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Thu Mar 06, 2014
by Bubba Jennings
How the Creeds Helped Me
These standards of our faith have stood the test of time and have the power to speak to our postmodern world. They have been battle tested and found to be true and essential in every generation. We need to keep the past and the future in perpetual conversation so we can have a fresh expression of the timeless gospel in the twenty-first century.
For years I felt like a spiritual orphan who was unaware of having a rich family heritage and roots.
Here Because of Their Faith
The Apostles’ Creed, the Ten Commandments, and the Lord’s Prayer have helped me in two important and surprising ways. First, they helped me realize I am a part of the larger Christian family whose roots go back to the time of Christ. Too often, contemporary Christians forget there have been two thousand years of Church history. The history of the church is full of amazing stories of great men and women who helped change the course of history and fought to pass on the faith so future generations may believe. We are indebted to them; it is not too much to say we are here today because of their faith.
Know Your Spiritual Genealogy
For years I felt like a spiritual orphan who was unaware of having a rich family heritage and roots. Then, like someone who discovered their family genealogy for the first time, I discovered my spiritual family tree. Robert Webber reminds us, “Our family tree begins not with the Reformation or the twentieth century evangelical movement but with Jesus Christ, and it continues through the Apostles, the primitive Christian community, the Apostolic Fathers, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Catholic Church, the Church of the Reformation, and all who say, “Jesus is Lord.”
What We Should Know and How We Should Live
Secondly, they help me live out my Christian faith. I’d be lost without them. They provide a moral and doctrinal compass for Christians. These essential doctrines help us navigate our way around the larger story of God. Like a roadmap, they provide us with a clear and concise summary of what Christians should know and believe from the Bible. Theologian and author J.I. Packer says, “The hundred word Apostles’ Creed is the simplified road map, ignoring much but enabling you to see at a glance the main points of Christian belief.”
A creed is not just what we believe but how we live out what we believe.
Christian doctrine is not just for knowing, but for living. The essentials give us a foundation to build our life upon. What we believe about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit shapes and influences how we live and how we see the rest of the world:
- God is the Creator of all things, so I should care for his creation
- Jesus died for my sin, so I must live for Him and share my faith with others
- God created us to live in community, so I need the church
In the end, a creed is not just what we believe but how we live out what we believe.