Aaron Shust, one of my favourite Christian songwriters, has just released an album called ‘This is What We Believe’.The title has made me consider yet again exactly what we do believe.

(If you want to know more about the album and the trying circumstances concerning his son’s health which gave inspiration to many of the songs, you can listen to the interview about this here:


In Anglican churches, the Apostles’ Creed is recited most weeks by congregations:

1. I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:

2. And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:

3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:

4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into hell:

5. The third day he rose again from the dead:

6. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:

7. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:

8. I believe in the Holy Ghost:

9. I believe in the holy catholic church: the communion of saints:

10. The forgiveness of sins:

1l. The resurrection of the body:

12. And the life everlasting. Amen.

This is the classic summary of the Christian faith, the ‘bare bones’ of what we believe.Graham Kendrick has put it to music in his song, ‘We Believe’, which you can listen to here:


If you’re interested in the history of the different creeds which have grown up over time, including the Nicene Creed or the Creed of Chalcedon and how these show us how our basic doctrines were described and expounded, Gerald Bray has written a classic called ‘Creeds, Councils and Christ’ which is a fascinating account of this.

Most churches also have a ‘statement of beliefs’ or ‘statement of faith’ which expands on the Apostles’ Creed. Ours says:

“The doctrinal basis of the Church shall be founded on Scripture and shall include belief in:

• One God, the Sovereign Creator of the Universe, who has revealed Himself in three co-equal and co-eternal persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

• The complete humanity and divinity of Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, sinless life, atoning and substitutionary death for all men as the only means of salvation, His bodily resurrection, His ascension to the Father, and His personal return.

• Repentance for sin and the acceptance by faith of Jesus Christ as personal Saviour, and the consequent obligation upon all believers to present this gospel of the mercy of God to all people.

• The necessity of the work of the Holy Spirit in the New Birth, His indwelling and baptising the believer, and the validity and exercise of His gifts today.

• The Bible as the inspired and infallible Word of God, the final authority in all matters of faith, conduct, and church order.

• The guilt and depravity of man by consequence of the Fall, rendering him subject to the wrath and condemnation of God, who is Holy and Just.

• The Baptism by immersion of all believers and the regular observance by believers of the Lord’s Supper.”

Belief can never just be head knowledge, however. As Rich Mullins says in his song ‘Creed’ (the word ‘creed’ comes from the Latin ‘credo’ which means ‘I believe’),

“And I believe what I believe

Is what makes me what I am

I did not make it, no, it is making me

It is the very truth of God and not

The invention of any man”


What we believe is, indeed, absolutely crucial to who we are, to the decisions we take every day, to how we live our everyday lives. We need to know what we believe, for it will surely be tested in difficult times. But in those times we can find, as Aaron Shust has, that there is hope and peace that passes understanding:

“My hope is in You, Lord, all the day long

I won’t be shaken by drought or storm.” (Aaron Shust, ‘My Hope is in You’)