“It was only heretics like the Socinians (the liberals of the sixteenth century) who rejected the ancient Christian creeds.”
(Keith Mathison – Ligonier Ministries) Most Christians have heard of things like the Nicene Creed or the Apostles’ Creed, but many Christians also have a number of misconceptions about creeds. There is a lot of misunderstanding about the nature, history, and purpose of creeds. Here are five things you should know about creeds.
- The word “creed” comes from the Latin word credo, which simply means “I believe.”
The plural form is credimus, which means “we believe.” In short, when we recite a creed, we are simply making a statement concerning what we believe. What this means is that if you believe anything, you have a creed. What if you say, “I believe in no creed but Christ”? Well, then, that’s your creed. It’s a short creed, but it is a creed. When we understand that creeds are human statements of faith, it also helps us better understand the relationship between Scripture and creeds. Holy Scripture is inspired. The Greek word in 2 Timothy 3:16 is theopneustos, which literally means “God-breathed.” Scripture is the inspired Word of God. Creeds are non-inspired words of men. In the Scriptures, we hear God saying, “Thus saith the Lord . . .” In the creeds, we respond, “We believe you . . .”
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