Creeds are important to the Church. A creed instructs us the truths contained In the Bible. They are written by man and are accurate in as much they teach truth contained in the Scriptures. Even the Bible teaches of doctrines of the faith handed down to the saints (Jude 3). Paul instructs the Thessalonians that they are to “stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter (2 Thes 2:15). We should be cautious of blindly following traditions and check everything against the word of God.
Creeds are a summary of doctrine usually written addressing false teaching that occurs within the Church’s History. Even during our time studying Colossians, we see that false teaching was pervasive in the early Church and often creep in unnoticed (Jude 4). You think you would notice the wolf among the sheep. However, the Bible paints a different picture. Creeds help point us to the Bible as an accurate summary of what the Bible teaches. They also help you spot unbiblical teaching; when working in a particular field, the nuances of words/terminology are important. In theology, we have words like person, essence, etc. When people use these words differently from the creeds, we can ask for a better summary because they teach heresy or are not aware of their error.
Some people might say, “no creed, but the Bible.” This sounds great in practice but, in reality, is a creed in itself. God has given us special revelation and general revelation in the world, which includes History, the light of nature, and other aspects. General revelation is written by God; however our finite and fallen selves cannot read it perfectly. Scriptures give us the spectacles to read general revelation. So, no creed but the Bible rules out general revelation. I will be going through the Nicaeno-Constantinopolitan Creed in my weekly emails/letters. My aim is always to teach the Bible and teach Biblical truths. I pray that over the next months that we would see when we confess creeds, we are confessing Biblical truths. Next week I will introduce the creed within History and then we will start looking through the creed line by line.