As we begin this devotional series on the Apostles’ Creed, it might be helpful first to meditate upon the usefulness of creeds in general. They summarize God’s truth, unite God’s people, and expose God’s enemies.
The Holy Bible is an enormous volume. It contains 66 books, written by 40 different authors, resulting in 783,137 words. Further, it is not simply a book, but the special revelation of God himself. If someone asked you, “What’s the Bible about?” where would you even begin? A creed offers a concise summary of the Bible’s central message.
This conciseness also helps unite the people of God. Jesus prayed that his church would be one (John 17:11) and yet there are many different denominations. This is not necessarily contrary to God’s will because most of our differences are over non-essential doctrines. The creeds avoid all mention of such and only set forth those teachings that are fundamental to our faith. These truths, we truly can confess with one voice.
Finally, creeds expose God’s enemies. This, in fact, is why they were written. Heretics have arisen in every age who like to quote verses from the Bible, but who are loath to see biblical words and phrases carefully defined. That is exactly what creeds seek to do so that Christians can immediately recognize and avoid false teachers.
Creeds, then are very useful and it is our hope that this series will deepen your understanding and appreciation of them.
A devotion written by Pastor McShaffrey for the Classically Christian newsletter.