Must Christians Have a Creed: Who Was Jesus Christ?

Of all the official “creeds” of the principal churches of Christendom, none is so largely Scriptural as is the “Apostles’ Creed” of the Church of England. For whereas the Nicene Creed and the Athanasian Creed seem to be the products of professional theologians, imposed on the members of the Church in order to settle (or stifle) controversy, and appear to bear all the expected signs of prolonged negotiation by successive Church Councils, the Apostles’ Creed, in striking contrast, is eminently suited in form and wording to the ordinary worshipper, and makes a delightfully simple Statement of Faith, which is what a “creed” should be.

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 Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary . . . .

Contrast this easily-understood affirmation of belief, with which the Apostles’ Creed begins, with the second of the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England:

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Author: P. H. Adams

Keywords: Christian creeds, Creeds, Apostles Creed, Nicean Creed, Nicene, Nicene Creed, Athanasian Creed, Trinity, Triune, Triune god, one god, one god in three persons, second person of the trinity, Jesus is God, God the Son, Arius, Arian controversy, Arian, 325 AD, Council of Nicaea, Council of Nicea, First Council of Nicaea, First council of Nicea, Deity of Jesus, Divinity of Jesus, Homoousios, homoiousios, Homoiousian, pre-existence, Jesus pre-existed, three persons of the Trinity

Bible reference(s): Mat 11:27, Mat 16:13-17, Mat 24:36, Mar 8:27-29, Luk 18:19, Luk 22:67, John 1:1-3, Joh 5:23, Joh 5:30, Joh 6:69, John 8:23, John 8:25, John 8:40, Joh 8:53, Joh 8:58, John 10:24, Joh 10:30-36, Joh 11:27, Joh 14:7-11, Joh 14:28, John 17:1-3, Joh 17:5, Joh 17:21, Joh 17:24, Joh 20:17, Joh 20:31, 1 Cor. 8:6, 1Co 11:3, 1Co 15:27-28, 2Co 11:31, Gal 3:20, Eph 1:3, Eph 4:5-6, 1 Tim. 2:5, 1Pe 1:3

Source: “Who Was Jesus Christ?,” The Testimony, Vol. 11, Nos. 126-7, June/July 1941, pp. 182-8, 215-20. Used with permission.

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