by Dr. Dan Sharp, Minister of Worship
In our world today you have undoubtedly heard of groups of scholars seeking to study and discover the “historical Jesus.” One of the questions arising was, “Who is this person? Is he really God in human flesh?” This quest is really quite old. The identity of Christ is a recurring question for some in society.
In response to this ancient question, early communities of faith reduced their beliefs to concise statements. We have the great Shema of the Jewish people from Deuteronomy 6:4-9. In the early church, the leadership spent much time in putting together creedal statements and defining what they believed. The Apostles' Creed came into being in the 4-5th century.
Often at issue in creedal statements, is some aspect of the person of Jesus Christ. In the case of the Apostles' Creed, it is largely a refutation of Gnosticism. There was the circulation of the belief that Jesus was more ghost-like and His resurrection was not material. With this in mind, we see very strong statements as to the physicality of Jesus…”He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried…”
When we confess the Apostles’ Creed, we unite with the Church down through the ages, the “holy, catholic (universal) church” as a people redeemed by Jesus Christ.