Historically, reformed churches have held to three creeds (the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dordt).

In order to see that the use of creeds is Biblical, we must remember that “creed” is from a Latin word which means, “I believe.” That tells us what creeds are. They are an expression of the faith that lives in the hearts of God’s people. In the creeds, believers, usually as a body, tell the world what they believe the Word of God teaches. Creeds, then, do not exist apart from Scripture or over against it, but are simply a confession of what believers find in the Word of God. And what they find in the Word of God, they confess.

In having creeds, therefore, believers are only doing what the Word of God itself commands them to do – confessing their faith. For this reason the creeds are often called “confessions.” So it is here first of all, in the fact that creeds are confessions, that we find a Biblical basis for having them.

There are any number of passages that command believers to confess their faith. In Matthew 10:32 Jesus makes this very necessary when He says: “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.” Romans 10:9-10 connects our confessing Christ with salvation: “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

In confessing their faith in creeds believers are only doing in unison what Nathanael did when he said, “Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel” (John. 1:49), or what Peter did when he said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). In recording their confession they are only doing what Scripture itself does in recording such confessions as these.