Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Creed’

Nicene Council

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.

“We are waging a war of religion.  Not a civil war between adherents of the same religions, but a life and death struggle between Christian and pagan.”  So wrote Dorothy L.Sayers in 1940 in England, in her essay, “Creed or Chaos?”  I think that Athanasius and the other confessors of the pure doctrine of Jesus Christ, true man and true God are in agreement with Dorothy L. Sayers’ observation in 1940. In A.D. 325, it was a conflict, but between Christians.   man sitting on a branch sawingCreed or chaos?  If the confessors at Nicaea had not remained “steadfast in the Word”, the faith of the Church would have disappeared, but the Lord held fast with Athanasius and others. Christianity would have become a pagan religion, which many branches of the Church are becoming in our day  because they have lopped off their branches by denying the utter veracity of the Bible, Old and New Testaments.

The Lord made us to believe and without the Lord, we believe in the darndest things, like “deeds not creeds”.  But how can our deeds be informed and conformed without true teaching?  Can you imagine a doctor not being taught correctly the doctrines, that is the correct teachings of his profession to make correct diagnoses?  Can you imagine the chaos?  Look at what has happened after denomination after denomination  denied the Law of God in matters of marriage and sexuality?  Yes, chaos.  Or that our deeds supersede the saving doctrine of Christ’s atonement?   People do not hear the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ once and for all.  The result is the doctrinal chaos of our day and note that atheism is on the rise and many congregations have become self-sanctified social welfare centers, not of faith and mercy in the Lord.

In St. Mark 3: 32 and 34, it is reported that the crowd sat around Jesus in a circle.  Jesus is at the center which means so His Father and the  Holy Spirit.  Without this Hub, the wheel won’t move and it will collapse.  When other doctrines are at the center, we will go the wrong way, and  when the inordinate desires of the flesh are at the center. The center is formed by the Creeds, the Center and the Church, and the crowds, hearing His Word, praying His Word, teaching and preaching and eating and drinking His Word and washed in His Word. We are baptized, secured by the Lord to eat His Body and drink the Cup of the New Testament in His Blood, taught His saving doctrine, every Word of the Bible day by day.

Many see  doctrine as simply fussy and nit-picking.  In a Bible study in the liberal Lutheran church of which I was a pastor, a man said to me,  Oh, you are such a nit-picker. Later my wife told me that Ann whispered to her, But nit-picking helps (!).  I am thankful for all those faithful nitpickers!  The Church knew that in the challenge of Arianism (and all heresies)  something is at stake:  the very basis of the Gospel and the authority of the Scriptures. This is why the blessed Reformers, as well,  took their stand on the Word of God (See Resource below:  The Scriptural Basis of the Nicene Creed).  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).  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 and the Confessors of the ecumenical Council of Nicaea.  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.


Resource:  The Scriptural Basis of the Nicene Creed:

The Father

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

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

The Father
Is. 63:16, 2 Pet 1:17, Matt. 6:9

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

Maker
Job 4:17, 35:10, Is. 17:7, 54:5

of heaven
Gen 1:1, 8

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

and of all things
Gen 1:31

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

The Son

And in one Lord
Eph. 4:5

Jesus Christ,
Acts 10:36, 11:17, Rom. 1:7, 5:1, 1 Cor 1:2, 6:11, 2 Cor. 1:2, 8:9
Gal. 1:3, 6:14, Eph. 1:2, 3:11, Phil. 1:2, 3:20, Col. 1:3, 2:6, 1 Thes. 1:1, 5:9,
2 Thes. 1:1, 2:14, 1 Tim. 6:3, 14, 2 Tim. 1:2, Philemon 1:3, 25, Heb. 13:20,
Jas. 1:1, 2:1, 1 Pet. 1:3, 3:15, 2 Pet. 1:8, 14, Jude 17, 21, Rev. 22:20-21

the only-begotton,
John 1:18

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

Begotten of His Father,
Heb. 1:5

Before all worlds,

John 1:1, Col. 1:17, 1 John 1:1

begotten,
John 1:1, Heb. 1:5

Not Made,
Mic. 5:2, John 1:18, 17:5

Being of one substance with the Father,
John 10:30, 14:9

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

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

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

came down from heaven
Rom. 10:6, Eph. 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. 20:19, John 19:18, Rom. 5:6, 8, 2 Cor. 13:4

