2.3 The early church creeds and their significance for the New Apostolic Church

The doctrine of the New Apostolic Church is based on Holy Scripture. The early church creeds express the fundamentals of the Christian faith as attested in the Old and New Testaments. The early church creeds do not extend beyond that which is attested in Holy Scripture, but rather summarise its content in concise and binding terms. As such, they stretch beyond confessional borders and–like Holy Baptism with water–represent a unifying link between all Christians.

The New Apostolic Church professes belief in the triune God, in Jesus Christ as true God and true Man, in His birth by the virgin Mary, in the sending of the Holy Spirit, in the church, in the sacraments, in the expectation of the return of Christ, and in the resurrection of the dead, as formulated in the two early church creeds.

SUMMARY

A creed summarises the essential contents of a doctrine of faith. A religious denomination thereby defines itself and distinguishes itself from others. (2)

The old covenant already had its confessional formulas in which the profession of the one God was linked with His historical act of salvation, deliverance from Egypt. (2.1)

The professions of the New Testament bring to expression God's act of salvation in Jesus Christ. (2.1)

When disputes flared up over the trinity of God and the doctrine of the nature of Jesus Christ, creeds were formulated. The standard for their formulation was the New Testament, that is the doctrine of Christ and His Apostles. (2.2)

The Apostles' Creed (Apostolicum), the Creed of Nicaea-Constantinople, and the Athanasian Creed thus came into being. The basic tenets of the Apostles' Creed were summarised in the second century and lightly expanded in the fourth century. The Creed of Nicaea-Constantinople brings the trinity of God to special expression. (2.2.1; 2.2.2)

The early church creeds summarise the testimony of Holy Scripture in concise and authoritative form. Thereby they transcend confessional borders and represent a binding agent between all Christians. (2.3)

The New Apostolic Church professes the belief formulated in both creeds of the early church. (2.3)

See also