In Summa theologiae III q. 1, a. 8, Thomas Aquinas states that the object of Christian faith consists in fourteen (14) articles of belief revealed in Sacred Scripture. Together they form the Apostolic deposit of faith. Saint Jude called this “for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3). These articles divide up neatly into seven (7) articles concerning the Godhead, and seven (7) articles concerning the human nature of Christ.
The Seven Articles Pertaining to the Godhead
- God is One “I believe in God”
- Father “the Father Almighty”
- Son “and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord”
- Holy Spirit “I believe in the Holy Spirit”
- Nature (Creation) “the Maker of heaven and earth”
- Grace (Redemption) “the holy catholic church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins”
- Glory (Glorification) “the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.”
The Seven Articles Pertaining to Christ’s Human Nature
- 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.
- The third day He arose again from the dead;
- He ascended into heaven,
- and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
These fourteen articles are articulated and arranged in the Apostles’ Creed which has been rightly and validly ratified as the true faith of Christ by the Sovereign Pontiff who has the duty of drawing up a Creed of what ought to be believed always and everywhere: “It belongs to the sole authority of the Sovereign Pontiff to publish a new edition of the symbol, as do all other matters which concern the whole Church such as to convoke a general council and so forth. ” (STh II-II, q. 1, a. 10).
These fourteen articles thus form the content of the everlasting Gospel of Christ.