What is the Relationship between the Bible and Creeds?

What is truth?

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Creed: comes from the Latin “credo” (“I believe”). So, as Christians throughout history have discovered, when trying to state what is the content of the faith, creeds serve as a convenient summary of the Christian faith. Often I hear people who are unfamiliar with the Creeds of the church say something like, “I believe only the Bible, not a man-made creed.” The implication is that the creeds somehow detract from or degrade our statement of faith. One time a church put on its newsletter in large letters, “We are anti-creedal!” Then it listed twenty statements of what it believed! The pastor (who wrote it) unwittingly showed that creeds are part of our faith, whether acknowledged or not.

In light of that, many years ago I prepared the following to be used in Bible class and catechism instruction. Each statement of the Creed is matched with a Biblical verse. See how you do.

Apostles Creed

(   ) I believe in God, the Father Almighty, ( ) Maker of heaven and earth,

(   ) and in Jesus Christ, His only Son,
(   ) our Lord, (   ) who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, (   ) born of the virgin Mary,
(   ) suffered under Pontius Pilate, (   ) was crucified, (   ) died, (   ) and was buried.
(   ) He descended into hell. (   ) On 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 there He will come to judge the living and the dead.

(   ) I believe in the Holy Spirit, (   ) the Holy Christian Church, (   ) the communion of saints,
(   ) the forgiveness of sins, (   ) the resurrection of the body, (   ) and the life everlasting. Amen.

Bible Passages

1  Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. Luke 24:51

2 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes … Luke 2:7

3  [Jesus said:] “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18

4  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

5  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace  Ephesians 1:7

6   [Jesus said:] “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.” John 6:47

7  which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1:20–23

8  [Peter said:] “Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, Acts 10:40

9  But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.”  Matthew 1:20

10   Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously with one another By profaning the covenant of the fathers?  Malachi 2:10

11  [Jesus said:] “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.”  John 5:28-29

12 So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. John 19:1

13  Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus and led Him away. John 19:16

14  So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. John 19:30

15  Then he bought fine linen, took Him down, and wrapped Him in the linen. And he laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock, and rolled a stone against the door of the tomb.  Mark 15:46

16  No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. John 1:18

17  And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”  John 20:28

18  “because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” Acts 17:31

19 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 1 Corinthians 2:10

20  by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, 1 Peter 3:19

21  Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, Ephesians 2:19

May we be faithful in confessing and teaching the Christian faith. May creeds be tools for us to do so!

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About exegete77

disciple of Jesus Christ, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, teacher, and theologian
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2 Responses to What is the Relationship between the Bible and Creeds?

  1. Kevin S. says:

    If every church could actually understood themselves as abiding by some sort creed, I don’t think they’d be so against professing their faith on a regular basis.

    Like

  2. Pingback: Does your pastor lead with, or without, the book? | New Epistles

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