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Page 245

  • Everyone has "creeds" - When Karl said, "I only believe in the Word of God, the Bible," that is a creedal statement, a statement of belief.

  • The Bible itself testifies of the church's need to produce creedal statements - when the truth is being questioned, attacked, or perverted. (See Acts 15, especially the verses in the side column.)

  • Sound creedal statements are biblical - They succinctly state that which the Bible teaches about particular truths. If creedal statements take truths away from, or add new doctrines to, God's Word, they are not sound and must be rejected.

  • Personal and group confessions of faith are necessary - Both you and a Jehovah's Witness would claim to believe in the Bible. But that which you believe the Bible to be teaching differs from his beliefs in many ways - e.g. Jesus' divinity, eternal hell, and man's consisting of soul and body. Personal creedal statements clarify what you and your church denomination believe the Bible is teaching.

    Why does a strong belief in scripturally-based creeds indicate a strong belief in Scripture? Why do creedless churches often wander far from sound scriptural doctrine?


Creedal statements may not replace or diminish the authority of Scripture. Symbols must be built upon the foundation of God's Word. They must accurately summarize and teach that which Scripture teaches. They are secondary or subordinate standards, not primary or foundational ones. As an official reflection of the church's interpretation of certain biblical truths, however, creedal statements convey more influence than one particular person's views. Church symbols carry authority only as far as they are an accurate declaration and summary of Scripture. If any creedal statements would contradict Scripture by subtracting truth from it

 

But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.

And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.

Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:

And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:

Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:

For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;

That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: for which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

- Acts 15:5-6,22-24,28-29

 

  • Perverted - Corrupted; distorted; misapplied
  • Succinctly - Briefly; precisely; clearly
  • Subordinate - Of inferior importance; secondary; under the authority of another
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