[PC-USA] 2006-08-17 - Basic Beliefs

Part 1 ~ Based on The Apostle's Creed

Beginning this week, I will be writing a series on what I believe is a good basic summary of bottom-line Christian belief. We'll see where the ideas came from - what Scripture verses the concepts originated from etc. for the Apostles' Creed. Hopefully we will all (myself included) learn from this series. I think it's good sometimes to examine our faith, and to really think through what we believe. As the Psalms reminds us, we should meditate on His word.

Before we begin, I would like to hopefully stave off some distress by explaining one word in the creed, which has caused trouble through the years. I know from your heartfelt letters that some of you have had very painful experiences with the Roman Catholic Church. Please be assured that in this creed, the phrase "holy catholic church" does not refer to the Roman Catholic church. The word catholic here is the adjective that simply means "universal." It refers to all who profess Christ as Savior; we Christians are the church. This isn't a "Roman Catholic" statement of beliefs. It is used by everyone from Baptists to Lutherans to Presbyterians to non-denominational churches to Catholics - as an affirmation and reminder of what we believe.

We'll start with the wording itself, as well as a little background.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Maker of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord.

Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.

He descended into hell.

The third day He arose again from the dead.
He ascended into Heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.

Amen.

It was called "The Apostles' Creed" because it was originally believed that the 12 Apostles wrote it. This isn't true but all the beliefs in it were held by those Apostles. It was written in the 8th century to refute Gnosticism. In the next couple months we will explore this creed and I welcome your feedback, "good, bad or ugly!"

To be continued.

Comments or Questions?
Jan

[email jan] cfdevpray@juno.com
http://www.cfdevotionals.org