I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth; I believe in Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord; He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit,and born of the Virgin Mary, He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, from thence he will come again 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, and life everlasting. Amen.

See the Nicene Creed
Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, Creatorem caeli et terrae.

Et in Jesum Christum, Filium eius unicum, Dominum nostrum, qui conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto, natus ex Maria Virgine, passus sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus, descendit ad inferos, tertia die resurrexit a mortuis, ascendit ad caelos, sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis, inde venturus est iudicare vivos et mortuos.

Credo in Spiritum Sanctum, sanctam Ecclesiam catholicam, sanctorum communionem, remissionem peccatorum, carnis resurrectionem, vitam aeternam.

A whole litany of 'I believe' (credo in Latin) is a fixed part of the Roman Catholic mass. The users profess their belief in God, some of the dogmas of the Christian faith, the Holy Church, etcetera.

-- from I Believe by rp

I believe are the first two words to apostle's creed , a formula containing in brief statements, or articles, the fundamental tenets of Christian belief, and having for its authors, according to tradition, the Twelve Apostles. The present day creed thought to be composed between them with each of the Apostles contributing one of the twelve articles, was commonly thought of in the Middles Ages as created on the on the day of Pentecost, while still under the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Although no one article can be specifically assigned to the authorship of a separate Apostle, it was believed that it was the joint work of all, implying that the deliberation took place on the day of Pentecost. Later religious leaders speculated, "they for many just reasons decided that this rule of faith should be called the Symbol", which is a Greek word to mean both indicium, i.e. a token or password by which Christians might recognize each other

More recently, some have assigned to the Creed an origin much later than the Apostolic Age, that in its present form it represents only the baptismal confession of the Church of Southern Gaul, dating at earliest from the second half of the fifth century. Strictly speaking, the terms of this statement are accurate enough; though it seems probable that it was not in Gaul, but in Rome, that the Creed really assumed its final shape. The Apostle's Creed is the most commonly used rite in Western Christianity for daily prayer and worship,used in some worship services to describe the faith into which one is baptized.

Some churches give the option of using either the Apostles' Creed or the Nicene Creed, suggesting the Nicene Creed as the more festive or solemn of the two, using the Apostle's Creed in standard worship services and the Nicene Creed in worship services where the Sacrament of Holy Communion is observed. The Nicene Creed was written by the early Church and adopted (in a slightly different version) by the Church Council at Nicæa in AD 325 then further revised to its present form by the Council at Chalcedon in AD 451.

As a reference see:The Small Catechism of Martin Luther where Martin Luther (1483-1546) included a brief explanation of this Creed in his Small Catechism, Part 2


Catholic Encyclopedia
The Nicene Creed :
The Apostles' Creed:

Commentary on Martin Luther's Small Catechism, Part Two: The Creed

«Part One| Part Three »

Commentary for Part II: the Creed

The history of Christian theology, and in particular, the dogma of the Trinity, is replete with exceedingly obscure disputes about God's nature. Luther avoids this tedium by talking about the three persons of God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) as actions:

Creation, Redemption, Sanctification.

God the Creator is also God the Sustainer: Luther doesn’t waste much words on any distant past act of “creation”. The believer is instead encouraged to remember God’s current and present role, providing for and sustaining the believer’s existence.Cf. George Berkeley,Baruch Spinoza.

Likewise, following a perfunctory statement that Jesus is both God and human, Luther proceeds directly to doctrine that the believer is a lost and condemned person, whose life and freedom was “redeemed”, that is, purchased by Jesus’ blood. Compare this to some of the lengthier creeds, such as the Athanasian Creed, which devote considerable verbiage to the fine points of Trinitarian dogma but give short shrift to the practical meaning of it all for the believer.

Finally, Luther has the believer memorize the role of the Holy Spirit as “Sanctifier”, teaching, enlightening, forgiving sins on an ongoing basis, and adding that it will be through the Holy Spirit that all are raised from the dead to have eternal life. Not one word is devoted to how the Holy Spirit “proceeds” from the Father and/or Son (that is, the problem of the filioque which divided Catholic from Orthodox in the Great Schism). Instead, the believer is reminded that the believer himself is not “holy” and does not have the power to become “holy”, except through God in the person of the Holy Spirit.

Note: the following text was translated in 1994 for Project Wittenberg by Robert E. Smith (Concordia Theological Seminary) and is in the public domain.

Project Wittenberg publishes basic Lutheran writings on the Web: http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/wittenberg-home.html



The Creed: The Simple Way a Father Should Present it to His Household

I. The First Article: On Creation

I believe in God the Almighty Father, Creator of Heaven and Earth.

Q. What does this mean?

A. I believe that God created me, along with all creatures. He gave to me: body and soul, eyes, ears and all the other parts of my body, my mind and all my senses and preserves them as well. He gives me clothing and shoes, food and drink, house and land, wife and children, fields, animals and all I own. Every day He abundantly provides everything I need to nourish this body and life. He protects me against all danger, shields and defends me from all evil. He does all this because of His pure, fatherly and divine goodness and His mercy, not because I've earned it or deserved it. For all of this, I must thank Him, praise Him, serve Him and obey Him. Yes, this is true!

II. The Second Article: On Redemption

And 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, descended to Hell, on the third day rose again from the dead, ascended to Heaven and sat down at the right hand of God the Almighty Father. From there He will come to judge the living and the dead.

Q. What does this mean?

A. I believe that Jesus Christ is truly God, born of the Father in eternity and also truly man, born of the Virgin Mary. He is my Lord! He redeemed me, a lost and condemned person, bought and won me from all sins, death and the authority of the Devil. It did not cost Him gold or silver, but His holy, precious blood, His innocent body -- His death! Because of this, I am His very own, will live under Him in His kingdom and serve Him righteously, innocently and blessedly forever, just as He is risen from death, lives and reigns forever. Yes, this is true!

III. The Third Article: On Becoming Holy

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the community of the saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and an everlasting life. Amen.

Q. What does this mean?

A. I believe that I cannot come to my Lord Jesus Christ by my own intellegence or power. But the Holy Spirit calls me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, made me holy and kept me in the true faith, just as He calls, gathers together, enlightens and makes holy the whole Church on earth and keeps it with Jesus in the one, true faith. In this Church, He generously forgives each day every sin committed by me and by every believer. On the last day, He will raise me and all the dead from the grave. He will give eternal life to me and to all who believe in Christ. Yes, this is true!

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