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 Spirit, 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 sits at the right hand of God, the Father Amightly, from thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian* Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.
* or: the holy catholic Church.


Importance of the Creed

You may find that different denominations can give a varying emphasis to various parts of the bible, and have different traditions, and this tendency to diverge was also present in the early church.

The creeds were agreed to define those beliefs which were essential to Christian faith, and thereby maintain the unity of the church. They are not meant to be a replacement for the bible, but to provide guideposts to find our way.

Elements of the Creed

1. Triune God.

I believe in God

This personal choice of belief is a huge step, as we are surrounded by noise that would persuade us to not believe.  I will look at this more in the Questions blog page.

the Father Almighty, … And in Jesus Christ, …I believe in the Holy Spirit,

The creed describes God as being one god, yet in three persons; (1) the Father Almighty, (2) Jesus Christ, and (3) the Holy Spirit.

If the Christian faith was dreamt up by humans, we wouldn’t have constructed this perplexing concept.  But I believe it is a true reflection of the way God has revealed himself to humanity, as recorded in the bible, and we are not meant to change that to suit ourselves.

2. God made heaven and earth.

God, … Maker of …  earth

This is an astounding statement, that God is all powerful and the source of all we know.  It contradicts our human perspective of the universe existing and extending forever.  And it contradicts our human view of the ultimate reality being matter and that therefore all things must have “naturally” developed out of matter.
Human understanding has grown with our knowledge of electromagnetic radiation associated with matter. A thousand years ago that would have appeared like ‘witchcraft’.

But more recently, with the theories of relativity, we now realise that time and space are related to matter. Our human concept of time depends on the interaction of matter, even the atomic clock is driven by radiation from the Caesium atom. And our concept of space is similarly flawed. So, both time and space, as we understand them, depend on the existence of matter and its radiation.

This statement says that time, space, and matter were all created by God, so He is above and beyond all these, while we are bound within them.

God, … Maker of heaven.

This states that the visible material world, that we know, is not all there is.  As the “About” page outlines, our calculations about the universe predict that 95% of it must consist of “dark matter”, of stuff that is unknowable, so our knowledge of “things” will always be limited to 5%.  Popular culture dismisses the existence of anything outside the visible material world, as it is not something we can easily agree upon.  But to deny its existence is like wearing blinkers.  To deny it would have have prevented Maxwell from postulating the laws of electromagnetism, upon which much of our modern technology relies.  Humanity will not completely agree upon things like love, justice, beauty, goodness, and right and wrong, good and evil, but if you remove those realities from human life you remove what gives meaning to life and this world, you remove the nature of humanity.  And that is just the beginning of the reality that is not contained by the material world.

This states that the heavenly world was also created by God, and He is not limited or bounded by the heavenly world.

photo of brown wooden cross at cliff

3. Jesus Christ

The creed states that Jesus Christ:

  • Is the Son of God the Father;

Jesus is divine, truly God, described as being one of the three persons of the one God;

  • Is our Lord;

as He is God, we owe Him all worship and obedience;

  • Was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary;

Luke’s gospel outlines the miraculous birth of Jesus.

This birth means that Jesus is also truly human, having two natures united in the one person of Christ.

How can this be?  That God, who is beyond all time and space, came to live as a helpless baby, at a particular place, 2,000 years ago?  It is not a belief derived from human reason, but revealed through the bible, and as the only reasonable explanation of the events recorded in the bible.

This truly astounding news is what we celebrate at Christmas;

John 1:14, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

  • Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried.

We believe the purpose of Jesus’ life on earth was to reconcile us to God through his sacrifice on the cross.

Galations 4:4,5, “… God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”

  • Descended into hell, the third day He rose again from the dead,

In rising from the grave, Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross became the ultimate victory, as He defeated the power of suffering and death for all mankind.

1 Corinthians 15:22, “… in Christ all shall be made alive.”

  • Ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Amightly,

Jesus’ victory on the cross was not just over earthly death, but over the separation of mankind from God, and just as Jesus in His ascension was fully restored to His Heavenly Father, so we also shall be.

John 14:2-3, “I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

  • from thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

In this world it seems that evil so often triumphs over good; that those who do wrong seem to thrive, while the innocent suffer.  But the creed includes God’s promise that there will be a final judgement, a final reckoning, when His perfect justice will prevail.

How will we stand in that day, as we are keenly aware of our failings?  Our hope rests on the promise that the judge is Jesus, who has saved us by His sacrifice on the cross.

II Corinthians 5:10, “For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”



4. The Holy Spirit

I belieive in the Holy Spirit

There are many references to the Holy Spirit in the bible, but some key aspects are:

    1. Jesus promised that although He was to leave the disciples, His effective presence would remain through the Holy Spirit.  And through the Spirit, His presence would be real, not just for the disciples near Jerusalem 2,000 years ago, but for all humanity across the earth and for all time;
    2. While our limited human logic cannot fathom the ways of God, the Spirit gives us all we need to know; through the Spirit living in us we are enabled to see things with some of God’s perspective.  As we read the bible, the Spirit gives meaning to the words we read, so our understanding of His ways is a gift from God and not our own achievement.  Even our belief in Him is a gift.

John 16:26, “… the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”

Romans 8:11, “… He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”

Ephesians 2:8-9, “… through faith, …, it is the gift of God”

photo of brown wooden cross at cliff

5. I believe in … the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints

Here, the Christian or catholic Church refers to the universal communion of all believers.  This communion is referred to as “His body”, and Paul in his letters refers to those believers as “the saints”.

It does not refer to buildings, nor to human organisations, in which you will find a variety of people with all sorts of different agendas.

Romans 16:5, “Likewise greet the church that is in their house.”

Ephesians 1:23, “the church, which is His body”

1 Corinthians 12:13, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body”

Romans 1:7, “To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints”


6. I believe in … the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

The forgiveness of sins,

The significance of sin is not well explained in many churches now, it’s not a popular subject.  But to understand the existence of pain, suffering, and death in the world that was created perfectly good, we need to understand humanity’s tendency to sin or separate themselves from God.

The key part of the early chapters of Genesis is not “how” God created the world, but to explain the origin of the state of separation from God that burdens humanity.  “Sin” is best pictured as our choice to be our own god, to separate ourselves from the one true God and the perfectly good life He planned for us, and to endure the resulting flawed existence with its suffering and death.

This is the fallen state from which Jesus came to save us, to secure forgiveness for our sin and to reconcile us to God.

The resurrection of the body,

We have God’s promise that, just as Jesus was raised from the grave, so we too will be raised.

Philippians 3:20-21, “… the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body”

The life everlasting.

“Eternal” life does not refer only to time, but can also be taken as “real” or “true” life, a life united with God.

John 10:27-28, “My sheep hear My voice … And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish;”

The explanations given here are very brief, and I hope to explore these areas more in the other sections of this website.

But as I have found that each time I read the bible I am given further understanding, so my understanding in this life will never be complete.

The most important step is to begin that journey of faith, to begin to look to God for understanding as you read the bible, and to be open to all He would reveal to you through His Spirit.

It is the most wonderful journey you can ever begin, one that will never end.

And I suggest we begin each reading with a prayer for understanding:


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