Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house. Hebrews 3:1-2 (ESV)
Most Christians who have been attending church services for any length of time have most likely recited a confession of faith or Christian creed. There are many such confessions and creeds used in churches today. Some of these include the Apostle’s Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Heidelberg Catechism and the Westminster Confession.
From fear of being in error there are those in the church who abstain from confessions or creeds and hold to “no creed but the bible.” However, those who embrace creeds and confessions understand that such are neither authoritative nor infallible. Only scripture is infallible and all legitimate creeds and confession ground their validity from the holy scriptures; the bible. A.A. Hodge wrote, “The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament having been given by inspiration of God, are for man in his present state the only and the all-sufficient rule of faith and practice. This divine word, therefore, is the only standard of doctrine which has any intrinsic authority binding the consciences of men. All other standards are of value or authority only as they teach what the Scriptures teach.”
As Christians it is very important to know what we believe; to have a “statement of faith.” These “statements of faith” or “confessionals” are based solely on scripture and are summaries of truths portrayed in the scriptures. John Piper writes, “Confessional Christianity, Christianity that is unified around a written confession of faith, at its best, is the best Christianity. In other words, all other things being equal, it is a good thing for a people to be united around a written summary of biblical truth.”
So, what is our confession? Let’s take a summarized look at some of the biblical truths that we should hold in common as worshipers of God? We should believe in the infallibility of scripture. That the Holy Scriptures were inspired by the Holy Spirit and are inerrant in the original manuscripts. That they are the sole authority and truth for all men for all time for all matters of faith and practice.
Another non-negotiable is a belief in the Holy Trinity. We believe in one living and true God eternally existing in three persons, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. This one true God is creator of all things and upholds the universe by his sovereign word and power.
We further believe in Jesus Christ as being the only begotten Son of God (God the Son), fully God and fully man. That he was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, was crucified, died and buried. On the third day he arose from the dead and later ascended into heaven. He will one day bodily return to earth to receive his church and completely establish his kingdom. Moreover, we believe that the only way to salvation for man is by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. We acknowledge the Holy Spirit’s (God the Spirit) work in the new birth as well as in the sanctification and glorification of all believers.
These confessions are by no means an exhaustive compilation, but can serve as a starting point to unify Christians in a common faith.
Do you share this common faith?
Scriptures for meditation:
1 Timothy 6:11-16
Hebrews 4:14-16; 10:19-23