Early Church Creeds
The word ‘Creed’ is derived from the Latin word credo, meaning ‘I believe’. A Creed, therefore, is a statement or confession of faith that summarizes a particular set of beliefs. Particularly in the first few hundred years after the death of Christ, the church faced the problem of differing views over such subjects as whether Christ was truly God, whether he had both a human or divine nature, and the personhood and origin of the Holy Spirit. Out of these disputes the church formulated statements of belief, which to this day form an important part of how Christians express their faith. Each Creed successively addressed further doctrinal questions and thus history witnesses a growth in complexity of creeds from simple Biblical creeds such as “Jesus is Lord” (Romans 10:9) and “that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 3-4) expanding to form much larger creeds such as the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed.
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.