New City Catechism 31.2

Question 31: What do we believe by true faith?


Answer: Everything taught to us in the gospel. The Apostles’ Creed expresses what we believe in these words:


We 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 to the dead. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.


We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.


The middle section of the Apostles’ Creed, which contains the gospel story about God the Son, is the longest and most detailed section. Notice how it follows the story of the gospel from the incarnation and virgin birth to Christ’s suffering and death. It then affirms his resurrection from the dead, followed by his ascension to Heaven, where we await his return one day in judgment. This is the basic outline of the story: incarnation, birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension, second coming. This is the story of our redemption in summary form. If you have never memorized the Apostles’ Creed, it would be a helpful practice for you to help you master these basic elements.


Suggested passage for family or personal reading: 1 Timothy 3:14-16. What is the basic outline of the gospel story in this passage, according to Paul?


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