Creeds and Affirmations of Faith

The Apostles’ Creed

With the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds, this is one of the three "ecomenical creeds" that have been received and believed by the historic church in all its steams. They are therefore the broadest expressioon of Christian unity.

The Apostles Creed can be traced to the second century and was established by the third. It has been said since then at baptisms in particular.

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 the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy universal (or catholic) Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
Amen.

The Apostles’ Creed is also used in the following form

Do you believe and trust in God the Father?
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.


Do you believe and trust in his Son Jesus Christ?
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 the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.


Do you believe and trust in the Holy Spirit?
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy universal (catholic) Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
Amen.


The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is,
seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.
He has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy, universal (or catholic) and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.


The Athanasian Creed

This is a much more technical creed. More detailed summaries can be found at the bottom of this page. The most simple is below.

Do you believe and trust in God the Father,
source of all being and life,
the one for whom we exist?
We believe and trust in him.

Do you believe and trust in God the Son,
who died for our forgiveness,
and rose as Lord over all?
We believe and trust in him.

Do you believe and trust in God the Holy Spirit,
who gives life to the people of God
and makes Christ known in the world?
We believe and trust in him.

This is the faith of the Church.
This is our faith.
We believe and trust in one God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Amen.


On God as Trinity

We believe in one God;
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

We believe in God
the eternal Father;
heaven and earth are full of his glory
We believe in Jesus Christ,
his true and only Son;
he became man to set us free
We believe in the Holy Spirit;
he is our advocate,
strengthener and guide.
We believe in one God;
Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.


God the Trinity and the return of Christ (from Revelation  4.8,11; 5.9; 22.17, 20)

We say together in faith:
Holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God almighty,
who was, and is, and is to come.

We believe in God the Father,
who created all things:
for by his will they were created
and have their being.

We believe in God the Son,
who was slain:
for with his blood,
he purchased us for God,
from every tribe and language,
and from every people and nation.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit:
the Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come!’
Even so come, Lord Jesus!
Amen. 

On the Fatherhood of God and his love for us (from Ephesians 3)

Let us declare our faith in God:
We believe in God the Father,
from whom every family
in heaven and on earth is named.

We believe in God the Son,
who lives in our hearts through faith,
that we may be filled with his love.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit,
who strengthens us with power
that we may grasp God’s ways.

We believe in one God;
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Amen.


On God's grace, election and redemption (from Ephesians 1)

Let us declare our faith in God.

We believe in God the Father
who has blessed us with all spiritual blessing.
He predestined us to be holy
and to be adopted as his sons.

We believe in God the Son
under whom all things will be united.
In him we have redemption,
the forgiveness of our sins.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit
who guarantees our inheritance.
He enlightens the eyes of our hearts
and has brought us from death to life.

We believe in one God
Father, Son and Holy Spirit
To the praise of his glorious grace.
Amen.

The uniqueness and sovereignty of God (from Isaiah 44-45)

Let us declare our faith in God:

The LORD is God and there is no other
He alone declares what is to come
Therefore we need not be afraid
He alone has made all things
And is able to fulfil his purposes
He alone forms light and darkness
Bringing prosperity and disaster

Those who quarrel with their maker should beware
Those who create idols will be disgraced
Those who pray to false gods lack knowledge
Yet those who seek the LORD will be saved
for the LORD is God and there is no other
a righteous God and a Saviour there is none but him


God's holiness

Holy, Holy, Holy is the LORD Almighty;
The whole earth is full of his glory.
We believe you are high and exalted, 
forever seated on your throne.
We believe you have taken our guilt 
and atoned for our sin


The reign of Christ (from Ephesians 1)

Let us declare our faith in God.

We believe in God the Father
who has called us to a glorious hope
We believe in God the Son
who is seated above every authority
We believe in God the Holy Spirit
who empowers us to overcome evil
We believe in one God
Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Amen.

God's kingdom and church (from Colossians 1)

Let us declare our faith in God.

We believe in God the Father,
who has delivered us from the dominion of darkness
and transferred us into the kingdom of his Son.

We believe in God the Son,
in whom we have redemption,
the forgiveness of our sins.

Through him all things were created;
for him all things have their being;
in him all things hold together.
He is the head of the church,
the firstborn from the dead,
the fullness of God;
through whom all things will be reconciled.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit,
who strengthens us with power
to live a life worthy of him.

We believe in one God;
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Suffering and the return of Christ (from Revelation 7.15-17; 22.17, 20)
We say together in faith

Holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God almighty,
who was, and is, and is to come.

We believe in God the Father,
who will wipe every tear from our eyes,

We believe in God the Son,
who leads us to streams of living water

We believe in God the Holy Spirit:
the Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come!’
And let the one who hears say come
Even so come, Lord Jesus!
Amen. 


