The Apostles Creed is a good summary of Christian Doctrine. However, there are two primary concerns with the Apostles’ Creed. First in regards to the phrase “He descended into hell,” and secondly in regards to “the holy catholic church,” this does not refer to the Roman Catholic Church as we know it today. The word catholic means “universal.” The true catholic church is all those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation.
I believe in God, the Father, Creator 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 into hell; the third day He arose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.
Communion of the Saints
The word “communion” means “an acts or instance of sharing.” When the Apostles Creed speaks of the “communion of the saints” it is not just specifically referring to the Lord’s Supper/Holy Communion in which believers come together to remember Jesus’ sacrifice through bread and the wine. The communion of the saints is much deeper than this important sacrament. Check out this post What does communion of the saints mean in ancient creeds?
Did Jesus go to hell between His death and resurrection?
There is a great deal of confusion in regards to this question. This concept comes primarily from the Apostles Creed, which states, “He descended into hell.” There are also a few Scriptures which, depending on how they are translated, describe Jesus going to “hell.” In studying this issue, it is important to first understand what the Bible teaches about the realm of the dead. For more information, check out this post Did Jesus go to hell between his death and resurrection?.
What is the difference between the universal church and the local church?
To understand the difference between the local church and the universal church, one must get a basic definition of each. The local church is a group of professing believers in Jesus Christ who meet in some particular location on a regular basis. The universal church is made up of all believers in Jesus Christ worldwide. For a more in depth look, check out this post What is the difference between the universal church and the local church?.