This Sunday we begin our summer sermon series on the Apostles’ Creed. The creed was first developed in the late fourth century to help believers unite around core, essential aspects of Christian faith. More than a millennium before Gutenberg’s printing press statements like the creed helped to unite Christians who might never have read scripture themselves. Moreover, many of the statements in the creed were intended to counteract the propositions of various cults that had infiltrated Christianity at the time.
Today, we all have access to scripture for ourselves and many of the heresies that distressed the church in those days have passed away (though other heresies, such as Gnosticism, are alive and well in different forms). So what is the value of the Apostles’ Creed today?
The Apostles’ Creed is worth knowing today perhaps more than ever. In a time when our relentless individualism suggests that each person should arrive at his or her own conclusions about Scripture, the creed gives us a historically proven way to study scripture. The creed is, in many ways, a distillation of scripture; each of the statements within the creed may not represent a particular chapter and verse, but each statement is rooted in a recurring truth within Scripture as a whole.
Further, the creed helps us to identify the core beliefs of the Christian faith, giving all Christian denominations a common reference point. In a world that so desperately needs the Gospel, churches of every kind need to find ways to rally together, finding unity in what is essential, and offering charity in all else; the creed helps us to identify what is essential.
We hope you join us in studying and memorizing the creed this summer.
Here is a musical setting which may be helpful as you memorize the creed:
July 2: Rev. Dr. Kelvin Mutter: Introduction to the Apostles’ Creed
July 9: Rev. Michael Bowyer: "I believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth."
July 16: Michael Gabizon: "I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary"
July 23: Rev. Dr. Lane Fusilier: "Suffered under Pontious Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; He Des died to the dead. On the third day He rose again;"
July 30: Phil Strickland: "He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father,"
August 6: Dr. Phil Shadd: "He will come to judge the living and the dead."
August 13: Dr. Malcolm Sears: "I believe in the Holy Spirit"
August 20: Dr. Thomas Power: "The holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints"
August 27: Rev. Dr. Kelvin Mutter: "the forgiveness of sins,"
September 3: Rev. Dr. Lane Fusilier: "The resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting, Amen"
-by Jesse Hill