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Words are an incredible tool that we have to inform one another. But there are certain words in certain situations that change things like when naming a boat or speaking a marriage vow. These types of words don’t just inform; they perform. The words in the Apostles' Creed don’t just inform; they perform. They have power. By these words, a person becomes a disciple of Jesus and a member of His community.
Oftentimes when people think of creeds, political documents, statements formed at a meeting or by a council that are used to enforce one’s understanding of how things are “supposed to be” come to mind. The Apostles' Creed wasn’t created by a council and wasn’t a theological strategy. It was a grassroots confession of faith born out of baptism. It is the oldest of Christian creeds. It is a pledge of allegiance to the Almighty God of the gospel—a God who is revealed as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a God is whose power is made present to us in the real world as human flesh—creating, redeeming, and equipping us to be used for good works.