Christians around the world recite either the Apostles Creed or the Nicene Creed regularly during their church services.
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What is a Creed?
The term ‘creed’ originates from the Latin word ‘credo,’ meaning ‘I believe and trust’. So, creeds are summaries of belief. In the early ages of Christianity, there were many conflicting opinions in the Church regarding the divinity of Jesus Christ. So, the church developed these statements of belief that cover how to address God, the virgin birth, an examination of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, his role as the judge, the role of the Triune God, the role of the church, the remission of sins, and eternal life.
We will now look at the two important creeds — the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed — that are used as a profession of faith by Christians.
The Apostles Creed
It is the earliest of the creeds and the name was given because it was believed to encompass the basic teaching of the 12 apostles, Jesus Christ’s earliest followers. This creed thought to have been formulated in the first or second century provides a lucid summary of Christian faith and formed the basis for later creeds. It is a summary of the church’s teachings and Christians’ beliefs.
The Nicene Creed
The Nicene Creed originally developed in 325 A.D. at the council of Nicaea is one of the most common creeds used in Christianity. Later it was revised at the council of Constantinople in 381 to refute the Arian heresy which asserted that Christ was subordinate to God. The Nicene creed unquestionably states that Christ is eternal and part of the trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This creed also uses the same threefold structure as that of the Apostles’ Creed, however, it goes into more depth and detail.
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 Spirit;
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 to heaven;
And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit;
The holy christian church;
The communion of saints;
The forgiveness of sins;
The resurrection of the body;
And the life everlasting. Amen.
We 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 His Father before all ages,
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, and 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 sitteth on the right hand of the Father,
And He shall come again with glory,
to judge both the living and the dead,
Whose kingdom shall have no end.
And We believe in the Holy Spirit,
The Lord, the giver of life,
Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son,
Who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified,
Who spake by the prophets,
And We believe in one holy universal church,
We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins,
And We look for the resurrection of the dead,
And the life of the world to come. Amen.
7 Reasons Why the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed are Virtuous
- They outline the truths of our faith and set out concisely the key Biblical doctrines.
- They teach the truth and guards us against errors.
- They maintain traditional teaching and provide rules and standards for those following Jesus Christ.
- They guide the church in worship and help confess our faith in the Holy Triune God.
- They connect us to the faith of our beloved forefathers who worshiped the Lord in spirit and truth.
- They avoid people to unnecessarily reinvent theological education and understandings of modern moral issues.
- They summarize our faith in God and define unity among Christians.
So, let us say the Apostles creed and the Nicene creed with all our hearts and strengthen ourselves in the faith.