Elements of Worship: Confession of Faith

Today we Christians are a part of a family whose roots extend back to the time of Christ. So often we modern Christians forget that there has been 2000 years of Christian church history. Since the time of Christ, there has been teaching, preaching and discussion, clarifying and distilling the elements of what the Christian Church believes into clear, concise statements. Those statements have been assembled into what are now known as the three ecumenical (universal) creeds: The Apostles’ Creed, The Nicene Creed, and The Athanasian Creed.

Even though it can seem like reciting the creeds together in worship is something old and out-of-touch, it really is a relevant practice for us today. The creeds are important because they help us navigate our way through the larger story of God. They provide a summary of what Christians should know and believe from the Bible. Theologian J. I. Packer says, “The hundred word Apostles’ Creed is the simplified road map, ignoring much but enabling you to see at a glance the main points of Christian belief.”

The essentials give us a foundation to build our life upon. What we believe about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit shapes and influences how we live and how we see the rest of the world:

  • God is the Creator of all things, so I should care for his creation.
  • Jesus died for my sin, so I must live for Him and share my faith with others.
  • God created us to live in community, so I need the church.

Creeds in Modern Worship

Along with using the creeds as they are and speaking them together in unison, songs can fill in for the creed. There are several hymns that are simply the creed set to verse and can fully replace the creeds in the service. Modern worship songs tend to be less complete in their content of the whole creed, but there are songs that highlight elements of what we believe about God. Modern worship songs are less of a replacement for the creed and more of an exploration of various parts of the creeds.

Confession of Faith Hymns

Modern Worship Songs

Strong Confession of Faith songs

  • All Because of JesusWhile at first glance, its focus is the second article of the creed, it has references to the first article/God the Father as well (“Maker of Heaven and of Earth,” “Author of all eternity,” and others)
  • Glorious Day – Actually, it should be listed as a hymn because the text is straight from the hymn “One Day.” However, since Casting Crowns recorded it with a new melody, it has gained in popularity. It covers the second article of the Apostles’ Creed (about Jesus) quite thoroughly. 
Songs that express what we believe about who God is, though not as complete as others.

What have you used?

What songs, resources and tools have you used as a confession of faith? Share them in the comments!

Looking for other resources?

Find more Modern Worship resources for other elements of worship here. 

About Matthew Starner

Matthew Starner is pastor of Journey of Faith Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where they help people take their next step on their journey with Jesus.

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