Is the Apostles Creed Christian?


2 Timothy 1:13-14

NASB

13 Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.

1 Timothy 3:16

16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:

God was manifested in the flesh,
Justified in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Preached among the Gentiles,
Believed on in the world,
Received up in glory.


Brethren, yes, the creed is Christian, and I believe what it affirms and you do. The Roman Catholic Church didn’t invent it and doesn’t own it. It was a confession of the early Church. Not everything that Rome affirms is wrong (the Deity of Christ), and not everything that uses the word ‘catholic’ (small ‘c’) is Roman Catholic. Since you love the truth, I encourage you to read the linked article by Phillip Schaff. Though no creed can be complete, the truths the Apostles Creed declares are Biblical. Only the Bible itself is inspired and is the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27). 


From: The Creeds of Christendom by Dr. Philip Schaff

Click this link to read the rest of the history of The Apostles Creed.

[Please don’t let the Latin put you off.]

“The Apostles’ Creed, or Symbolum Apostolicum, is, as to its form, not the production of the apostles, as was formerly believed, but an admirable popular summary of the apostolic teaching, and in full harmony with the spirit and even the letter of the New Testament.

Character and Value – As the Lord’s Prayer is the Prayer of prayers, the Decalogue the Law of laws, so the Apostles’ Creed is the Creed of creeds. It contains all the fundamental articles of the Christian faith necessary to salvation, in the form of facts, in simple Scripture language, and in the most natural order – the order of revelation – from God and the creation down to the resurrection and life everlasting. It is Trinitarian, and divided into three chief articles, expressing faith – in God the Father, the Maker of heaven and earth, in his only Son, our Lord and Saviour, and in the Holy Spirit (in Deum Patrem, in Jesum Christum, in Spiritum Sanctum); the chief stress being laid on the second article, the supernatural birth, death, and resurrection of Christ. Then, changing the language (credo in for credo with the simple accusative), the Creed professes to believe ‘the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the remission of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.’ It is by far the best popular summary of the Christian faith ever made within so brief a space. It still surpasses all later symbols for catechetical and liturgical purposes, especially as a profession of candidates for baptism and church membership. It is not a logical statement of abstract doctrines, but a profession of living facts and saving truths. It is a liturgical poem and an act of worship. Like the Lord’s Prayer, it loses none of its charm and effect by frequent use, although, by vain and thoughtless repetition, it may be made a martyr and an empty form of words. It is intelligible and edifying to a child, and fresh and rich to the profoundest Christian scholar, who, as he advances in age, delights to go back to primitive foundations and first principles. It has the fragrance of antiquity and the inestimable weight of universal consent. It is a bond of union between all ages and sections of Christendom. It can never be superseded for popular use in church and school.

At the same time, it must be admitted that the very simplicity and brevity of this Creed, which so admirably adapt it for all classes of Christians and for public worship, make it insufficient as a regulator of public doctrine for a more advanced stage of theological knowledge. As it is confined to the fundamental articles, and expresses them in plain Scripture terms, it admits of an indefinite expansion by the scientific mind of the Church. Thus the Nicene Creed gives clearer and stronger expression to the doctrine of Christ’s divinity against the Arians, the Athanasian Creed to the whole doctrine of the Trinity and of Christ’s person against the various heresies of the post-­Nicene age. The Reformation Creeds are more explicit on the authority and inspiration of the Scriptures and the doctrines of sin and grace, which are either passed by or merely implied in the Apostles’ Creed.”


Brethren, we are indebted to believers who lived before us, and shouldn’t think we can do without their labors and insights. Remember what is said here,  

By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks. 

Hebrews 11:4

 


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“You cannot separate Christianity from its ancient creeds. In fact, every true Christian adheres to the ancient creeds of the church, whether he knows it or not . . . . Creeds are concise doctrinal summaries of the doctrines of Scripture, and are subordinate to Scripture as our only infallible rule for faith and life . . . . If we are true Christians who have put our trust in the Christ of the Bible, it is impossible for us not to affirm the church’s ancient creedal statements on the Bible’s teaching. What’s more, we are living in a day when we must not only affirm them but defend them against the onslaught of heretical teachings about the person and work of Jesus Christ.”
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Dr. Burk Parsons, Senior Pastor of Saint Andrews Chapel, Sanford, Florida
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THE APOSTLES’ CREED

“The Apostles’ Creed is the oldest creed of the Christian church and is the basis for others, such as the Nicene Creed, that followed. The Apostles’ Creed, although not written by the apostles, goes back in its oldest form to at least AD 140. 

*The word ‘catholic’ with a lower case ‘c’ refers to the universal church worldwide.”

I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried. He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sits on 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; the holy catholic* Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.


 

 

Our Treasure! Jesus, our Great High Priest


Hebrews 2:14-18

nkjv

14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. 17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.

