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The Biblical Basis for the Apostles’ Creed Pt. 1

Here I begin a multipart series where I seek to establish the fidelity of what is commonly referred to as the Apostles’ Creed to the God-breathed Scriptures. I will seek to prove that this creed accurately sums up the Bible’s teaching in respect to God, Christ, the Holy Spirit etc.

I will now post the creed for the benefit of the readers:

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

With the foregoing in perspective I now proceed to provide the biblical references in support of the statements made in this particular early Christian confession.

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

“But for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist…” 1 Corinthians 8:6a

“The four living creatures had six wings each, and they were covered with eyes all around. All day and night, without ceasing, they were saying: ‘“Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty,” who was, and is, and is to come.’ When the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and worship Him, who lives forever and ever. Then they cast their crowns before the throne, saying, ‘You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You have created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.’” Revelation 4:8-11

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

“And a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘You are My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.’” Mark 1:11

“Then a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son. Listen to Him.’” Mark 9:7

“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, the glory as the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth… No one has seen God at any time. The only Son, who is at the Father’s side, has made Him known.” John 1:14, 18

“You call Me Teacher and Lord. You speak accurately, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” John 13:13-14

“so that you are not lacking in any gift while waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, and by Him you were called to the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:7-9

“If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. Come, O Lord! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” 1 Corinthians 16:22-23

“For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by Silas, Timothy, and me, was not ‘Yes’ and ‘No.’ In Him it was ‘Yes.’” 2 Corinthians 1:19

“For in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly provided for you.” 2 Peter 1:11

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory, both now and forever. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.

“And Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ… Now the birth of Jesus Christ happened this way: After His mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child by the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man and not willing to make her a public example, had in mind to divorce her privately. But while he thought on these things, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for He who is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.’ Now all this occurred to fulfill what the Lord had spoken through the prophet, saying, ‘A virgin shall be with child, and will bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is interpreted, ‘God with us.’ Then Joseph, being awakened from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and remained with his wife, and did not know her until she had given birth to her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.” Matthew 1:16, 18-25

“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. The angel came to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women.’ When she saw him, she was troubled by his words, and considered in her mind what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Listen, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest. And the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever. And of His kingdom there will be no end.’ Then Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I do not know a man?’ The angel answered her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you. Therefore the Holy One who will be born will be called the Son of God.’” Luke 1:26-35

He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. On the third day he rose again from the dead; He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

“From that time on, Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised on the third day.” Matthew 16:21

“Again the high priest asked Him, ‘Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?’ Jesus said, ‘I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.’” Mark 14:61b-62

“After the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat at the right hand of God. Then they went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.” Mark 16:19-20

“For the Son of Man shall come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will repay every man according to his works.” Matthew 16:27

“The Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all men should honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him… and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.” John 5:22-23, 27

“When He had spoken these things, while they looked, He was taken up. And a cloud received Him from their sight. While they looked intently toward heaven as He ascended, suddenly two men stood by them in white garments. They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why stand looking toward heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you to heaven, will come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” Acts 1:9-11

“Brothers, I may speak confidently to you concerning the patriarch David, that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. But being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of his seed according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, he foresaw this and spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. God raised up this Jesus, of which we all are witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured out this which you now see and hear. For David has not ascended to the heavens, yet he says: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Until I make Your enemies Your footstool.”’ Therefore, let all the house of Israel assuredly know that God has made this Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Acts 2:29-36

“The God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His Son Jesus, whom you handed over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him. You denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and you killed the Creator of Life, whom God has raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses.” Acts 3:13-15

“God overlooked the times of ignorance, but now He commands all men everywhere to repent. For He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by a Man whom He has appointed, having given assurance of this to all men by raising Him from the dead.” Acts 17:30-31

“in the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Jesus Christ.” Romans 2:16

“But the righteousness which is based on faith says, ‘Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?”’ (that is, to bring Christ down), or, ‘Who will descend into the deep (abysson – abyss)?”’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” Romans 10:6-7{1}

“For if we live, we live for the Lord. And if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, so that He might be Lord of both the dead and living. So why do you judge your brother? Or why do you despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.’ So then each of us shall give an account of himself to God.” Romans 14:8-12

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive his recompense in the body, according to what he has done, whether it was good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10

“But our citizenship is in heaven, from where also we await for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our body of humiliation, so that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working of His power even to subdue all things to Himself.” Philippians 3:20-21

“I command you, in the sight of God, who gives life to all things, and in the sight of Christ Jesus, who testified a good confession before Pontius Pilate,” 1 Timothy 6:13

“I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom… From now on a crown of righteousness is laid up for me, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved His appearing… The Lord will deliver me from every evil work and will preserve me for His heavenly kingdom, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” 2 Timothy 4:1, 8, 18

“He is the brightness of His glory, the express image of Himself, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had by Himself purged our sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Hebrews 1:3 – cf. 10:12-13; 12:2

“so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many, and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin but to save those who eagerly wait for Him.” Hebrews 9:28

“Figuratively this is like baptism, which also saves us now. It is not washing off the dirt from the body, but a response to God from a good conscience through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels and authorities and powers being made subject to Him.” 1 Peter 3:21-22

We come to the end of this part of our analysis of the biblical foundations for the Apostles’ Creed. Here is the link to part 2: https://answeringallah.com/the-biblical-basis-for-the-apostles-creed-pt-2/

Endnotes

{1} The Greek word for deep, abysso (i.e., the abyss), is used elsewhere in Holy Scripture to refer to the place where Satan and demons/evil spirits will be/are consigned for a period of time:

“They sailed to the country of the Gadarenes, which is across from Galilee. When He stepped out on land, a man from the city who had demons for a long time met Him. He wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, ‘What have You to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I plead with You, do not torment me.’ For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. It often had seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles. But he broke the shackles and was driven by the demon into the wilderness. Jesus asked him, ‘What is your name?’ He said, ‘Legion,’ because many demons had entered him. And they begged Him not to command them to go out into the abyss (abysson – abyss).” Luke 8:26-31

“The fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. The star was given the key to the bottomless pit (abyssou – abyss). He opened the bottomless pit, and smoke ascended from the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace. The sun and the air were darkened by the smoke from the pit. And out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. Power was given them as the scorpions of the earth have power. They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were given authority, not to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man. In those days men will seek death but will not find it. They will desire to die, but death will elude them… They had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek his name is Apollyon.” Revelation 9:1-6, 11

“And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit (abyssou – abyss) and a great chain in his hand. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, that he should deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be set free for a little while.” Revelation 20:1-3

This may suggest that our Lord descended into this particular realm after his death, and remained there for three days, so as to proclaim his victory over the powers of darkness. Christ did not descend there in order to be tormented, but to show to the nether or underworld that he had vanquished Satan’s kingdom by the power of the blood of his cross. And it is the power of Christ’s blood which now enables all true believers to overcome and conquer the influence and control of Satan and all his evil forces over their lives:

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of His dear Son, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins… For it pleased the Father that in Him all fullness should dwell, and to reconcile all things to Himself by Him, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him, I say—whether they are things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, who were formerly alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and blameless and above reproach in His sight, if you continue in the faith, grounded and settled, and are not removed from the hope of the gospel, which you have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.” Colossians 1:13-14, 19-23

“In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which also you were raised with Him through the faith of the power of God, who has raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has resurrected together with Him, having forgiven you all sins. He blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us and contrary to us, and He took it out of the way, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed authorities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them by the cross.” Colossians 2:11-15

“The great dragon was cast out, that ancient serpent called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world. He was cast down to the earth, and his angels were cast down with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying: ‘Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death.’” Revelation 12:9-11

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