Plea For The Creed Of Christ

W. Terry Varner
March 12, 2017

The Restoration Movement had a slogan: “No creed but Christ.” The creed comes from the Latin verb Credo which means “I believe.” A person’s creed is what the person believes. Everyone has a creed because everyone believes something. From the second century on the early Christians have written creeds explaining what they believed. Some of their Creeds are: The Apostles Creed (the apostles had nothing to do with it), The Nicene Creed, The Westminster Creed, etc.

The question we raise is: “What is the creed of the churches of Christ?” More correctly, the question should be phrase WHO is the creed of the churches of Christ? The answer is one word— Christ! As New Testament Christians we can should emphasize and adopt Christ as our creed as it becomes our duty to both restore and maintain New Testament Christianity.

The New Testament, when carefully examined, gives expression to Christ as the Christian’s creed. Peter responded to Jesus’ question about who He was with the words, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:16). Paul desired to preach nothing but “Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2) because “other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 3:11). Someone wrote: “The living creed of the living church is the Living, ever-living Son of the Living God.”

In connection with Christ as our creed there are three essential elements of a good creed and Christ meets them all:

  • Simplicity. When one reads the creeds written by men they are often stated in obscure terms. For instance men speak about Hereditary Total Depravity, Reprobation, Unconditional Election, Irresistible Grace, Final Perseverance, etc., and several other terms not found in the Bible. Paul spoke of the “simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Cor. 11:5). Christ’s word can be understood if there is a desire to do so (cf. Eph. 3:3-6; Psalm 25:14).
  • Universal. When men began writing creeds, their creeds were not designed to be universal but were written for special groups. This is true today when someone decides to begin their own church. The creed of one denomination will not meet the creeds of other denominations, nor will it meet the creed of the church purchased by Christ. Consider that if “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and for ever (Heb. 13:8), and He is, then as our creed He never has to be updated or revised. If everyone accepted Christ as our creed we would have no divisions, but unity.
  • Comprehensive. In due respect to the creeds of men they contain some truth but not all truth. Jesus Christ is truth incarnate (cf. John 14:6; 8:32). In Christ we have all things (truth) pertaining to life and godliness (cf. 2 Peter 1:3). In Christ, we are complete (cf. Col. 2:10; 4:12). When Christ is accepted as our creed, we accept all that the Bible says about Jesus and we accept without controversy all the commandments of Jesus (cf. 1 Cor. 14:37). For example, one accepts the Genesis account of creation of man, because Jesus accepted it as true (cf. Matt. 19:4); consequently, one cannot be an evolutionist or even a Theistic evolutionist and at the same time be a New Testament Christian whose creed is Christ.

Men of The Restoration Movement repeated the following words:

No creed but Christ,
No law but the Lord’s.
No book but the Bible, No name but the Master’s