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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Apostles’ Creed

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Mark 9:14–29 

From the Confessions: The Ecumenical Creeds

The 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 Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.

Pulling It Together

Our word “creed” comes from the Latin “credo,” which means “I believe.” When we say a creed, we are concisely confessing what we believe.

We confess the orthodox, ancient teachings of the Apostles using three principal creeds, the first being the Apostles’ Creed. (The other two creeds are the Nicene and the Athanasian creeds, each which seeks to spell out more clearly the who and how of the Trinity.) The earliest mention of this creed by name is in a letter from the late-fourth century, probably written by Ambrose, the Archbishop of Milan. This indicates that the creed had already been in use for some time, at least in some form. The form of the Apostles’ Creed we use today is based on an older, shorter version called The Old Roman Creed, from a half-century earlier:

I believe in God the Father Almighty.
And in Jesus Christ his only-begotten Son our Lord,
who was born of the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary;
crucified under Pontius Pilate, and buried;
the third day he rose from the dead;
he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
And in the Holy Ghost;
the holy Church;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body;
the life everlasting.

The Apostles’ Creed is divided in three sections comprising the name of God: the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit. So then, God is what (or rather, who) we believe. Using this ancient creed, we first confess a distillation of Scripture, and what the Athanasian Creed later says of God: that he is “Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity” (line 27).

This teaching is difficult to believe with our limited reasoning. Therefore we confess what the Scripture teaches, and with the father of the boy with the unclean spirit, say, “I believe; help my unbelief!”

Prayer: Father, may your Spirit testify with my spirit the truth of your Word, through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen. 

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Check out Sola’s Confirmation workbook, The Apostle’s Creed, designed to be a small group Bible study, student book for home school or independent study programs, or as a classroom tool and homework resource as part of an existing confirmation program.

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Katherine Harms

Posted January 1, 2015 at 8:58am

What a great way to start the year. You said you would do it, and you did! Thank you for guiding all of us to the foundations of our faith. We cannot build strong on weak foundations.

Mark Ryman

Posted January 1, 2015 at 10:35am

Thank you, Katherine. I look forward to sharing with you throughout the year. May you have a blessed year with the Lord.

Nancy Smith

Posted January 1, 2015 at 7:04pm

Hello. Is the the daily devotional you mentioned in your article in the Nov./Dec. issue of Connections magazine?

Mark Ryman

Posted January 1, 2015 at 7:55pm

Yes, this is the daily devotional mentioned in the magazine, Nancy.

Jim Lober

Posted April 14, 2017 at 6:46pm

Is it possible to print these devotions?

Mark Ryman

Posted April 15, 2017 at 7:09am

I will ask our webmaster to make that happen, Jim.

Mark Ryman

Posted April 17, 2017 at 1:09pm

Please note that you can now print the devotions. The first share button in the upper right part of each post is a printer icon...

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