Creeds and Confessions

Historically, Reformed churches have held to three forms of unity.
Belgic Confession
Canons of Dordt
Heidelberg Catechism

In addition, we hold to these
Ecumenical Creeds.

In order to see that the use of creeds is Biblical, we must remember that
“creed” is from a Latin word which means, “I believe.” That tells us what creeds
are. They are an expression of the faith that lives in the hearts of God’s
people. In the creeds, believers, usually as a body, tell the world what they
believe the Word of God teaches. Creeds, then, do not exist apart from Scripture
or over against it, but are simply a confession of what believers find in the
Word of God. And what they find in the Word of God, they confess.

In having creeds, therefore, believers are only doing what the Word of God
itself commands them to do – confessing their faith. For this reason the creeds
are often called “confessions.” So it is here first of all, in the fact that
creeds are confessions, that we find a Biblical basis for having them.

There are any number of passages that command believers to confess their
faith. In Matthew 10:32 Jesus makes this very necessary when He says: “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is
in heaven.” Romans 10:9-10 connects our confessing Christ with salvation: “If thou shalt
confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God
hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man
believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto
salvation.”
In confessing their faith in creeds believers are only doing in unison what
Nathanael did when he said, “Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King
of Israel” (John. 1:49), or what Peter did when he said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the
living God” (Matthew 16:16). In recording their confession they are only doing what Scripture itself does in recording such confessions as these.

For more on what a creed is, click here.

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