What do all Christians have in common? From the earliest days of the Church, Christians developed short, simple summaries of the faith. These short statements became known as creeds. Two creeds in particular were developed in the early centuries of the church. The Anglican Church, along with nearly all Christians, holds the Christian faith as professed by the early church, and in particular as set forth in the creeds known as the Nicene Creed and the Apostles’ Creed. These Creeds are accepted as sufficient statements expressing the Christian faith. The Apostles’ Creed is thought to include the essential teaching of Jesus’ earliest followers (the apostles). It was into that faith that Christians were, and are, baptized. It has helped new believers to memorise the essential truths of the Bible and be wary of any false teaching. In 325 AD, the Nicene Creed clarified what the church understood from the Bible concerning both the divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ.
The creeds represent a seamless flow of the truth that Christians have believed from the apostles right through church history to the present. Saying the Creed binds Christians past and present together as a believing community, across different traditions and practices from all over the world.
The Apostles Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe 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, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary, and became truly human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified, who has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.