apostles creed

We, on occasion, recite the Apostles’ Creed in our worship services.  Inevitably, over the years, every now and then, somehow the “c” in catholic church gets capitalized in the overhead screens – sometimes because of a computer’s ability to correct our spelling.  In the Apostles’ Creed and in the Heidelberg Catechism, the “c” in catholic is NOT capitalized because this is not the Roman Catholic church.  The reference here is to the universal church – all churches – the church of Jesus Christ…not Presbyterian or Methodist or Episcopalian, etc…universal…all of us…united in faith…”united in true faith” as the catechism states…the church of Jesus Christ…all of Christ’s church as “living members”.

Q54. What do you believe concerning the “holy catholic Church”?

A.  I believe that the Son of God, through His Spirit and Word,1 out of the entire human race,2 from the beginning of the world to its end,3 gathers, protects, and preserves for Himself a community chosen for eternal life4 and united in true faith.5 And of this community I am6 and always will be7 a living member.

1 John 10:14-16; Acts 20:28; Rom. 10:14-17; Col. 1:18.

2 Gen. 26:3b, 4; Rev. 5:9.

3 Isa. 59:21; 1 Cor. 11:26.

4 Matt. 16:18; John 10:28-30; Rom. 8:28-30; Eph. 1:3-14.

5 Acts 2:42-47; Eph. 4:1-6.

6 1 John 3:14, 19-21.

7 John 10:27, 28; 1 Cor. 1:4-9; 1 Pet. 1:3-5.

Q55. What do you understand by “the communion of saints”?

A.  First, that believers one and all, as members of this community, share in Christ and in all His treasures and gifts.1  Second, that each member should consider it his duty to use his gifts readily and cheerfully for the service and enrichment of the other members.2

1 Rom. 8:32; 1 Cor. 6:17; 12:4-7, 12, 13; 1 John 1:3.

2 Rom. 12:4-8; 1 Cor. 12:20-27; 13:1-7; Phil. 2:4-8.

Q56. What do you believe concerning “the forgiveness of sins”?

A.  I believe that God, because of Christ’s atonement, will never hold against me any of my sins1 nor my sinful nature which I need to struggle against all my life.2  Rather, in His grace God grants me the righteousness of Christ to free me forever from judgment.3

1 Ps. 103:3, 4, 10, 12; Mic. 7:18, 19; 2 Cor. 5:18-21; 1 John 1:7; 2:2.

2 Rom. 7:21-25.

3 John 3:17, 18; Rom. 8:1, 2.