2.4 The New Apostolic Creed

It is the task of the apostolate to interpret Holy Scripture and the early church creeds in a manner that is authoritative for our faith. An important result of this is the New Apostolic Creed. In it the faith and doctrine of the New Apostolic Church come to binding expression.

The New Apostolic Creed is closely related to the early church creeds. The first three Articles of Faith largely correspond to the Apostolicum. They thereby emphasise the significance of this early church confession. The seven Articles of Faith that follow represent an interpretation and further development of, as well as a complement to, these creeds as they apply to the ministries, the sacraments, the teaching of the last things, as well as the relationship between the individual and society.

Since its inception, the New Apostolic Creed has been revised on several occasions. This was done in order to reflect the proper and timely development of the New Apostolic doctrine of faith. Interpretation is an action that can take place on an ongoing basis. This is part of a dynamic tradition that occurred in the writings of the New Testament itself, and in the interpretation work of later generations which was based upon it. Dynamic tradition is not rigid, but is instead characterised by both preservation and change. Both of these are of decisive importance for tradition and therefore also interpretation: preservation is indispensable for church doctrine if it does not want to forget its history or dissociate itself from its origins. Change is indispensable for church doctrine if it does not want to become irrelevant to present generations and become rigid in one or the other insights of a particular period.

Through the course of time the Creed came to propagate belief in the triune God, in Jesus Christ as the incarnate God, in His sacrificial death, in His resurrection, in His return, in the church as the authority that imparts salvation, in the sending of the Apostles, and in the sacraments as expressions of God's saving love and care.

New Apostolic Christians are to profess the Articles of Faith. The creed is to define their attitude of faith. It also serves to familiarise others with the essential content of the New Apostolic faith in concise form.

The New Apostolic Creed is formulated in the awareness that God's love, grace, and omnipotence cannot be exhaustively expressed in doctrinal and confessional statements, and that these divine characteristics will always be greater than anything human beings can ever say about them. Thus the creed does not draw any boundaries that would deny other Christians access to salvation.

See also