BELIEVE . . .
may have their individual feelings about creeds. Many churches have no use for a
creed of any kind and others routinely recite one of the Ecumenical Creeds as
part of their worship services. It matters not what people think about creeds,
but it does matter that people professing to be Christians believe
something—and that something must be scriptural and necessary to lead people
into a salvation experience through Jesus Christ. To have no belief system or to
believe just anything and call one’s self a Christian is the height of folly.
purpose of this book is not to encourage any person or church to adopt the
Apostles’ Creed as a basis for worship. The purpose is to acquaint the reader
with the fact of creeds and the Apostles’ Creed in particular. As Christians
we are responsible to “preach the gospel to every creature, teaching all
things I have commanded you.”
That responsibility makes each of us accountable to Christ for knowing and
understanding the faith so that we can effectively communicate it to the
study of theology is vitally important for those God calls to the ministry for
them to be able to deal with the difficulties and the nuances of differing
approaches to understanding and explaining the Bible. It is all too common that
Christians in the pews rely on their ministers to do all the thinking about and
explaining the doctrines of the faith. But, with the Christian faith under
attack and with a flood of religious broadcasting filling the airwaves, it is of
vital importance that each individual Christian be grounded in the essential
doctrines of the faith so as to be able to explain it to the unregenerate and to
defend themselves against false teachings that may rain down upon them from the
radio or the television—or knock on their front door.
this book nor the Apostles’ Creed is a deep theological work. The Creed
contains simple statements founded upon the Bible about the Christian faith. It
takes only a few seconds to recite the Creed, and it can be memorized quite
easily. This book explores the substance behind the articles of the Creed so
that the casual reader can understand why each of the articles of the Creed is
important in the faith. Furthermore, the reader should understand that the
articles of the Creed are not simply doctrinal statements, they are facts; facts
essential in understanding salvation from sin. So, without taking a seminary
course in theology, the Apostles’ Creed can help the average Christian explain
the faith to someone seeking salvation or to defend his beliefs against false
teachings floating through the air or knocking on the front door.
some Christians the idea of the congregation reciting the Apostles’ Creed
during a worship service may seem too formal and unspiritual. Others may feel
that observing the Creed is to set a limitation on what they are supposed to
believe. We certainly want our worship services to be Christ centered and our
preaching to be Bible centered, but even in the most elastic ways of conducting
church services, there is an element of form
and the preachers do not get in the pulpits and preach the entire Bible in every
message. Reciting the Apostles’ Creed during the worship service would
acquaint visitors with the fundamental beliefs of the Christian faith, giving
them a sense that the church actually believes something and possibly urge the
visitor to ask questions or seek further explanation of the beliefs.
book is not a plea for churches to recite the Apostles’ Creed in their worship
services; however, it may be an encouragement for them not to be afraid to use
the Creed as a teaching tool. It is certainly valuable for the average Christian
to use the Creed as an outline of what the faith is about and what the facts of
the faith actually mean. Christians must believe something, a credere, and in this sense each one has a creed. It just may be that
the Apostles’ Creed can be a creed for people who do not believe in creeds.
Combining Mark 16:15 and Matthew 28:20.
Such form may consist of opening prayer, congregational singing, receiving
an offering, more prayer, more singing, and preaching perhaps with an
altar-call following; or something similar.