The way I affirm my faith is by reciting and believing the words of the Apostles’ Creed. Many times I have been questioned as to the meaning and purpose of the Apostles’ Creed in worship. The words below are my small stab at what the Creed means to me, and what I mean when I refer to myself as an Apostles’ Creed Christian.
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth;
This beginning of the Creed sets forth our personal profession that we believe in God as Creator. We affirm that nothing was made that did not have His stamp on it. This does not mean we reject evolutionary change, but it does mean that we believe that our God started the process.
And in Jesus Christ, his only Son our Lord;
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
In this section we affirm Jesus as the Son of God, and not only a Son, but a self-creation of God through His Spirit. Mary, the virgin, was the vessel by which God brought Himself into the world.
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;
the third day he rose from the dead;
In these words we affirm that Jesus really did suffer and truly died. His suffering was brought by man, namely Pontius Pilate. This death was a means of victory for Him because He rose from the dead, and by this act overcame man’s greatest enemy, death.
he ascended into heaven,
and sitteth at the right hand of the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come again to judge the quick and the dead.
When Jesus rose from the dead He went to heaven as God sitting in the throne with equality to the Creator God. Because He is not only man but God as well and as such He will sit in judgment at the appointed time.
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.
After Jesus left the earth in the ascension, He said to His disciples that He would send a Comforter so that they would not be alone. That Comforter is the Holy Spirit, who is God’s real presence on earth. The word catholic means universal, and we are affirming that we belong to the universal church no matter what label we use. By affirming our belief in the communion of saints we are further asserting our belief that all who call upon Jesus are part of the Church. In the final three lines we express our faith in the plan of God to forgive, renew and reward those who have chosen to be a people of good will.
These few words are far from an exhaustive commentary on the Apostles Creed, but I hope that they can stand as a beginning point of faith. Next time you stand and recite this creed, I hope you will think of some of these thoughts.