Thursday, August 19, 2010
We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father…
The word “creed” comes from the Latin credo which means “I believe.” Though creeds are not the Word of God, they are helpful for three reasons:
1) To establish church liturgy.
2) To provide a guide for teaching and preaching.
3) To confront heresy.
Throughout church history, the creeds became the verdicts concerning a doctrinal dispute or heretical teaching. When someone presented a teaching about the Christian faith (i. e. Arius stated that Jesus Christ was the created Son of God not the eternal Son of God). Constantine ordered a council meeting at Nicaea to discuss the matter. Athanasius debated the matter with Arius and the council voted in favor of Athanasius that Jesus was eternal Son of God and not the created Son of God. This meeting resulted in the Nicene Creed quoted above.