“By common confession, the mystery of godliness is great” (cf. 1 Tim 3:15-16).
The church in the first four centuries fought important battles that Christians never have to fight again. These were battles for truth.
In the first four centuries A.D., the church fathers saw how urgent it was to determine and define biblical truth. Christians were being exposed to teachings that violated Scripture’s clear statements about God.
Church councils were convened and church leaders came together, asking the Holy Spirit to guide them in presenting these truths as statements that establish what Christians believe.
These are the truths that provide the foundation of understanding for knowing and believing in God. They have been set forth and preserved for us in the church’s creeds (confessions of faith).
Each person coming to the Lord Jesus agrees to the basic truths the Scripture teach about God.
The Bible alone is the final authority for truth. Because the truths stated in the creeds have been painstakingly drawn from the Scriptures and because they are ruled and supported by the Scriptures, Christians through the centuries embrace three credal statements, agreed upon and adopted at three major church councils.
Many congregations speak one of these confessions of faith in unison each time they meet for worship.
Doing so celebrates the grace we have been given in receiving God’s revelation and trusting Jesus.
It recognizes the one new Man we have become in Christ with Christians everywhere.
It stirs our individual resolve to live and die for this Truth.
It builds and reinforces a framework of truth in our lives that helps us recognize and reject deception, falsehood, and error.
(Spotlight 1, Lesson 4 in Doctrine 101: Learning about God)