The Apostle’s Creed has long been a regular part of Christian worship but for me, coming from a Baptist tradition, it was never more than a blip on my radar screen. I have taken a greater interest in the Apostle’s Creed as of late and have even been using it in my times of personal worship, along with prayer and Bible reading. I see several potential benefits to reciting or reading the Apostle’s Creed (or other well established creeds) as part of personal worship.
1) It reminds me of my core beliefs. We are changed from the inside out and at the core of our being are our core beliefs. The Apostle’s Creed is one of the better succinct statements of core Christian faith.
2) It connects me with the universal church. Not only do you say, “I believe in the holy catholic Church” and “I believe in the communion of the saints,” you are also reciting a statement of belief held across history, continent, and denomination. I do not think we should shy away from important doctrinal discussions and distinctions, but I like to find common ground when possible.
3) It brings to mind each member of the Trinity. The Creed is patterned after Matthew 28:19 which refers to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It’s not hard to get imbalanced in our conception of God so sometimes we need a good Trinitarian reminder.
4) It reminds me of the historical nature of the Christian faith. The Creed is not just a statement of belief about “ideas” or “truths” but about what happened in time and history, particularly when it comes to the life of Jesus. He was conceived, born, crucified, buried. He rose, ascended, and will come again.
5) It helps me look to the future. It ends on a hopeful note: the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. The moment matters both less and more, in all the right ways, in light of our glorious hope.