Our Statement of Faith: The Nicene Creed Explained

St. David of Thessaloniki

St. David of Thessaloniki

My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE. Ο ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΕΝ ΤΩ ΜΕΣΩ ΗΜΩΝ! ΚΑΙ ΗΝ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΙ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΑΙ.

OUR STATEMENT OF FAITH: THE NICENE CREED EXPLAINED

Orthodox Christian are constantly asked and challenged as to what they believe by the heterodox Christians. We believe that the Holy Orthodox Christian Church is the authentic Church of Christ, the continuation of the early Church, the New Testament Church, the Church of the Ecumenical Councils, the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. For the Orthodox Christian, God is the object of our faith, first and foremost, and nothing supersedes this, as is clear in our statement of faith, the historic Nicene Creed, the Symbol of faith.

The word creed comes from the Latin credo which means "I believe." In the Holy Orthodox Christian Church the Creed is usually called The Symbol of Faith which means literally the "bringing together" and the "expression" or "confession" of faith. The Creed was formally drawn up by the Church back in 325 AD and 381 AD after controversies developed in Christendom about the nature of the Son of God and the Holy Spirit. It is the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, and is usually referred to simply as "the Nicene Creed."

As the "Symbol of Faith" for Orthodox Christians, the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed is recited by the faithful at every Divine Liturgy.

The Nicene Creed

"I believe in One God, (Deuteronomy 6:4; St. Mark 12:29, 12:32; Ephesians 4:6; 1 Corinthians 8:6)

The Father Almighty (Genesis 17:1-8; Exodus 6:3; St. Matthew 6:9; Ephesians 4:6; 2 Corinthians 6:18)
Maker of heaven and earth (Genesis 1:1; Job 38:1-30)
And of all things visible and invisible (Colossians 1:15-16; St. John 1:3; Hebrews 11:3; Revelation 4:11)
And in one Lord, Jesus Christ (St. John 20:28; Acts 11:17, 16:31; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:5)
The Son of God, the Only-Begotten (St. Matthew 3:17, 14:33, 16:16; St. John 1:14, 3:16)
Begotten of the Father before all ages (Psalm 2:7; St. John 1:1-2)
Light of Light (St. John 1:4, 1:9, 8:12; Psalm 27:1; St. Matthew 17:2, 5; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Hebrews 1:3; 1 John 1:5)
True God of True God (St. John 1:1-2, 17:1-5; 1 John 5:20)
Begotten, not made (St. John 1:1-2, 16:28, 1:18)
Of one essence with the Father (St. John 10:30)
By Whom all things were made (Hebrews 1:1-2, 10; St. John 1:3, 1:10; Colossians 1:16; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 11:36)
Who for us men and for our salvation (1 Timothy 2:4-5; St. Matthew 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; Colossians 1:13-14)
Came down from heaven (St. John 3:13, 3:31, 6:33-35, 38)
And was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary (St. Luke 1:34-39)
And became man (St. John 1:14; Hebrews 2:14)
And He was crucified for us (St. Mark 15:25; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 Peter 2:24)
under Pontius Pilate (St. Mark 15:15)
And suffered (St. Mark 8:31; St. Matthew 27:50)
And was buried ( St. Luke 23:53; 1 Corinthians 15:4; St. Matthew 27:59-60)
And He rose again on the third day (St. Mark 9:31, 16:9; Acts 10:40; 1 Corinthians 15:4)
According to the Scriptures (St. Luke 24:1, 45-46; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
And ascended into heaven ( St. Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9-10; St. Mark 16:19)
And sits at the right hand of the Father ( St. Mark 16:19; Acts 7:55; St. Luke 22:69)
And He will come again with glory ( St. Matthew 24:27; St. Mark 13:26; St. John 14:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:17)
To judge the living and the dead (Acts 10:42; 2 Timothy 4:1; St. Matthew 16:27; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Peter 4:5)
His Kingdom shall have no end (2 Peter 1:1; Hebrews 1:8)
And I believe in the Holy Spirit (St. John 14:26; Acts 1:8)
The Lord and Giver of Life (Acts 5:3-4; Genesis 1:2; St. John 6:63; 2 Corinthians 3:6)
Who proceeds from the Father (john 15:26)
Who together with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified (St. Matthew 3:16-17)
Who spoke through the prophets ( 1 Samuel 19:20; Ezekiel 11:5; 1 Peter 1:10-11; Ephesians 3:5)
And I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church (St. Matthew 16:18, 28:19; 1 Peter 25:9; Ephesians 1:4, 2:19-22,4:4,5:27; Acts 1:8, 2:42; St. Mark 16:15; Romans 12:4-5; 1 Corinthians 10:17)
I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins (Ephesians 4:5; Galatians 3:27; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Colossians 2:12-13; Acts 22:16)
I look for the resurrection of the dead (St. John 11:24; 1 Corinthians 15:12-49; Romans 6:4-5; 1 Thessalonians 4:16)
And the life of the world to come. (St. Mark 10:29-30; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1)
Amen. (Psalm 106:48)

This is the historical definition of Christian belief. In other words, if you don't believe this, you are not a member of the Christian faith.

The Nicene Creed, recited during the Divine Liturgy, is one of the most ancient prayers in Christianity.

It was composed, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, by the Holy Fathers of the First and Second Ecumenical Synods (Councils) (Nicaea 325 AD) and Constantinople (381 AD), respectively, at a time when various heretical doctrines attempted to overthrow the genuine Christian faith in the Holy Trinity.

The main reason for the converging of the First Ecumenical Council was the appearance and growing strength of the false teaching of the Alexandrian priest, Arius. The basic theory of the Arians' false teaching was that the Son of God was created, that His existence had a beginning.

The Second Ecumenical Council condemned the false teaching of the Pneumatomachi (Adversaries of the Holy Spirit), whose chief representative was Macedonius, Archbishop of Constantinople.

The Pneumatomachi called the Holy Spirit the servant and fulfiller of God's wishes as well other names that were fitting only for the Angels, and they did not recognize Him as a Hypostasis (Person) of the Holy Trinity.

The Holy Church made a decisive stand to protect the purity of the Orthodox Christian teaching of the faith, setting out the basic saving truths of Christian teaching in the Creed, which is a constant guide for all Orthodox Christians in their spiritual life.

The Creed(Symbol of Faith) is divided into twelve parts, seven of which were formulated at the First Ecumenical Council, the other five at the Second Ecumenical Council. (Source: Saint Cyril of Jerusalem Orthodox Church)

(To be continued)

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Please note, it is imperative for every Orthodox Christian to be able to recite the Creed, and to understand it fully. To appreciate the fact, that he or she possesses the True Christian faith, and therefore, to defend it, and to teach it to the children.

As you can see clearly that the Creed is based on the Holy Scripture, Old Testament and New Testament. Also, that Christians outside the Orthodox Church either have not kept the Creed in its original form or they simply do not adhere to it and/or do not agree with it. It is therefore clear that we do not share a common faith in Christ and therefore there is no intercommunion with Christians outside of the Orthodox Church.

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"Glory Be To GOD For All Things!"- Saint John Chrysostom

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With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+Father George