Orthodoxy is that which the confessing church has at all times and everywhere confessed and regarded as true. Though not included here, many other credal confessions, including those from our historic roots, the Reformation, are part of this testimony.
The earliest creeds developed from baptismal ceremonies, where the candidate to be baptized affirmed their faith by answering questions such as “Do you believe in Jesus Christ our Savior, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate?” From there they developed into statements of belief, which we call “creeds” (from the Latin credo, for ‘I believe,’ as in “credible”). The creeds given here include:
The Apostles’ Creed
Derived from the late second-century baptismal creed used in Rome (also known as “The Old Roman Creed”). Not written by the apostles, but considered a summary of the apostles’ teaching.
The Creed of Nicaea (Nicene Creed)
Articulated at the ecumenical (general) council at Nicaea in 325 A.D.
The Definition of Chalcedon (Chalcedonian Creed)
Articulated at the great Council of Chalcedon in 451 A.D.
Creeds are important for several reasons, including:
- They provide a summary of the most basic beliefs held by all Christian Churches, giving individual Christians and congregations the opportunity to identify themselves with other Christians around the world, and throughout history.
- They reaffirm several important beliefs, such as the resurrection and divinity of Jesus.
- The manner in which they are used separates them from mere academic discussion, and reaffirm our belief as a core of our existence and conviction.