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Archive for June 12th, 2019

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About the Ecumenical Council of Nicaea, AD 325:  The first Council of Nicaea was convened in the early summer of AD 325 by Roman Emperor Constantine at what is today Iznik,Turkey. The emperor presided at the opening of the council. The council ruled against the Arians, who taught that Jesus was not the eternal Son of God but was created by the Father and was called Son of God because of His righteousness. The chief opponents of the Arians were Alexander, bishop of Alexandria, and his deacon, Athanasius. The council confessed the eternal divinity of Jesus and adopted the earliest version of the Nicene Creed, which in its entirety was adopted at the Council of Constantinople in AD 381.

Reflection:  Some people see this history as simply and terribly as dogmatic Christians getting their way in a power play.  Others see a creed as simply fussy, nit-picking  doctrine. In the 21st Century the words “doctrine” and “dogma” are derided and as the absolute dogmas of sexual immorality are being set in stone and applauded (such as, sexual immorality is “pride”) and these are blatantly false dogmas.  But the Church knew that in the challenge of Arianism, and all heresies saving truth is at stake:  the very basis of the Gospel and the authority of the Scriptures. Centuries after the Council of Nicaea, and as the Council, this was also reason  the blessed Reformers took their stand on the Word of God: to proclaim the Gospel alone.  

The Gospel:  At stake was (and always is) forgiveness of sinners received by faith in Jesus Christ:  the sinless One in the sinners’ stead ( 2 Corinthians 5:21).  In Jesus Christ, we are reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:18-20) and the way the Lord accomplished this once and for all  was by sending His Son in the flesh, “very God from very God”, the only- begotten Son of God (1 John 4:9, KJV), as the whole of Scripture attests.  

The Scriptures:  The false doctrine and promises of Arianism denied and overlooked the clear teaching of Scripture as to the true nature of Jesus Christ, passages such as:

John 8:  Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

John 1: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Colossians 1:  15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

Maybe Arius’ teaching is the origin of the understanding that Jesus was good teacher alone but He did not leave that option open to us. So for Arius, the Scriptures were like Wikipedia article today: anyone can add or subtract the words of God one likes or dislikes. Only the utter weight of God in man dying on the Cross, bearing our sin can lift us up to the Lord Himself. 

DEATH OF GOD | US GOD'S DEATH | image tagged in jesus | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

We can not do the heavy lifting of our sins.  Arius was not capable of that either and neither are you nor I.

This is the sound doctrine of which the Apostle wrote to Timothy and Titus.  Doctrine is life, eternal life.   If the bishops and pastors had not convened and took a stand against false teaching, we would be lost but the Lord will not let us be lost, but found, and so we praise Him for His faithful Church.  Let us  pray:

Lord God, heavenly Father, at the first ecumenical Council of Nicaea, Your Church boldly confessed that it believed in one Lord Jesus Christ as being of one substance with the Father. Grant us courage to confess this saving faith with Your Church through all the ages; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

The Scriptural Basis of the Nicene Creed:

God the Father:

I Believe
Rom. 10:9Jas 2:19John 14:1

In one God,
Deut. 6:4Is. 44:6

The Father
Is. 63:162 Pet 1:17Matt. 6:9

Almighty,
Gen. 17:1Ps. 91:1Rev. 4:8

Maker
Job 4:1735:10Is. 17:754:5

of heaven
Gen 1:18

and earth
Ps. 104:5Jer. 51:15

and of all things
Gen 1:31

visible and invisible.
Ps. 89:11-12Amos 4:13Rev. 3:5Col. 1:16

God the Son

And in one Lord
Eph. 4:5

Jesus Christ,
Acts 10:3611:17Rom. 1:75:11 Cor 1:26:112 Cor. 1:28:9
Gal. 1:36:14Eph. 1:23:11Phil. 1:23:20Col. 1:32:61 Thes. 1:15:9,
2 Thes. 1:12:141 Tim. 6:3142 Tim. 1:2Philemon 1:325Heb. 13:20,
Jas. 1:12:11 Pet. 1:33:152 Pet. 1:814Jude 1721Rev. 22:20-21

the only-begotton,
John 1:18

Son of God,
Matt 3:17John 3:16

Begotten of His Father,
Heb. 1:5
Before all worlds,
John 1:1Col. 1:171 John 1:1

begotten,
John 1:1Heb. 1:5

Not Made,
Mic. 5:2John 1:1817:5

Being of one substance with the Father,
John 10:3014:9

By whom all things were made;
1 Cor. 8:6Col 1:16

Who for us men
Matt 20:28John 10:10

and for our salvation
Matt 1:21Luke 19:10

came down from heaven
Rom. 10:6Eph. 4:10

and was incarnate
Col. 2:9

by the Holy Spirit
Matt 1:18

of the Virgin Mary
Luke 1:34-35

and was made man;
John 1:14

and was crucified
Matt. 20:19John 19:18Rom. 5:682 Cor. 13:4

also for us
Rom. 5:82 Cor. 5:15

under Pontius Pilate.
Matt. 27:2261 Tim 6:13

He suffered
1 Pet. 2:21Heb. 2:10

and was buried.
Mark 15:461 Cor. 15:4

And the third day
Matt. 27:6328:11 Cor. 15:4

He rose again
Mark 16:62 Tim. 2:8

according to the Scriptures
Ps. 16:10Luke 24:25-271 Cor. 15:4

and ascended
Luke 24:51Acts 1:9

Into heaven
Mark 16:19Acts 1:11

and sits at the right hand of the Father.
Ps. 110:1Matt. 26:64Acts 7:56Heb. 1:3

And He will come again
Jn. 14:31 Thes. 4:16

with glory
Matt. 16:2724:3025:3126:64Mark. 8:38Col. 3:4

to judge
Matt. 25:31-46Acts 17:31

both the living and the dead,
Acts 10:421 Pet. 4:5

whose kingdom
John 18:362 Tim. 4:118

will have no end.
Luke 1:33Rev. 11:15Ps. 145:13

God the Holy Spirit

And I believe in the Holy Spirit,
Matt. 28:19Acts 13:2

The Lord
2 Cor. 3:17

And giver of life,
John 6:63Rom. 7:68:22 Cor. 3:6
who proceeds from the father
John 14:16-17

and the Son,
John 15:26Rom. 8:9Gal. 4:6

Who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped
Luke 4:8John 4:24

and glorified
John 4:241 Tim. 1:17

Who spoke by the prophets.
1 Pet. 1:10-112 Pet 1:21

And I believe in one
1 Cor. 10:16-1712:12-13

Holy
Eph. 3:16-175:271 Pet. 2:9

Catholic
1 Cor. 1:2

and Apostolic
Eph. 2:20Rev. 21:14

Church,
Acts 20:28Eph. 1:22-23Col. 1:24Heb. 12:231 Pet. 2:9

I acknowledge one Baptism
John 3:5Rom. 6:3Eph. 4:5
For the remission of sins,
Acts 2:381 Pet. 3:21Tit. 3:5
And I look for the resurrection of the dead
1 Thes. 4:161 Cor. 15:12-131652

And the life of the world to come.
1 Cor 15:54-57Rev. 22:5

Amen.
Ps. 41:132 Cor. 1:20

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