The Apostles' Creed

The basic creed of Reformed churches, as most familiarly known, is called the Apostles' Creed. It has received this title because of its great antiquity; it dates from very early times in the Church, a half-century or so from the last writings of the New Testament.

The Symbolum Apostolorum was developed between the second and ninth centuries. It is the most popular creed used in worship by Western Christians. Its central doctrines are those of the Trinity and God the Creator.

Legend has it that the Apostles wrote this creed on the tenth day after Christ's ascension into heaven. That is not the case, though the name stuck. However, each of the doctrines found in the creed can be traced to statements current in the apostolic period. The earliest written version of the creed is perhaps the Interrogatory Creed of Hippolytus (ca. A.D. 215). The current form is first found in the writings of Caesarius of Arles (d 542).

The Apostles' Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.

He descended into hell.

The third day He arose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.

Amen.


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Definition of Church

The reference to the holy Catholic Church was left off since today it is believed to be the Roman Catholic Church and not The Church as Jesus describes the Church in Matthew 16:15-18. There the Lord calls the Church as the individual who has had a revelation of Who Jesus is as the True Son of God and The Christ.

The one and only church is that which is an individual who has a revelation from God the Father, not of flesh and blood. And becoming the church is becoming an age or time of Revelations from God via the Holy Spirit of the Word itself. John 14:26 and I John 2:27


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Definition of Descended

The final clause in this sequence, "He descended into hell," is the most controversial in the Apostle's Creed. Indeed, some denominations consider it optional or refuse to include it at all. The problem with this phrase begins with what it connotes. To some, the descent into hell represents the physical agony of death upon the Cross. It was hellish in its pain. To others, the word hell means Hades or Sheol, the collective abode of the dead, divided into Paradise or Abraham's Bosom--the state of God-fearing souls--and Gehenna, the state of ungodly souls. Thus the descent into hell may suggest that the Son of God carried the sins of the world to hell; or the Son of God carried Good News of deliverance to the godly dead such as Lazarus the beggar and the repentant thief. A third-century Syrian Creed speaks of Jesus, "who was crucified under Pontius Pilate and departed in peace, in order to preach to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the saints concerning the end of the world and the resurrection of the dead."

(The above paragraph was taken from creeds.net)

The problem is it is both, how we know He descended actually into Hell is found in Matthew 27:52-53

Matthew 27

52. And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

53. And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

Notice it states that the many saints came out of the graves AFTER HIS RESURRECTION.

Now this can only be 3 days later. And I have had more than you can imagine email me and say they had read those verses many, many times and never noticed the words "AFTER HIS RESURRECTION".until they read a study I did where I highlighted it for them to see.



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