The Apostles’ Creed is the oldest summary of Christian beliefs. Though often recited in unison, the phrase, “I believe,” makes the creed a deeply personal profession of faith.
In Affirming the Apostles’ Creed, Packer explains the meaning and implications of each phrase of the creed. Each concise chapter serves as an invitation to dive further into the essentials of the Christian faith via the creed, and concludes with discussion questions and suggestions for further study.
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“But the Creed’s opening words, ‘I believe in God,’ render a Greek phrase coined by the writers of the New Testament, meaning literally: ‘I am believing into God.’ That is to say, over and above believing certain truths about God, I am living in a relation of commitment to God in trust and union. When I say ‘I believe in God,’ I am professing my conviction that God has invited me to this commitment and declaring that I have accepted his invitation.” (Pages 25–26)
“Also, the title Christ expresses the claim that Jesus fulfilled all three ministries for which men were anointed in Old Testament times, being prophet (a messenger from God) and priest (one who mediates with God for us by sacrifice) as well as being king.” (Page 61)
“Christian faith only begins when we attend to God’s self-disclosure in Christ and in Scripture, where we meet him as the Creator who ‘commands all people everywhere to repent’ and to ‘believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ … as he has commanded us’ (Acts 17:30; 1 John 3:23; cf. John 6:28ff.). Christian faith means hearing, noting, and doing what God says.” (Page 27)
“If life is a journey, then the million-word-long Holy Bible is the large-scale map with everything in it, and the hundred-word Apostles’ Creed (so called, not because apostles wrote it—despite later legend, they didn’t—but because it teaches apostolic doctrine) is the simplified road map, ignoring much but enabling you to see at a glance the main points of Christian belief. Creed means ‘belief’; many Christians of former days used to call this Creed ‘the Belief,’ and in the second century, when it first appeared, almost as we have it now, it was called the Rule of Faith.” (Pages 11–12)
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