The Apostles' Creed is one of the oldest and most universal summaries of the Christian Faith. The creed developed slowly over the first several centuries of the Church with the earliest forms of the creed dating back to around the middle of the 2nd Century. Based on what's known as the "Old Roman Creed" the Apsotles' Creed was used for instruction in the main tenets of the faith and then as a baptismal profession of faith for adult converts. Over time as the Church faced attacks from without and within lines were added to the creed to clarify the true biblical faith against heretical deviations. In this way the creed came more and more to be a standard of the faith by which to test orthodoxy and build unity. Around the 6th or 7th century the creed was being used in the form we have it today.
As we study the creed this fall and winter the sermons will be more topical in nature. Usually we have one passage of Scripture explore per sermon but as we go through the creed we will often have one main passage and several others that flesh out what is taught by the various clauses of the creed. As we explore these topics what we will be doing at a deeper level is embracing and celebrating the things we have in common with all Christians throughout history and the world. And in doing this we will be strengthened to live for Chris in our time and place. As author Ben Myers puts it, "to confess the creed is to take up a countercultural stance. When we say the creed we are not just expressing our own views or our own priorities. We are joining our voices to a great communal voice that calls out across the centuries from every tribe and tongue. We locate ourselves as part of that community that transcends time and place.