The incarnation and Christmas (from John 1 & 2 Corinthians 4:6)

We believe in God
The eternal Father;
Heaven and earth are full of his glory.
We believe in God the Son;
The Word who became flesh;
Who came from the Father full of grace and truth.
We believe in God the Holy Spirit
Who gives us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God
In the face of Christ.
We believe in one God;
Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

We believe in God, the Father Almighty,
who made all things through the Word.We believe in God the Son,
the Word who became flesh,
in whom we receive life and light.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit,
who gives us the light
of the knowledge of the glory of God
in the face of Christ.

We have seen his glory,
the glory of the one and only son
who came from the Father,
full of grace and truth. Amen


On the gospel (from Titus 3v3-8)

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, 
deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures.
We lived in malice and envy,
being hated and hating one another.


But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, 
he saved us not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.
He saved us by the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,
whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour, 

so that, having been justified by his grace, 
we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.


Reconciliation to God (from Colossians 1)

We were alienated from God,
hostile in our minds and evil in our deeds
Yet have been reconciled to God,
made holy, blameless, and free from accusation
Provided we continue in our faith,
steadfast and firm, not moving from the gospel
Amen


The great exchange (by Martin Luther)

Lord Jesus,
You are my righteousness,
I am your sin.

You took on you what was mine;
yet set on me what was yours.

You became what you were not,
that I might become what I was not.


The resurrection (from 1 Corinthians 15v3-7)

Let us declare our faith
in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ:
Christ died for our sins
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he was buried;
he was raised to life on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures;
afterwards he appeared to his followers,
and to all the apostles:
this we have received,
and this we believe.
Amen.


Christ's humiliation and exaltation (from Philippians 2v6-11)
Let us affirm our faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God.
Though he was in very nature God,
he did not cling to equality with God,
but made himself nothing.
Taking the form of a slave,
he was born in human likeness.
He humbled himself
and was obedient to death,
even the death of the cross.
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place,
and gave him the name that is above every name:
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bow,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. 
Amen.


The majesty and rule of the Son (from Colossians 1)

We believe in the Lord Jesus Christ,
who has delivered us from the dominion of darkness
and transferred us into the kingdom of light

The Son is the image of the invisible God
The firstborn of all creation
All things were created by him, through him, and for him
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together

The Son is the head of his body the church
The firstborn from the dead
Through him all things have been reconciled to God
By the peace that comes through his blood on the cross

The Son has reconciled us by his death, 
to present us holy in God’s sight
This we receive if we continue in our faith, 
not moved from the hope of the gospel.



The word and work of the Son (from Hebrews 1) 

God spoke before Christ by the prophets
But now he speaks by a Son
The Son is heir of all
and the world was created through him
The Son reflects God’s glory
and sustains all things by his word
The Son made purification for sin
and now sits at the right hand of God.
Amen.


The Athanasian Creed

With the Apostles and Nicene Creeds this is one of the three "ecumenical creeds" that unite the historic church. However, as can be seen this is much more technical (below are a summary!) and so is unlikely to be used in a service.

Athanasian Creed – summary on the Trinity

This is the faith of the church throughout history
that must be held to above all if we are to be saved:
We worship one God in trinity and the trinity in unity,
neither blending their persons nor dividing their essence.
For each is a distinct person but their divinity is one,
their glory equal, their majesty coeternal.

What quality one has, so have the others,
each being uncreated, immeasurable and eternal,
yet not three such beings, but one;
each to be confessed individually as almighty, Lord and God.
yet not as three mighty lords or gods, but as one.

Yet there is only one Father, not begotten nor proceeding from anyone.
There is only one Son, begotten from the Father alone.
There is only one Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
But not one of these is before or after the others,
not one is greater or smaller;
in their entirety the three are coeternal and coequal,
the one true and living God.

In everything we worship their trinity in their unity
and their unity in their trinity.
This is the faith we have received.

Athanasian Creed – summary on the Incarnation

It is necessary for eternal salvation
to faithfully believe in the incarnation
of our Lord Jesus Christ.

And this is the true faith:
We believe and confess
that our Lord Jesus Christ, God's Son,
is equally both God and human.

He is God from the essence of the Father,
begotten before time;
and he is human from the essence of his mother,
born in time;
completely God,
being in very nature divine;
completely human,
with a rational soul and human flesh;
equal to the Father as regards divinity,
less than the Father as regards humanity.

Although he is God and human,
yet Christ is not two, but one.
He is one, however,
not by his divinity being turned into flesh,
but by God's taking humanity to himself.
He is one,
not by the blending of his divine and human natures,
but by the unity of his person.
For just as one human is both rational soul and flesh,
not blended but united as the one person,
so too the one Christ is both God and human,
not blended but united as the one person.

He suffered for our salvation;
he descended to the dead, rose and ascended to heaven;
he is seated at the Father's right hand;
from where he will come to judge the living and the dead.
At his coming all people will arise bodily
and give an accounting of their own deeds.
Those who have done good will enter eternal life,
and those who have done evil will enter eternal fire.

This is the faith we have received.
We believe it firmly and faithfully.