Creeds and Confessions

Creeds and Confessions

Have you ever wondered what you really believe in? Or called to account for your faith, to make a stand on what you believe in.... and then not knowing where to begin, not knowing what Christianity encompasses, where it begins and ends and beyond which is not Christianity but cultic or pagan?

Well, our spiritual forefathers had the same problem, and they came up with a series of creeds and confessions, which basically, are concise statements of the Christian faith. The Latin word "Credo", from which we get the English word "Creed", means "I Believe..."

Each creed or confession has been carefully worded from the Bible, defining points which were or may be a source of contention and error.   Each were, to some extent, formulated to counter the heresies of their respective eras.

For example, the Apostles' Creed was formulated to counter the Gnostics, who believed that Christ did not die, or other heretics, who said that Christ did not rise from the dead. Thus we have the statement "Was crucified, dead and buried; ...The third day He rose again from the dead".

The Nicene Creed, on the other hand, was formulated to counter the Arians, who said that Jesus was not God but behaving like God (similar to today's Jehovah's Witnesses).   Hence the Nicene creed states "true God from true God, ...of one Being with the Father".   The original Greek (in which the Creed was written) makes it even more clear. It states that the Son is homo-ousion with the Father, i.e. of the same essential being as God; and not homo-iousion, which the Arians claim as being "something like".

Now, why would we bother to go and study something written hundreds of years ago?   Can't our faith today carry us through?   Well... what is faith if we do not know what we should believe in in the first place?   Do we know what is sound Biblical doctrine, or do we just rely on second-hand knowledge passed down by itinerant preachers?   How so?   We have already seen the damage the insertion of a single "i" would have caused in the Nicene Creed.   How much more so for lay people like us who know less or are not willing to learn more?   After all, Jesus did warn us in Matthew 24:24 that many would come in His name and deceive even the elect.   So, if you want a framework around which to begin your study of the foundations the Christian doctrine, may I suggest the following few Creeds and Confessions.   They are by no means complete, but they are the historical ones around which most of the modern Bible-believing and evangelical churches and denominations have based their statement of faiths.   I have also included Luther's famous 95 thesis as an interesting reading.   Have fun reading, and more importantly, do take to heart and understand the essence of the Creeds.

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Let me know if there are more Creeds and Confessions which you would like to see here

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