The Apostles’ Creed was based on Christian theological understanding of the Canonical gospels, the letters of the New Testament and to a lesser extent the Old Testament.
The Apostles Creed
- I Believe in God, the Father almighty,Creator of heaven and earth;
- and in Jesus Christ; his only son , our lord;
- who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgiin Mary;
- suffered under Pontius Pilate was crucified, dead, and buried;
- He descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead;
- he ascended into heaven; is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
- from thence he shall 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 sin;
- the resurrection of the body and;
- the life everlasting, Amen.
The catechism of the Catholic church divides this creed into 12 articles of the catholic faith. but we will emphasize on the ninth article which has two parts : i believe in the holy catholic , and the communion of saints.
I believe in The Holy Catholic Church
This articles defines the catholic church as the union of all the faithful under one head which is our lord Jesus Christ. It also recognizes that the catholic church has one and only one visible head on earth which is the pope. The pope here one earth is the bishop of Rome and the successor of saint Peter, who Christ first appointed to head the church.
The gospel of Matthew 16:18 – 19 sites where Christ made the foundation of the church and gave the pope authority to make supreme and final decisions for his church by saying to Peter;
And so i tell you, Peter: you are a rock, and on this rock foundation i will build my church, and not even death will be able to overcome it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; what you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven, and what you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.
By reason of this scripture above, the pope became the spiritual father of all Christians (catholic and protestants alike), he is also the shepherd and teacher of all Christians by virtue of being Christs representative here on earth because Christ while he was here on earth commanded Peter to feed his sheep in 1John 21:17
A third time he ashed him “Simon son of John, Do you love me?” Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question the third time. He said, “Lord you know everything. You know that i love you.” Jesus said, “then feed my sheep.”
The ninth articles makes us Catholics understand by virtue of the pope being the shepherd and teacher of all Christians defines a doctrine concerning faith and morals held by the whole church makes him infallible. It also makes us understand that Christ has four marks by which he knows his church which include
- She is one – This means that her members all over the world agree in one faith, have all the same sacrifices and sacraments and are united under one head.
- She is holy – The church is holy because she teaches a holy doctrine, offers to all her members a means of holiness, and is characterized by the eminent holiness of so many thousands of her children.
- She is catholic – This means that the church is universal in her teachings (which are infallible because of Christs promise that the gates of hell will not prevail over his church) that subsist in all ages and nations as she represents the one ark of salvation for all.
- She is apostolic – This is because she holds the doctrines and traditions of the Apostles and derives and her missions from them.
Communion of Saints
This means that all members of the church in heaven, in purgatory and on earth are in communion with each other, as being one body in Christ. The faithful on earth are in communion with each other by profession of the same faith, obedience of the same authority and assisting each other with their prayers and good works. We are also in communion with the saints in heaven by honoring them as the glorified members of the church and by praying to them and their prayers for us. We are in communion with souls in purgatory helping them with our prayers and good works.