CREED: A Sermon Series

CREED: A Sermon Series

Everyone believes in something or someone. You may have a friend who believes in herself. Others may say she’s not smart enough, or strong enough, or good enough but she believes she can do “it” and so she pushes forward. Truth be told, she has accomplished a lot by her self-faith. You may have a relative who is upset about the way the world is heading. He believes in his political party, or at least a particular political candidate. He has faith that the right person in office can fix our economic, social, and moral woes. Perhaps you know others who believe in education, or in financial success, or in spiritual enlightenment, or in works righteousness. Whatever it may be, everyone believes in something or someone and they serve that something or someone with their lives. As Christians we believe in God. What do we mean when we say that? How might we summarize the objective truths of our faith?

By the Apostles?

The Apostles’ Creed is one of the oldest summaries of the truths  of the Christian Faith in existence. It is not found in the Scriptures in its constituted form, but it does consist of doctrines found within the Word of God. Its authorship is not directly attributable to the apostles as a group, nor to any particular apostle of Christ, but it is consistent with their teaching. It seems to have been developed over the first two to three centuries of the Church’s existence. Many of the tenets of the Creed were asked of baptismal candidates as early as 75 A.D. Around 200 A.D., Tertullian referred to something he called “the old Roman creed,” which was nearly identical to the Apostles’ Creed.

Foundational and Unifying

Al Mohler says, “The Apostles’ Creed is a narrative summary of the Christian faith… it points out the fact that even though we believe that every word of the Bible is the inerrant and infallible word  of God, we are in need of a summary to help people understand what the essence of the Gospel is. The Apostles’ Creed is just that kind of summary… [It] helps us to say everything we have to say in order to say enough to communicate the Gospel.”

As Mohler points out, the Apostles’ Creed is not exhaustive in its scope of doctrinal truths. There are creeds, confessions, and catechisms that are far more extensive in their treatment of the doctrines of Christianity (see our own Westminster Confession of Faith with its accompanying Larger and Shorter Catechisms). The Creed is content to simply and concisely affirm the truths of our faith, such as the doctrine of God (each person of the trinity being mentioned, with the focus being on the person of Christ), the doctrine of the Church, and the doctrine of salvation. These truths are foundational in that they are the core tenets of our faith upon which or from which other doctrines are logically based or deduced. The Creed is unifying in that it expresses what we, the Church, divided as we seem to be by numerous doctrinal differences, know to be the heart of the Christian Faith.

During the course of this sermon series, the tenets of the Creed will be preached each week from various Scriptures. Our hope is that as we expound these foundational and unifying truths from the Bible we will each grow in our understanding of who God is and who He has made us to be by grace through faith in Christ, while instilling in us a greater delight in Jesus and in the Gospel.