Ancient Advent Mediation #7 : The Apostle’s Creed on Christ’s First Advent

Introduction: What is a Creed?

Dr. Michael Horton in his monumental work: “The Christian Faith, A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way”, page 215, summarizes the meaning of the word “creed”: “From the Latin credo (“I believe”), a creed is simply  a summary of the church’s faith.” Horton goes on to note how the word “faith” is used to describe “the faith” that is believed while elsewhere it speaks of the personal act of believing – the faith by which we believe.

Certainly the Christian faith rests upon the premise of God’s miraculous intervention and entryway into history.  The beginning of our universe is miraculous in nature, being that God created the visible and invisible realms by verbal decree out of nothing.  As we survey the many miracles throughout the Bible, we discover that the Bible itself is a miraculous book in that The Holy Ghost could Author and superintend words without error through God prophets and then Apostles who sinned.

The Incarnation represents the miracle in which the Fully Divine Son made entry way into our space-time universe.  Every major creed, confession and doctrinal statement made by Christians throughout the ages that reflected upon summarizing the inerrant scriptures affirmed repeatedly the belief in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ as Immanuel, God with us and as the Word – God in the Human flesh. In today’s Ancient Advent Mediation, I cannot think of any greater creed to use for this seventh ancient advent mediation than the famed “Apostle’s creed”.

Among all of the various creeds, confessions and doctrinal statements used through the Christian Church for the past two millennia, none are used as often as a standard summary of the Christian faith outside the scriptures than the Apostle’s Creed. The following quote from Church historian Phillip Schaff on the Apostle Creed is found at the link: http://christianbookshelf.org/various/the_apostles_creed_/apostles_creed.htm

“Philip Schaff, in his Creeds of Christendom, writes of the Apostles’ Creed, “As the Lord’s Prayer is the Prayer of prayers, the Decalogue is 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.” [1] The simple doctrinal statements within this creed are clear and concise, and their meaning cannot be misconstrued.”

The following version of the creed below derives from the same website link: http://christianbookshelf.org/various/the_apostles_creed_/apostles_creed.htm.        The line that is pertinent to this Advent Season will be in bold italicized print.  May the Lord richly bless the reader of this post today!

The Apostle’s Creed on Christ’s First Advent

“I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth”

And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten 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 at 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

I believe a holy catholic [2] church; the communion of saints

The forgiveness of sins

The resurrection of the body

And the life everlasting. Amen.”


Footnotes:

[1] Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom, Volume 1: The History of Creeds, pp 14-15.(Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books) 1983.

[2] The term “Catholic” is not in reference to the Roman Catholic Church.  Rather the term “Catholic” is from the Greek word “catholikos” and means “general, the Church universal, the Church the world over.”

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About pastormahlon

By the grace of God I was converted to saving faith in Jesus Christ at the age of 10 and called into the Gospel ministry by age 17. Through the Lord's grace I completed a Bachelors in Bible at Lancaster Bible College in 1996 and have been married to my beautiful wife since that same year. We have been blessed with four children, ranging from 7-18 years of age. In 2002 the Lord enabled me to complete a Master of Arts in Christian Thought at Biblical Theological Seminary, Hatfield PA. For nearly 25 years I have been preaching and teaching God's Word and have been studying the original languages since 1994. In 2016 God called my family and me to move to begin a pastorate at a wonderful Southern Baptist Congregation here in Northern New York.
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