The Apostles' Creed

January 10, 2016
by Robert Norminton

I love the Apostles' Creed. It is a succinct summary of a great many of the beliefs that I hold as a Christian. I call it an "executive summary". Nevertheless, it is obvious that no mention of Jesus' earthly life is made in the Creed except for the circumstances of His birth and death. The omission is so glaring that one might easily conclude that it was deliberate. If so, I have no idea why. I have tried to flesh out the Creed in an attempt to rectify this oversight as I might wish if I were one of the ancient fathers who originally formulated it. See what you think. Ask yourself how you would do it.

"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. When grown to manhood, He touched lives, loving, caring, blessing, and ministering to men and women while He was amongst us. He healed minds and bodies and raised the dead. He taught and interpreted the Scriptures and preached the gospel of salvation to all who would listen to Him. He was betrayed by one of His own to selfish men in high places, 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 sits 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."

John 21:25 – And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen. (NKJV)

Why have I done this? I suppose, as a retired engineer, I have a somewhat orderly mind. This means, amongst other things, that if I summarize my beliefs on a subject, I like to have all of them there without gaps, for the sake of continuity and completeness. Now, I don't believe that any of you need worry — I'm sure an overwhelming majority of Christians are satisfied to leave the Apostles' Creed just as it is. In the end, so am I. But it is a bit of a challenge for all of us — do you not think — to try and summarize what we believe as concisely and completely as possible.

Question to ponder: If someone asked you what you believed, how exactly would you answer them?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, when we are asked to declare what we believe, may we do it not by rote, but thoughtfully, completely, boldly, and clearly, so that all who hear us will know unmistakably who and what we are. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Robert Norminton <normin@vaxxine.com>

Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada


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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good job Robert.


    Excellent question and a cogent response. Blessings.


    Hello Robert, Brilliant! Thanks for sharing those thoughts. Blessed New Year to you.


    Thank you Robert for a very thoughtful devotional!
    May God continue to use that brilliant mind for His glory!


    I love your version of the Apostles’ Creed! I too like order, organization and a job completed. Thanks for contributing to the PCC devotionals.


    Very well spoken, Robert. As the wife of an engineer, I understand the orderly mind. Thank you.
    (Texas)


    This is s very well thought out summary of the Apostles’ Creed Robert. Thank-you for sharing.
    Blessings.
    (Ontario)


    Thank you Robert. An interesting addition. With your Engineer’s precise, orderly thinking, would you say that Jesus would have Mary’s DNA, from which comes the title of “The Son of Man” as well as “The Son of God” coming his immaculate conception?
    Happy New Year.


    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this meditation.
    I do appreciate very much what you have shared to me as I read this.
    To God be the glory.
    Bless you in all you do for the Lord.


    Thank you for this mornings devotional. It was good to hear your thoughts on the Apostles Creed. In answer to your question I would say since I left the Presbyterian church a few years ago. The Apostles Creed reassures us that tho we don”t know our future we know who holds our future. Jesus knows we are sinners but nonetheless He loves us and through Him our Salvation and future is secure.


    Greetings Robert,
    Your Devotional is a very interesting one, on an almost timeless topic. I also find this Creed to be very interesting, and challenging!
    This ‘Creed’ was originally believed to have been written by the original twelve apostles, on the first day of Pentecost, when they had just received the Holy Ghost, with each one contributing one of twelve articles. This legend dates from circa 390 A.D., and up until the Middle Ages. It was known as “Symbolum Apostolorum” and was considered the rule of faith.
    To-day, it is believed that the Creed, as we now know it, was probably written about 200 A.D.
    There are also other Creeds, such as the Nicene Creed, Circa 325 A.D., and The Athanasian Creed, circa 370 A.D.
    BLESSINGS, in the name of our Lord Jesus. Amen.


    Thank you Robert for your thoughts. Blessings to you and yours.


    You are not alone in wondering about this gap in the Apostles Creed. However it is a failing also in the Nicene Creed and the Athenasian Creed.
    Good shot at filling the gap.


    Thank you, that’s stimulating. When I give thanks at the LORD’s Supper I often include something like that in giving thanks for Jesus.
    (Ireland)


    You are a learned man. You have come to a point in life, just like Nicodemus. He had an unanswered question. He did not know how to present it, but Jesus knew what it was, and addressed that need to Nicodemus, before any further conversation.
    (USA)


    Dear Robert Norminton,
    I am glad you appreciate the Apostle’s Creed–in as far as it goes.
    It’s interesting that you would want to change “The Apostle’s Creed”. It’s of course a historic document and will be as it is.
    I too would like it to have been different.
    And I would like to put in some more words after your,”He preached the gospel of salvation to all who would listen to him.” I would add to that sentence, “and promised eternal life to all who believed.”
    And I would like the Creed to have included the Old and New Testaments as the scripture for faith and action.
    Well, we can’t re-do the past, but we can mightily influence the future, for the sake of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, resulting in good for all mankind. Let’s pray that multitudes of Christians will do that.
    Keep writing.

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