The Apostles’ Creed: A Liturgical Gem

Let’s look at several reasons why the Apostles’ Creed is a liturgical gem.

First, the Apostles’ Creed is biblical. The authors carefully read the whole of Scripture and summarized it in a brief, easy-to-understand format. The creed clearly points us to the triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The authors also took a long look at the broad sweep of redemptive history—creation, the fall, the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, his ascension into heaven, the final judgment of the living and the dead, and the new world order.

And as we wait for the second coming of Christ, the Apostles’ Creed reminds us that in the midst of crises, chaos, cruel wars, and sin, we have the Holy Spirit as our comforter. The creed assures us that though we live in a world of hatred and hostility, we are not isolated. We are a part of a vast number of people (the holy catholic church) who support one another with prayers and partnership in sharing the gospel. That church is a worldwide community of believers that rejoices with those who rejoice and weeps with those who weep (Rom. 12:15). That is worth celebrating.

Additionally, in a time when we are overwhelmed with guilt, we have the assurance that in Christ we are a forgiven people—renewed, washed in the blood of the lamb. When we are gripped with grief because of untimely deaths or overwhelmed with disease and destruction all around, a perfect world free from sin, sorrow, pain, tears, and death seems better by far. Thankfully the creed points us to that day. So come, Lord Jesus!

Second, the Apostles’ Creed is a gem because it calls us not only to receive its contents, but to believe in the triune God it points to. The creed is not designed only for the head but primarily speaks to the heart. It deals not only with facts, but with faith. I believe in the triune God, the creator, the Christ of Calvary, the comforter (the Holy Spirit).

Third, the creed gives us the opportunity to verbalize our beliefs in the presence of fellow believers. Rom. 10:9 says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” The creed gives us the opportunity to articulate our beliefs. When we recite the creed out loud, we are witnessing and encouraging one another to keep the faith, and urging each other to look to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.

Let us then consistently use this liturgical gem in our church services and give adults and children the opportunity to profess their faith in their triune God.

About the Author

Rev. Calvin VanderMeyden is a Christian Reformed pastor. He and his wife, Marge, are members of LaGrave Ave. CRC in Grand Rapids, Mich.

X