When admiring a new building, few comment on the attention to detail in the foundation providing the strength on which the rest of the structure is dependent. Christian faith will always be sourced in the Bible as the rule of faith and practice. However, there is a shorter document that has provided many specific points of Christian belief since around 390 A.D.
The Apostles’ Creed expressed twelve simple statements, creating the church’s foundation that has weathered the centuries. It is the meaningful but enduring structure on which the rest of the church is built. Even though churches may have different beliefs “above ground,” under the surface is a unifying foundation of the Apostles’ Creed that has stood the test of time and has great significance today.
The Standard of Biblical Belief
Exploring the challenges of the early church, similar struggles with false teaching and heresies were cropping up daily. Whether revealed as doctrinal challenges, defense of truth, or attacks on the inerrancy of the Bible, the church has had to stand on specific truths.
Paul admonished that a key attribute to spiritual maturity is that:
“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming” — Ephesians 4:14, NIV
Interestingly, this still occurs today. Cunning and crafty people are trying to dilute or pervert the purity of God’s Word given to men. These teachings drive divisive and deceptive philosophies into God’s plan of relationship and worship. As a godly father counsels his son in how to live, the words of our forefathers are imperative to encourage and direct us more than ever.
The Compass for the Clear Direction
Prior to taking a compass bearing when orienteering, one must first establish a clearly recognized starting point. The Apostles’ Creed was never meant to be exhaustive or stand alone, but to consistently give guidance to assure that the direction of the church is on course. It points the compass in the right direction in belief so our behaviors can align with God’s plan. We can go back to this Creed and clearly evaluate our beliefs in light of the whole council of the Bible. We know where we are going as a church because we can clearly see where we began.
Embracing My Compass in Life
This summer, for our Theology Thursday series, we are going to look deeper at the meaning and value of the Apostles’ Creed to our Christian faith. This series will provide inspiration and encouragement as you comprehend the deep conviction and legacy left by our early church fathers. Every week builds on the last and these principles will show how this consistent and firm foundation has allowed many different churches and denominations to grow, being unified on the essentials and focused into the future.
This will be meaningful and affirming to your faith, giving you an appreciation of all the prayer and sacrifice that has been offered centuries ago so we can be doctrinally confident today.
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