The word creed comes from the Latin word “credo” which means ‘I believe.’ Creeds in the church are a confession of faith in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, the triune God. Romans 10:9 says:
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
The church has a long tradition that goes back to the first centuries after the death and resurrection of Jesus. That tradition is confessing the Church’s faith in a way that shows unity with the whole Christian Church on earth and keeps us from falling into false beliefs. The creed most often used during the Lutheran service is the Apostles’ Creed.
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day, He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
Repeating this creed during worship not only reminds us of what we confess and believe, it is also a helpful statement for visitors.
For more about the liturgy see these posts: