1 Part I: Profession of Faith (Nicene Creed)

Faith is believing in what you cannot detect (perceive) with any of your senses. You cannot see, you cannot smell, you cannot touch or hear or taste that something in which you believe. Faith in God is believing in God even without seeing, touching, feeling, hearing or smelling God.

Since God desires that everyone be saved, God willingly offers this faith as a gift to everyone. It is up to each person to accept this gift of faith and believe. God has revealed much about himself to the Catholic Church and thus to us.

1.1 What Do We Believe?

As Catholic Christians, there are some very specific things that we believe. We believe in God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe that Jesus entered our world as one of us to save us. We believe in good and evil. We believe that God taught us these things by revealing them to us through his prophets, apostles and others. These beliefs that have been passed down to us from our Lord Jesus Christ and delivered through his apostles, preserved in truth by the Holy Spirit are the Tradition of the Church. Much of this revelation is written in the Bible, and much, like the creed itself, has been preserved by the teaching of the Church. This Tradition existed before the New Testament was written.

In the years 315 and 381AD, many of these beliefs were written into a prayer at a place called Nicaea and thus this is known as the Nicene Creed. It is prayed every Sunday during mass to remind us of what we believe.

1.1.1 Nicene Creed

Here is the creed.
I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.

  I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages,
God from God,
Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.

For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven;
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

  I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
Who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
  I believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
  and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.

1.2 What Does it Mean

We will discuss the creed, phrase by phrase, to see what it teaches us about our Catholic Faith. We will discuss things from the Bible, the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament tells us about God creating the world and his promise that Jesus would come. The New Testament tells us about Jesus and what he taught us about God.

1.3 I believe in one God

There is only one God. Though many people now and at other times believe that there is more than one God, or no God, we believe in ONE God. God revealed this in the Old Testament. He told the Israelites,
“Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, is One”
Deut 6:4

God is pure Spirit. He is divine. He is pure Love. He wants us to love him back. God told us in his first Commandment:

 “I am the Lord your God, thou shall have no false gods before me”

1.4 The Father almighty

God told us that he is our Father. Jesus taught us to speak of God as “Abba.” This is a great word of endearment, like “daddy” or “papa.” So God is letting us know that he is very close to us. In fact, God the Father is closer to us than our earthly daddies! Just like our earthly dads, our Father in heaven provides for all our needs, only more so. The air we breathe, the light in the day, the spring and summer are all things that God the Father gives to us out of his love for us. God is almighty which means he can do anything. He is infinite. He is all powerful. He is all knowing. He existed before the creation of the world.

1.5 Maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible

God is Almighty. He made everything, from the stars in the sky, to the earth, to the oceans and the trees and the mountains. He made heaven and hell. He made the Angels. He made us. He made the atoms, which we can’t see but are in everything. We can see many of these things – look at your hand and see the individual fingerprints. Look at the beauty of the mountains and oceans. Look up in the sky and see the moon and the stars!

1.5.1 What is Heaven

Heaven is a place of complete, absolute Goodness. You are in God's presence forever. It is total happiness. All the angels and saints are in heaven.

1.5.2 Who are the Angels

The angels are also created beings. Like God, they are pure spirit and they have no bodies. God created all the angels at the beginning of creation. Angels are persons and can choose to be with God or not.

A person is one composed of an eternal spirit (or soul) who has free will and can be an agent of action. 

Since angels have all their knowledge, especially of good and evil, from the moment of their creation, they instantly made a choice for or against God's will.

Those who chose against God are called devils. They completely reject God and cannot stand to be with him. Their leader is Satan, sometimes called Lucifer. The devils are in hell. They attempt to influence us to also reject God, to act against his will and against our best interests.

Those angels who chose God, are in heaven with God. There are many kinds of good angels. Some angels, like Gabriel, are messengers and come to humans to reveal God's will. God gave each of us a guardian angel to help us against evil, especially against Satan. Talk to your guardian angel, even though your angel can't be seen. Your angel is there to help you.

1.5.3 Who are Humans

Humans are made in the image and likeness of God. Thus, humans are also persons. Like the angels, we have a spirit, but unlike the angels (or God) we also have a body and we live in the created world. God loved us so much, he created us. He wants us to freely return that love. He also gave us a free will.

A free will gives us the ability to choose to love God or to choose to reject God.

If we choose to love God and others, we do God’s will and this love makes the whole world better. God made us in such a way, that we have a longing for him, to want to love him. We have a "hole in our heart" that can only be filled by God! God has loved us since before we came into being. How can we not love him?

Since we are made in God’s image and likeness, we naturally want to do what is good and only by going against this nature and choosing evil will we go against God. Think about the joy and happiness of, the wonder of being with God forever! That is what you desire now for after you die. That is what God wants for you. You can’t sense heaven now, but it is there!

If we choose not to love, we fail to do God’s will. If we choose to reject God, to turn our back on him, then after we die, we will be separated from him, from all goodness, forever. This is hell. One would be in hell because by his own free will he rejects God and completely turns away from him. Unlike angels, we grow in the knowledge of good and evil throughout our lives. Thus, by the end of our lives we will make our final decision to love God or not.

1.6 I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ

"Lord" is another name for GOD. Jesus was born into our world. Jesus is Lord. Jesus Christ is God. There is only one GOD, as God himself told us. It is a great mystery, but somehow the Father and the Son are still just one God.

A mystery of faith is a beautiful revealed truth of God that is beyond our natural ability to fully understand.   But through the gift of faith, love of God and presence of the Holy Spirit, we accept these mysteries, these truths, even when we do not understand them and cannot easily explain them. Even though we cannot see, touch, feel, hear, smell or even understand the mystery except in faith, we know it to be true. Such a mystery is not a problem to be solved, like a detective novel. Through prayer and study of our faith and by God's providence, we can grow in understanding these things that God has revealed to us but we can never fully understand them. God reveals these things to us to help us understand our relationship with him, but in the end, they are beyond our full knowing. The Bible refers to mysteries as in the following quote:

"and to bring to light [for all] what is the plan of the mystery hidden from ages past in God who created all things,
so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the principalities and authorities in the heavens.
This was according to the eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,
in whom we have boldness of speech and confidence of access through faith in him." Eph 3:9-12

1.7 The only Begotten Son of God

A son is like his father. If a father is human, then the son is human. A human father does not have a dog for a son, the son is human just like his father. Thus, the Son of God is and must be GOD. It is a great mystery, but somehow the Father and the Son are still just one God. Jesus alone, is the Son of God. There are not other gods.

1.8 Born of the Father before all ages

The Son, Jesus, is eternal. He was not made. If something is eternal, then it has no beginning and no ending. Since Got the Father exists, the Son has existed with him for all eternity and will exist forever. He is GOD.

1.9 God from God

Jesus Christ is the Son. Since the Father is God, JESUS is GOD! We emphasize this because many people in the past and even today continue to deny that Jesus is God. Those who say that Jesus is just a prophet, or a just another good or great man do not believe in God's revealed truth.

1.10 Light from Light

Without light, we cannot see. We could not understand our world without being able to see. The Light of all creation is God and Jesus is God so he also is Light to us. As humans, we cannot really understand God, we are blind. Jesus became one of us and thus he can lead us out of our darkness, our lack of understanding of the truth, to the Light and Absolute Truth that is God.

1.11 True God from true God

There is only one God. Other gods are false, they are not real. Jesus, the Son of God is the true God.

1.12 Begotten, not made, consubtantial with the Father

As God, Jesus has no beginning or end. As the Son, he is the same substance (consubstantial) as the Father. Substance is what something really is, the makeup of someone or something. The substance of the Father and the Son is to be divine, to be God.

1.13 Through him all things were made

“In the beginning the Word was with God and the Word was God.” John 1:1

This Word is Jesus. When God speaks the Word (which is Jesus), creation comes into being and is sustained. God the Father and God the Son cooperated in the creation of all things.

1.13.1 Creation of Mankind

In the beginning God created all things, the heavens and the earth, day and night, the sea and the land, plants and animals, and he created us. The first humans and our first parents were called Adam and Eve.

 “God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them” Gen 1:27
Because God created us in his divine image, humans have great dignity. For all of our lives, we have great value to God and to each other. We have this dignity from the moment of conception until we die. Each of us has a unique and special purpose that God intended just for us and no one else.  We were created to reflect God's image of love through the unique gifts we bring to the world.  Our value, our worth, our beauty comes from God and is within us from before we were even created.  Every human being has great value to God and deserves to be treated with respect. In God's eyes and thus in our eyes, all people are equal in dignity and worth. 

1.13.2 Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve wanted to be like a god, even though they (and we) cannot be God. They turned from God and sin entered the world. Sin is turning away from God, doing our own will and not God’s will. Doing what we want, not what God wants for us. We think we know more than God. We think we can do better than God. In this and many other things, we do that which is contrary to God’s will and thus sin. We do what WE want. We are made in the image of God, but we are NOT God. 

1.14 For us men and for our salvation, He came down from heaven

Mankind must be freed from our sins in order to regain our lost friendship with God, to be able to go to heaven. Salvation means just this - to be freed from our sins and their just punishment. In a mystery, understood only by God, saving us required that God become one of us.

 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” John 3:16

Thus Jesus, God’s only begotten Son, became a man and lived among us, showing us how to live according to God's will. He came to save us so that we might gain eternal life, which is living forever in heaven.  Here is the story of how this all came about. It is called Salvation History.

1.14.1 Sin Enters the World

Because Adam and Eve disobeyed God, sin entered the world and we turned from God. This is called Original Sin. Though he gave us a will to do good, we are like Adam and Eve and choose sin. We have inherited this original sin from our first parents. We needed a redeemer to forgive us of these sins and a savior to guide us away from sin. God always loved us and thus promised a Savior from the time of Adam and Eve. He said to the serpent (the devil) who had tempted Adam and Eve:

exit from eden“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel." Gen 3:15

Enmity means hate: the devil hates us and we hate the evil the devil tempts us to do. The devil tries to lure us from God. Note here, that the devil has not won.

The “He” in the phrase above is the Savior: Jesus. Jesus came to strike at the serpent’s (the devil) head. The devil hates Jesus (the devil hates GOD) and he hates all of us who try to do the will of God.

1.14.2 The Story of Noah

As we have seen, God promised a Savior from the beginning.  First mankind had to learn who God was. noahs arkMankind continued to fall short of the good that God made us to do. Right after Adam and Eve were forced from the Garden of Eden, their first son, Cain, killed their second son, Able, out of jealousy. Mankind did more and more evil. Finally, God became so upset with mankind that he decided to start over. He called a just, holy man by the name of Noah and told him to build a special boat called an ark. In this ark, Noah put his family and some of each kind of animal. Then a great flood came and Noah and his family and the animals survived in the ark until the flood went away. God made a promise (a covenant) to Noah that he would never flood the whole world again. "This is the sign that I am giving for all ages to come, of the covenant between me and you and every living creature with you:   I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth." Gen 9:12-13

The story of the flood shows us how terrible sins are in God's sight. The Ark is a sign of salvation that carries the just though the destruction of sin.  Like in our Baptism, water destroys sin.

1.14.3 The Story of Abraham

Abraham and IsaacLater, God put his plan to save mankind to work. There was a very good man named Abraham. God promised to make Abraham a great nation, even though Abraham and his wife Sara did not have any children. In their old age, Sara gave birth to Isaac and Abraham was very happy. Abraham so loved God that he was willing to do anything that God asked. Abraham showed this when God asked him to sacrifice Isaac. This sacrifice was to kill Issac. Even though Abraham loved Isaac very much, he had great faith and trust in God and was going to sacrifice Isaac. The angel of the Lord stopped him and God made a promise, that because of his faith, all peoples would be saved through his descendants.

 "I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. All the communities of the earth shall find blessing in you." Gen 12:2-3

All the communities of the earth did find this blessing: Jesus, the Savior of the whole world. Note, that while God's mercy stopped the sacrifice of Isaac, God did not withhold his own Son from sacrifice for us.

1.14.4 The Story of Jacob (Israel)

Isaac had a son, Jacob. Jacob grew very wealthy because he was blessed by God. God changed his name to Israel. He had twelve sons, who became the twelve tribes of Israel. His favorite son was Joseph, whom God gave the ability to interpret dreams. Joseph’s brothers were jealous and sold him to be a slave. They lied to Jacob and said he had been killed.

1.14.5 The Story of Joseph and the Israelites in Egypt

josephJoseph was sold as a slave to a man in Egypt where his wisdom and ability to interpret dreams saved him from slavery. He interpreted the Pharaoh’s (the king’s) dream about a great drought that was coming to the world, to Egypt and to the land where Jacob and his other sons lived. Because of this the Pharaoh appointed Joseph to be his sencond in command and Joseph ordered that during the good years before the drought, much food be stored. When the drought came, Egypt was thus prepared. Jacob sent his sons to Egypt to buy food and they found Joseph there. Joseph forgave his brothers and invited his whole family to come and live in Egypt. Jacob made the following prophecy just before he died, about his son Judah:

 “The scepter shall not be taken away from Judah, nor a ruler from his thigh, till he come that is to be sent, and he shall be the expectation of nations” Gen 49:10

The scepter is the symbol of a king. That it will not be taken shows that the king will rule forever. This expectation of the nations is Jesus.

1.14.6 The Story of Moses and the Exodus from Egypt

The descendants of Israel, the Israelites, grew very numerous and eventually the Egyptians grew afraid of them and made them all slaves. The Pharaoh ordered that all the new born baby boys of the Israelites be killed. One Israelite mother put her son in a basket and floated him in the Nile River where the Pharaoh’s daughter saved him and named him Moses. Moses grew up as one of the Pharaoh’s children. After he had grown up, he saw an Egyptian beating one of the Israelites and he killed the Egyptian. Moses then fled into the desert. God called him from the desert to go back to Egypt and save the Israelites from bondage (slavery). The new Pharaoh would not free God’s people. Through Moses, God punished the Egyptians with plagues, but the Pharaoh would not free them. Finally, God punished the Egyptians by killing their first born (much like the Pharaoh had killed the Israelite children). The firstborn of the Israelites were saved from this punishment by sacrificing a pure lamb and placing some of its blood on their doors. This is called Passover.
"This is the Passover sacrifice of the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt; when he struck down the Egyptians, he spared our houses." Deut 12:27
Jesus was celebrating the Passover at the last supper. At last, the Pharaoh let the Israelites go. But when they were on their way, Pharaoh changed his mind and pursued them with his army. God opened a dry path in the Red Sea and the Israelites passed safely through the sea, but he let the waters flood back over the Egyptian army and it was destroyed. Again, as in our Baptism, the Israelites are saved by water as it destroys the sins of the Egyptians.
moses 10 commandmentsGod made a covenant with Moses and the Israelites. That he would be their God and they would be his people. He made rules for them to help them follow his covenant. The most important are called the  Ten Commandments. God told the Israelites how to pray and how to worship him. He told them to make a Tabernacle for him, which was a beautiful golden box where God was present and which contained the Ten Commandments. It was carried only by the priests and was kept inside a special tent. Before the Israelites returned to the promised land of Jacob (Israel), Moses told them a prophesy, promising the Messiah:

“A prophet like me will the LORD, your God, raise up for you from among your own kinsmen; to him you shall listen” Deut 18:15

 This prophet is Jesus.

1.14.7 The Story of David

The Israelites desired to have a King, like other countries, even though they were God’s chosen people (everyone is one of God’s people). God warned them that a King would take their money for taxes and their young men for soldiers. Still they persisted and God gave them their first king, Saul. Saul waged war on surrounding countries but grew disobedient and unrepentant to God. God picked a new king, David, the youngest son of Jesse. David had the favor of God. He repented when he did evil and he desired good for God’s people. He wrote many songs, called Psalms which are found in the Old Testament and which we hear during mass. Because David lived in a fine palace and the Tabernacle, God's dwelling place, was in a tent, David wanted to build a special house for the Tabernacle called a temple. Nathan, the prophet, told David that God was pleased but that God would build a temple at the right time. He promised that one of David’s descendants would be the Messiah, the Anointed one, the Savior of his people and of the entire world.

“Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever”
2 Sam 7:16

 This descendant is Jesus.

1.15 And by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.

To be one of us, Jesus needed to be born, to have a mother, just like we have a mother. But Jesus is perfect and needed a sinless vessel for the temple of his birth. So the womb of Mary became the perfect temple that God had promised to David. Mary and her spouse, St. Joseph, are descendants of the house of David. Jesus is the eternal king that God had promised David. The Holy Spirit came to Mary and she conceived Jesus. "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you." Lk 1:35. This fulfilled the promise to David and this prophesy of Isaiah:
 “Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel”
Isa 7:14

He is the offspring of Mary, thus an offspring of Eve. Mary is the new Eve as Jesus is the new Adam. Unlike the first Adam, Jesus is forever without sin and perfect in every way. Unlike the first Eve, Mary is also forever without sin. Immanuel or Emmanuel means “God with us!” This means Jesus, the Son of God. We sing a song called “O come, O come Emmanuel,” during the time before Christmas that we call Advent.

Jesus is True God. He is the Word. He also became a true man with a fully human body (incarnate) but a divine spirit. He has a human body. He has a human will, but also has the will of God (he is God). He has our nature, living in the world, but he has the nature of God as well, since he is the Son of God. Jesus is fully God and fully human. Because Jesus is God, his mother, Mary, is the mother of God. Mary is the Arc of the New Covenant, Jesus.

1.16 For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate

Who is Pontius Pilate? He was the Roman governor of Israel. Jews had been conquered by the Romans. You can look up the date around 2000 years ago, when Pontius Pilate ruled Israel. Jesus really lived in our world. What does it mean “for our sake?” God’s plan was to show us several things through Jesus. Crucifixion For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. John 3:16

1.17 He suffered death and was buried

Jesus suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane, where he took on the whole burden of all of our sinfulness. He suffered in the torture of being scourged (whipped) by Pilate. He carried his cross to Golgotha, Mount Calvary. He was nailed to the cross and died on the cross. He was truly human: he died just like we will die. He was put in a tomb and buried. God became one of us. He took on himself the punishment that we deserved. He died for us.

1.18 And rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures

Jesus was true God! He did not stay in the tomb. On Easter Sunday morning, the third day after he was buried, he came back to life and rose from the dead. He was seen by the Apostles and others of his disciples like Mary Magdalene. They touched his glorified body. He shared meals with them. He stayed with the Apostles for 40 days, showing them and us the promise of eternal life. This was fortold in the Old Testament.

1.19 He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Fatherascension

After the 40 days, he ascended, returned to heaven. What does “seated at the right hand of the Father mean?” On earth, someone who sits at the right hand of another, commands for that person. He carries out the requests and desires of that person. Thus, the Son of God is doing the work of the Father.

1.20 He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead

Jesus told us that at the end of the world, he would judge all people according to how they behaved on earth. When is the end of the world? We can say that for us there are two times that the world ends, when we die ourselves and when the world (universe) comes to an end. Jesus will judge us both times. The first time is called personal judgment and the second is called general judgment.

1.20.1 Personal Judgment

When we die, we face the Lord God alone. We will see for ourselves how we lived according to God’s will and how we failed. We may love God so much and be full of grace and remain with God forever in heaven. Or we may love God, and see how we have failed him. Because we are unworthy, we desire not to remain in his presence.  But our God is full of mercy, as Jesus has shown us. We go to purgatory to be purified and to become worthy, at which time we return forever to heaven. Finally, we may completely reject God, and God assents to our desire to never, ever be in his presence. We enter hell. Those who go to heaven are the living. Those who go to hell are the dead.

1.20.2 General Judgment

When the end of the world comes, there will be a general, public judgment. Because our actions during our life affect others and not just ourselves, all people will learn who will be in heaven or hell. Jesus told us how this would be determined in the story of the sheep and the goats (Mat 25:31-46). We will be judged by our actions in our relationship with God and one another. The “sheep,” the good people, help others even when it is not easy. They do the will of God and thus attain heaven. All those whom they helped will give thanks for their happiness. The “goats,” the bad people, do not help others. They don’t recognize anyone as a child of God and don’t see Jesus in others.  Everyone will see that they completely reject and hate God and that hell is a just place for them. Thus all people will know why some are in heaven and some are not.

1.21 And his kingdom will have no end

There have been many kingdoms on earth and many kings, like King David and King Solomon, King George and Queen Elizabeth. All these kingdoms have come to an end already or will come to an end.  However, God promised to David that the Messiah’s kingdom would be everlasting, it would have no end. Jesus, the Son of God, is this Messiah. His kingdom will have no end.

Where is his kingdom?  The Catholic Church is Christ’s Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. We are all called to be citizens of this kingdom. This kingdom extends into heaven. The saints and angels in heaven are also part of this kingdom. With the souls in purgatory, the saints in heaven and all believers in Jesus on earth, we have a great kingdom. This is also called the Communion of Saints.

1.22 I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life

We have God the Father and God the Son and we also have God the Holy Spirit. The Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are all persons. So are there three Gods? No, because there is only one God, but our God is a family of three divine and distinct persons. Remember, that God, all three Persons, has existed forever, from before the world and will exist forevermore. This mystery has a great name: The Holy Trinity. Trinity is a word that means “three.”

Who is the Holy Spirit? Here we have part of the answer: he is the giver of life. A very simple, incomplete explanation of the action of the Holy Trinity in creation is that:
Keep in mind, that this is a very simple explanation of how God created. The real explanation is a mystery. How did God make something from nothing, life from non-life?

1.23 Who proceeds from the Father and the Son

The Holy Spirit exists from all time. He was not created. The existence of the God, the divine, is Trinity. The Father is clearly revealed in the Old Testament, the Son is clearly revealed in the New Testament and the Holy Spirit is clearly revealed in the Church. He is revealed in both the Old and New Testaments, but only in understanding the Father and the Son do we come to understand the revelations about the Holy Spirit. The mission of Jesus and the Holy Spirit is brought to completion in the Church, which is the body of Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit to be free from error. God the Father sent the Spirit to the prophets. God the Son sent the Holy Spirit to the Church, on Pentecost and forever.
"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you." John 14:16-17

"When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me." John 15:26

1.24 Who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified

The Holy Spirit is GOD! Like the Father and the Son, since he is also divine, we worship him and give him Glory. He sustains us, and we thank him for this.

1.25 Who has spoken through the prophets

The main ways that the Holy Spirit speaks to us is through the Bible, in the Tradition of the Church and in his Bishops. In the Old Testament, there were many holy men, called prophets who told the truth to the Jews. The Jews often sinned against God and God’s law. God called the prophets to tell the Jews that if they did not repent, they would be punished. Sometimes the Jews listened and sometimes they did not. Often, the Old Testament talks about the Spirit of God talking to these men or coming to them. Sometimes these prophets foretell the coming of Jesus, as is the case with the prophesy of Moses mentioned earlier and also many prophesies from the book of Isaiah such as the following:

“Therefore I will give him his portion among the great,
and he shall divide the spoils with the mighty,
Because he surrendered himself to death and was counted among the wicked;
And he shall take away the sins of many,
and win pardon for their offenses” Isa 53:12

“He” in this passage is the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Today, we believe that before Jesus ascended into heaven, he sent the Holy Spirit to the Church to guide it, to keep it free from mistakes. This is the Advocate that is mentioned in John 14:16-17.  

1.26 I believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church

The words: One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic, are called the Marks of the true Church. Where you find them, you will find the Church created by our Lord. Jesus promised us a Church when he told St. Peter:

“And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church” Mat 16:18

The Church is the Kingdom of God on earth. She is the spouse of Jesus Christ. The head of the Church is the successor of the apostle, St. Peter. The apostles were the original followers of Jesus and he gave them the care of the Church. The successor of Peter is called the Pope. Other successors to the apostles are called bishops. The bishops are the heads of the local church. The meaning of these Marks is defined below.

It is the ONE Church Jesus gave us as he prays:
“And I have given them the glory you gave me,
So that they may be one, as we are one” John 17:22.
Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to the Church on Pentecost to keep it Holy and without error until the end of time.
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth” John 14:16-17
Catholic means universal, containing all truth needed for salvation. It's for everyone and is the same all over the world. For instance, the mass and readings are the same everywhere. As Jesus told the apostles just before his ascension:
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations
Mat 28:19
It is the Church received from the apostles with the mission to spread to the ends of the earth as commanded by Christ

1.27 I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

You are marked forever as a child of God, brother of Jesus by Baptism. This is the only Baptism that Jesus preached. This mark cannot be undone. Likewise, Baptism is the entrance into the Church and never needs to be repeated. This sacrament removes original sin, forever marks us as adopted children of God and also removes all other sin from us that we have at the time of Baptism.

1.28 And I look forward to the resurrection of the dead

Jesus promises that we too shall rise from the dead. We will have our body back again. In heaven it will be a glorious body, similar to Jesus’ resurrected body!

1.29 And the life of the world to come.

Our spirit is immortal – it will not cease. We are body and spirit and so we, our body and spirit, will live forever. Either in heaven or in hell.

We long to join the angels and saints in heaven, before God’s love, glory and majesty. We wish to be in communion with God as the saints are already (the Communion of Saints). Our present life is NOT the only world – there is life after death and this is our true hope. Hope in Christ, hope in God’s mercy, hope in the resurrection and hope in life everlasting. The history of salvation gives us this hope in heaven and what a wonderful hope it is!

1.30 Amen

We affirm that all that we have said we believe. Amen means, “So be it!” or "truly". This shows our acceptance of all that is in the creed.