My 9 year old daughter is memorizing the Nicene Creed for her fourth grade class, so I thought I would memorize it along with her, since I am in like thirty-eighth grade now. And it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while. I cannot explain how good this has been for me, to massage into my soul what I believe alongside Christ’s church of 2,000 years. It is important and helpful to be able to formulate and state what you believe so as to be encouraged with others who believe, as well as to have enough awareness so that you do not to fall prey to false teachings which may easily lead you away from the true God.
There is a very rich history in this creed which we will just touch on briefly here before stating its content. By the way, the word creed comes from the Latin credo which means “I believe.” What we call the Nicene Creed is actually the product of two ecumenical councils–one in Nicaea (present-day Iznik, Turkey) in AD 325, and one in Constantinople (now Istanbul) in AD 381–and a century of debate over the nature of the relationship between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Nicene Creed is perhaps the most famous and influential creed in the history of the church, because it settled the question of how Christians can worship one God and also claim that this God is three persons. It was the first creed to obtain universal authority in the church, and it improved the language of the Apostles’ Creed (AD 140) by including more specific statements about the divinity of Christ and the Holy Spirit.
Many many people died over this creed because they would not recant.
I 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 sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets. And I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Perhaps we will look at some of this history and language over the next few days so that we may be able to better appreciate what this is and where it came from, and therefore, its immense significance to our faith which we call Christianity.
Blessings upon you this day!