Please click here if you missed the Introduction and Part 3.

Part 4

Q13. Repeat the articles of your faith.

  1. 1. I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth,
  1. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord,
  2. Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary,
  3. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; He descended into hell.
  4. The third day He rose again from the dead.
  5. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
  6. From there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
  7. I believe in the Holy Spirit,
  8. the holy catholic church,
  9. the communion of saints,
  10. the forgiveness of sins,
  11. the resurrection of the body,
  12. and the life everlasting.

This is the Apostle’s Creed, which was used in the early church as a baptismal confession of faith. Church councils in the fourth century created the Nicene Creed to answer heresies that denied the biblical doctrines of the Trinity and the deity (God in flesh) of Jesus Christ. Catholic in article 9 has a small c and means universal. There is one true church, composed of a subset of those attending Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Protestant churches.

The Bible also teaches the Jesus rose BODILY from the dead (article 5), appeared to His disciples and more than 500 others before He ascended into heaven (1 Corinthians 15).

Not all who are part of the visible church are saved (see questions 11 & 12 in Part 3). A mere profession of faith is not enough; one must have possession of faith. That is why assurance of faith is crucial for believers. Doubting is usually for believers, however. Few unbelievers doubt whether they are saved.

A far more dangerous condition is mentioned often in the Bible: those who are confident they know Christ when in fact they do not. A common misconception is thinking that if you do more good things than bad in your life, you will go to heaven. The Bible does not teach this, but rather that “it is by grace we have been saved, through faith (in Christ) – and this not from ourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Unless corrected, even children of solid Christian theologians can believe in “salvation by death,” or universal salvation, since this thinking is widespread in our culture. There are basically two religions in the world: DO and DONE. DO is based on works of the sinner to try to earn salvation, DONE is based on the finished work of Christ: His sinless life and sacrifice to pay the price for our sin.


Discussion questions for fourth session on Apostles Creed:

  1. Do different groups interpret different parts of the Creed differently? Which ones?
  2. What parts of the Creed do you have difficulty accepting? Truly believing and owning?
  3. What do you think of “salvation by death,” or universal salvation? Is this what the Bible teaches?
  4. For more information, see Rooted, The Apostles’ Creed, an excellent book by Presbyterian Church of America pastors Raymond Cannata & Joshua Reitano.
  5. As you take prayer requests for members of your study group, remember to pray for leaders in your workplace, other churches, and government leaders of all nations.


For a hymn that goes with the Introduction to the Ecumenical Catechism (and questions 1-4) and the history behind the hymn, click on Praise to the Lord, the Almighty.

A second hymn with its history and a great picture of the August 21, 2017 solar eclipse can be found at This is My Father’s World.

A third hymn (He Hideth My Soul in the Cleft of the Rock) is by America’s Hymn Queen, Fanny Crosby.

Part 3 of the Ecumenical Catechism has questions 5-12.


For biographies of the authors of the Ecumenical Catechism, click here.


Permission is granted to copy this catechism and italicized comments in its entirety for non-commercial purposes. The copyright on the original 1641 children’s catechism has obviously long since expired. Some minor rewording of the 1959 edition cited above was done.

Dale Murrish
Troy, Michigan
Copyright 2005, 2017 by Dale Murrish. All rights reserved except as noted above.
Version 3.97, August, 2017


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