May 01, 2022

A Summary of the Truth

Jude 1-4, 17-21

I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.

—  Jude 3

Some people object to creeds in the church, saying, “I believe in God, but I only accept the truth of the Bible.” Though the Apostle’s Creed isn’t printed in the Bible, it faithfully summarizes the Bible’s teaching.

Jude’s short letter reveals the need for a summary of the truth. In his day there was an urgent need to defend the truth about Jesus Christ. In some ways like us today, people in the first century faced a swirling clash of ideas and claims about truth and religion, and it was easy to be misled by false teachings. Jude, an early church leader who was also a brother of Jesus, saw that false teaching threatened to mislead the church. He urged believers to hold on to the truth entrusted to them.

God the Holy Spirit, using the eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ apostles, forged the truth that we find in the New Testament. Then, from the days of the early church through the next few centuries, leaders and teachers summarized the main points of that truth as they taught new believers who were preparing for baptism. And by around the fourth century, a general statement emerged that has become known as the Apostles’ Creed.

Our grasp of God’s truth can still be threatened today. When we say the Apostles’ Creed, we are reciting God’s eternal truth to help us stand firm in our faith in Christ, and we do so with believers down through the centuries and around the world.

Lord, may your eternal truth shape us today as we share it with the world. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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