🌿

Hebrews 7

20 And inasmuch as He was not made priest without an oath 21 (for they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath by Him who said to Him:

“The Lord has sworn
And will not relent,
‘You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek’”),

22 by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.

23 Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. 24 But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.


I’m so grateful that Pastor Sproul wrote his Statement about the Lord, and that he rejected compromise, refusing to sign documents such as “Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT)”. There are many men whose love and faith and ministry for the Lord aren’t as visible but just as genuine and acceptable to Him. The difference with R.C. was that he could have caused so many people to stumble because of his sphere of influence. To God alone be the glory!


The LIGONIER STATEMENT on CHRISTOLOGY

Affirmations & Denials:

ARTICLE 24

We affirm that Jesus Christ is our Great High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, having made the perfect sacrifice of Himself on our behalf and continuing to intercede for us before the Father. We affirm that Jesus Christ is both the subject and object of the supreme atoning sacrifice.

We deny that Jesus Christ, being from the tribe of Judah and not from the tribe of Levi, is disqualified from serving as our priest. We deny that He continually offers Himself as a sacrifice in the Mass as victim and priest, even in an unbloody manner. We deny that He became a priest only in heaven and was not a priest on earth.


BIBLICAL REFERENCES
For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him (Heb. 9:24–28).

See also John 1:36; 19:28–30; Acts 8:32; 1 Cor. 5:7; Heb. 2:17–18; 4:14–16; 7:25; 10:12, 26; 1 Peter 1:19; Rev. 5:6, 8, 12–13; 6:1, 16; 7:9–10, 14, 17; 8:1; 12:11; 13:8; 15:3.

 


 

Our Treasure!


John 1

nkjv

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

~

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.


Browse the Ligonier Statement pages to mine for more riches!


The
Word
Made
Flesh

The LIGONIER STATEMENT on CHRISTOLOGY

We confess the mystery and wonder of God made flesh and rejoice in our great salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord.

With the Father and the Holy Spirit, the Son created all things, sustains all things, and makes all things new. Truly God, He became truly man, two natures in one person.

He was born of the Virgin Mary and lived among us. Crucified, dead, and buried, He rose on the third day, ascended to heaven, and will come again in glory and judgment.

For us, He kept the Law, atoned for sin, and satisfied God’s wrath. He took our filthy rags and gave us His righteous robe.

He is our Prophet, Priest, and King, building His church, interceding for us, and reigning over all things.

Jesus Christ is Lord; we praise His holy Name forever.

Amen.


Amen!

HT: Roderick Ramchand, Gleaning from the Puritans Facebook page


 

Modern Church History – important documents, Cambridge Declaration

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Jeremiah 6:16

NKJV

16 Thus says the Lord:

“Stand in the ways and see,
And ask for the old paths, where the good way is,
And walk in it;
Then you will find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.

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Cambridge Declaration

“The gospel declares what God has done for us in Christ. It is not about what we can do to reach him.”


Under “Creeds and Confessions” at Theopedia.com, I found the Cambridge Declaration in a very readable format. Theopedia.com introduces the Declaration in this way:

“Formulated April 20, 1996, by a group of conservative evangelical theologians and pastors, The Cambridge Declaration of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is a call to recover the historic Christian faith. The Five Solas of the sixteenth century Protestant Reformation form the outline of the declaration.”.


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Cambridge Declaration of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals

“Evangelical churches today are increasingly dominated by the spirit of this age rather than by the Spirit of Christ. As evangelicals, we call ourselves to repent of this sin and to recover the historic Christian faith…”

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For Study:

(This isn’t necessarily an endorsement of all the views of these authors or organizations.)

Reformation Essentials – Five Pillars of the Reformation by Michael Horton

Recovering Reformation Theology: Rejecting Synergism and Returning to Monergism by Bob DeWaay

The Five Solas of the Reformation: A Brief Statement by Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D.

Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals’ posting of the Declaration

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Four minutes of your time:

James Montgomery Boice: “Here we stand”

 

Quote of the day – The Hungarian Reformed Confessio Catholica (1562)

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Magyar - Dunabogdány - református templom belseje - Szajci's work“The law makes promises on an impossible condition of doing because it binds fulfillment of the promises to our strength—if you will do it (Phil. 1, 2; Heb. 2, 3; 1 Thess. 5; John 6; Eph. 1, 2). The condition of the gospel (if you believe) is just as impossible for us as that of the law. For God, however, who by grace forms faith in us through the Holy Spirit for the sake of Christ, it is possible, since He who commands, who lays down the condition, likewise will effect it, and grace will work from both sides. The law, however, only commands, but does not act from both sides (Augustine, [Books] 3, 5, 7)” (as found in James T. Dennison, Jr., Reformed Confessions of the 16th and 17th Centuries in English Translation: 1552-1566 (2010) 2:471-72).

The Hungarian Reformed Confessio Catholica (1562) on Covenant Condition

Source: Kerux

HT: The Antipas Chronicles and COVENANTER REFORMATION, who taught me that this document exists.

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