Authentic Christianity is apostolic Christianity. Apostolic Christianity rests on the historic, eyewitness testimony of Jesus’ followers, the apostles, to the facts of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, ascension, present heavenly reign, and promised future return. Both Jesus and His apostles understood these facts to fulfill the Old Testament hopes of the Kingdom (or reign) of God, to which God’s covenant with Israel was intended to lead, and which the Church has received from Jesus and His apostles.
By the second century, these key facts of apostolic faith had been organized into a syllabus of topics for catechetical teaching (the Rule of Faith). This syllabus became the Apostles’ Creed—so called because it sums up the apostolic faith. It soon began to serve as the guideline for baptismal instruction and declaration.
The Apostles’ Creed gathers and focuses the central truths of the apostolic faith, as the Scriptures presents them. It is arranged in three paragraphs or articles, which highlight in turn the person and work of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Thus the Apostles’ Creed is Trinitarian. It is a curriculum of eternal truths that leads inquirers into a grounded personal faith in the Triune God, and into real discernment of the personal commitment such faith involves. It comes to us with the resounding endorsement of faithful believers over nearly two thousand years, for it has been recited by Christian communities at all times and in all places throughout the history of the Christian Church.
The Apostles’ Creed exists to define and defend the faith passed own to us, as well as foster our knowledge, growth, and commitment to the Lord. It is a benchmark of orthodoxy (right belief) that serves to guide our understanding of God’s revealed truth and grace – and what it means to live in a relationship with Him as His forever people.