Part 1 | Why Study The Creed?


‘The doctrines in the Apostles’ Creed crystallize the essence of Christian truth… And there you have the Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. There you have the incarnation and the atoning death and the triumphant resurrection and forthcoming return of the Lord Jesus. There you have the forgiveness of sins. There you have the reality of the church as the fellowship of those who are born again in Christ. And I think that there could be nothing really healthier in any church than periodically to work over the Apostles’ Creed and highlight those doctrines.’

J. I. Packer

Discussion (1)

  • What are some things you believe that others in the group might not know about or think strange?
  • What do we usually mean when we say “I believe” something?

Part 2 | What it means to say ‘I believe’ at the start of the creed

  1. Believing is CONFIDENCE based on God’s word (Hebrews 11:1)
    ‘Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.’
  2. Believing is CONTROVERSIAL in a world of false Gods
  3. Believing is PERSONAL responding to God’s promise
  4. Believing is ALL-ENCOMPASSING

“Faith includes the knowledge of the mystery of God and of Christ in the light of grace, and the full assent of the mind to the truth of this mystery on account of the authority of God by whom it is attested.

Nor is this all; the believer also loves the truth, exults in it and glorifies God; he is ardently desirous of fellowship with the Saviour, that those doctrines which are true in Christ may be true to himself for his salvation; consequently, when Christ is offered to him by the word and Spirit, he receives him with the greatest alacrity of soul, rests and leans upon him, surrenders and yields up himself to him; after which, he now glories in him as his own, and delights in him exceedingly, reclining under the shadow of the tree of life, and satiating himself with its delicious fruits.

This is “the faith of God’s elect.” an invaluable gift, the bond of our union to Christ, the scale of Paradise, the key of the ark of the Covenant by which its treasures are unlocked, the permanent spring of a holy, tranquil, and blessed life.”

Herman Witsius

Discussion (2)
Look at Hebrews 11:1-3 (and glance at the rest of the chapter).

  1. What do we make of this description of faith?
  2. When it comes to faith in God, why might it be reasonable and wise to have confidence and assurance in things we can’t see? Isn’t that just proof that faith is irrational and lacking evidence?
  3. Day to day, what challenges do we experience with the idea that believing is:
    a) Confidence in God’s word?
    b) Controversial in a world of false gods?
    c) Personal in response to God’s promise?
    d) All-encompassing of our whole person and whole life?
  4. How might reminding one another of our shared Christian faith strengthen us like an inter-connected root system (like the strong Redwood trees)?
  5. What would it look like for you to grow in Christ in response to what we’ve heard? Is there one thing that’s struck you?

More about the author :

Santhosh Thomas

Santhosh is one of our pastors, with special responsibility for overseeing our small groups and various teaching and discipleship programmes. Born and raised in London, he has previously worked in churches in Oxford and Central London. He’s married to Jess and along with their three young children they enjoy sport, swings and meeting new people!

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