrails. They define for us who Jesus is, which is the most important thing. The centrality of Jesus is truly the lynchpin of our faith. When we have that down, everything else falls into place.
So, I’d like to share with you the two main historic creeds of the church, the Nicene and Apostles Creed. Even churches that don’t “confess” the creeds believe in the truth found there within them. I’d encourage you today to take a moment to read through these creeds, and not just today, but each day. These statements are beautiful to me and point us to God’s revealed truth.
The Nicene Creed
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.
Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.
And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
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 Ghost,
born of the Virgin Mary
suffered under Pontius Pilate;
was crucified, dead and buried.
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 shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost
I believe in the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
And the life everlasting. Amen.
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