This creed is called the “Apostles’ Creed,” not because it is a production of the Apostles themselves, but because it contains a brief summary of their teachings. It sets forth their doctrine, as has been well said, “in sublime simplicity, in unsurpassable brevity, in beautiful order, and with liturgical solemnity.” In its present form, it is of no later date than the 4th century. More than any other creed of Christendom, it may justly be called an ecumenical symbol of faith.
HT: Christian Creeds and Confessions Pocket Edition, 7.
I believe in God the Father Almighty,
Maker of Heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord;
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary;
suffered under Pontius Pilate;
was crucified, dead, and buried;
He descended into hell; (1)
the third day He rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from there He shall come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit;
a holy catholic (2) Church,
the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body;
and the life everlasting. Amen.
(1) The phrase, "He descended into hell," means two things. First, that after suffering on the cross, Jesus’ body lay three days in the grave while His spirit was in the abode of the righteous dead (Greek, hades). Secondly, the words “descended into hell” remind us that God the Son came down from glory to suffer among us. All His earthly life, but especially on the cross, our Savior experienced the anguish and torment due to sinners (HT: Phoenix URC, Apostles’ Creed).
(2) The word "catholic" means “universal.” This word implies that certain core beliefs have been shared by all Christians throughout history.