Day 25 – Strength Training

We have included the Nicene Creed in our Evening Prayer. Like the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed was written to deal with false teachings that had risen in the early church. A creed is a summary statement of belief or faith that describes the beliefs shared by a religious community.

The Nicene Creed is said by all standing

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages, God from God, Light of Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through Him all things were made. For us and for our salvation, He came down from heaven, and was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate; He suffered death and was buried. On the third day He rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one, holy, universal, and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. AMEN.

The Nicene Creed can be traced back to the First Council of Nicea in AD 325. This council was convened by Constantine to deal with a theological issue in the church concerning the deity of Jesus Christ. Arius, who was a presbyter in the church in Alexandria, believed and taught that Jesus was created by God before the beginning of time and therefore inferior to God the Father. This teaching is known as “Arianism” and it is conflict with traditional Trinitarian doctrine. “Arianism” denies that Jesus was truly God. Arius was opposed by the bishop Alexander and his associate and successor, Athanasius. They affirmed that the divinity of Christ, the Son, is of the same substance as the divinity of God, the Father. To believe otherwise opens the doors to polytheism and implies that the knowledge of God in Christ was not final knowledge of God.

A creed reflecting the position of Alexander and Athanasius was written and signed by a majority of the bishops at the council in AD 325. The controversy continued for some years until a second council was convened in 381 AD in Constantinople. This council adopted a revised and expanded form of the A.D. 325 creed, which is now known as the Nicene Creed.

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