The Apostle’s Creed’s history comes from the Apostles 2000 years ago. These were some of our Early Church Fathers giving us a road map to help us find the way to what Jesus taught us. It’s a faithful summary of the Apostle’s faith.
It starts out with the words, “I believe…”. This is a profession of faith. We profess our belief in God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Forgiveness of Sins, the Resurrection of the Body and Life Everlasting.
- I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth;
- (God is one, loving, living, merciful, gracious, truth, love, the first person of the Trinity, Almighty, and created everything for His glory and it is ordered and ruled by His laws.)
- (The Trinity is one God but three separate persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Trinity is NOT three Gods.)
- and 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 into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
- (Jesus is the second person of the Trinity. Jesus, in Hebrew, means “God saves”. The word “Christ” comes from the Hebrew “Messiah” which means “anointed”. “He descended into Hell” means that Jesus descended “into the depths of death so that the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those that who hear will live”. Remember that Heaven was not open at this time and Satan had the power over death and evil. All those who had died were waiting for the Messiah to open Heaven because of the Fall of man. The Hell we think of where Satan is, is not the same place Jesus went. Jesus ascended into Heaven 40 days later after His Resurrection.)
- I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
- (The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, is a who and not a what, is symbolized by water, anointing, fire, dove, cloud and light, the seal, and the finger of God.)
- (The Holy Catholic Church is the church that Jesus founded through the apostles 2000 years ago. It is a visible church. It possesses the four marks of the true church: one, holy, catholic (universal) and apostolic. No other church on earth possesses all of these four marks.)
- (Communion of Saints, means a communion of faith, sacraments, charisms, charity in the faithful to form one body with Christ as the Head of the Church.)
- (Forgiveness of Sins, means the power given by Jesus in John 20:22-23 for the Apostles to forgive or retain sins. This power is only for the apostles and their successors. This is the Sacrament of Confession)
- (In 1 Cor 15:12-14 it states that “…if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain…But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” Those alive in Christ will raise again body and soul and have life everlasting in Christ.)
- Amen means “I believe”.
- Many non-Catholic churches say the Apostle’s Creed but might hold a different meaning than what the apostles or Jesus meant. Do your research and find out if your church truly believes what the apostles believed in the Early Church.
The Four Marks of the True Church are as follows (CCC 866-870):
- The Church is one: acknowledges one Lord, confesses one faith, is born of one Baptism, forms only one Body, is given life by the one Spirit, for the sake of one hope (Eph 4:3-5) at whose fulfillment all divisions will be overcome.
- The Church is holy: the Most Holy God is her author; Christ her bridegroom, gave himself up to make her holy; the Spirit of holiness gives her life. Since she still includes sinners, she is “the sinless one made up of sinners”. Her holiness shines in the saints; in Mary she is already all-holy.
- The Church is catholic: she proclaims the fullness of the faith. She bears in herself and administers the totality of the means of salvation. She is sent out to all peoples. She speaks to all men. She encompasses all times. She is “missionary of her very nature.”
- The Church is apostolic. She is built on a lasting foundation: “the twelve apostles of the Lamb” (Rev 21:14). She is indestructible (Mt 16:18). She is upheld infallibly in the truth: Christ governs her through Peter and the other apostles, who are present in their successors, the Pope and the college of bishops.
- The sole Church of Christ which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic,…subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him. Nevertheless, many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside its visible confines. (This means that many, not all, elements of truth are found outside of the Catholic Church but the fullness of faith is found within the Catholic Church.)
CCC stands for Catechism of the Catholic Church. Please see the Catechism paragraph numbers 194-1065 for reference.