also for us
Rom. 5:8, 2 Cor. 5:15

under Pontius Pilate.
Matt. 27:2, 26, 1 Tim 6:13

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

and was buried.
Mark 15:46, 1 Cor. 15:4

And the third day
Matt. 27:63, 28:1, 1 Cor. 15:4

He rose again
Mark 16:6, 2 Tim. 2:8

according to the Scriptures
Ps. 16:10, Luke 24:25-27, 1 Cor. 15:4

and ascended
Luke 24:51, Acts 1:9

Into heaven
Mark 16:19, Acts 1:11

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

And He will come again
Jn. 14:3, 1 Thes. 4:16

with glory
Matt. 16:27, 24:30, 25:31, 26:64, Mark. 8:38, Col. 3:4

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

both the living and the dead,
Acts 10:42, 1 Pet. 4:5

whose kingdom
John 18:36, 2 Tim. 4:1, 18

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

The Holy Spirit

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

The Lord
2 Cor. 3:17

And giver of life,
John 6:63, Rom. 7:6, 8:2, 2 Cor. 3:6

who proceeds from the father

John 14:16-17

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

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

and glorified
John 4:24, 1 Tim. 1:17

Who spoke by the prophets.
1 Pet. 1:10-11, 2 Pet 1:21

And I believe in one
1 Cor. 10:16-17, 12:12-13

Holy
Eph. 3:16-17, 5:27, 1 Pet. 2:9

Catholic
1 Cor. 1:2

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

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

I acknowledge one Baptism
John 3:5, Rom. 6:3, Eph. 4:5

For the remission of sins,

Acts 2:38, 1 Pet. 3:21, Tit. 3:5

And I look for the resurrection of the dead

1 Thes. 4:16, 1 Cor. 15:12-13, 16, 52

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

Amen.
Ps. 41:13, 2 Cor. 1:20

Read Full Post »

So far we have heard the first part of Christian doctrine, (that is the 10 Commandments). In it we have seen all that God wishes us to do or not to do. The Creed properly follows, setting forth all that we must expect and receive from God; in brief, it teaches us to know him perfectly. It is given  in order to help us do what the Ten Commandments require of us, For, as we said above, they are set on so high a plane that all human ability is far too feeble and weak to keep them. Therefore it is as necessary to learn this part as it is the other so that we may know where and how to obtain strength for this task. If we could by our own strength keep the Ten Commandments as they ought to be kept, we would need neither the Creed nor the Lord’s Prayer.

Therefore, Martin Luther introduced the Apostles’ Creed.  The word “creed” is from the Latin word, “Credo”  or “I believe”.  The Creed begins with “I believe”.  A creed is statement of belief but note, it is not “I believed”, but present tense, “I believe”.  Why?  The object of belief and faith is the living God who is creating, redeeming and sanctifying us.  The Creed confesses the present tense of the Lord. 

These works of God are described, not in the past tense, but as happening now. God is still creating and caring. The Redeemer is now bringing under his rule those freed from the tyranny of the devil. The great works of God in the past are seen as works at the same time being done in and to us now. The goal of all the activity of God is the forgiveness of sin, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Everything God does leads to this. Then the confession of faith becomes a jubilant witness to the wonderful works of God in Jesus Christ for us. The Creed, therefore, is not speaking of metaphysical facts, toward which a person can take a neutral attitude. On the contrary, a person who reads or says or hears it is directly addressed by the real, triune God, addressed—and this is the real intent of the Creed—by his saving and merciful love.Thus seen, the Creed becomes an exposition of the gospel. The revelation of what God really is, is gospel or good news for men. (Teaching Luther’s Catechism I, by Herbert Girgensohn) 

In a recent article, a philosopher professor saw a disturbing sign in his son’s second grade classroom: 

Fact: Something that is true about a subject and can be tested or proven.                                                   

Opinion: What someone thinks, feels, or believes. 

Believing is now  simply an opinion, not a fact, so not true.  The sages of the zeitgeist assert that the only truths are facts.  If that were true, then we could not live nor understand anything.  The Declaration of the United States has the memorable line, We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness..  Thomas Jefferson wrote those words and all those who signed the Declaration said what is written is true.  The Declaration declares what they wrote is truth, it is “self-evident”, as plain as the nose on your face.  Now if facts alone are true, then the Declaration is not true. I cannot prove by sight that the Creator has endowed these rights, yet the very nature of what humankind as it is created to be, attests to that truth.  The last sentence of the Declaration:  “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor”.  If the American revolution failed, Jefferson and the founding fathers of our nation could have been executed for treason.  Those men risked their lives for truth.  If facts alone are truth…. 

None of us can prove that there is a Creator, after all, neither you nor I were there when God the Father, Almighty Creator of heaven and earth, said, “Let there be light”.  I also believe as truth the fact that Carol Schroeder gave birth to me on January 25th, 1954.  I don’t remember it at all.  I have witnesses of my birth:  my Mom and my Dad. That’s enough.  I can not “prove” it but they told me and I know it is true.  I did not see my birth with my own eyes. I believe it as true. I trust, believe in Mom and Dad, and that is a fact.  It is not my untruthful opinion. 

The Lord who created the heavens and the earth breathed His Word, as in the Holy Spirit, the Scriptures for many men to write it down.  Now that written Word, the Bible, from which the Creed is compendium of the Word, particularly, the Gospel, is true, because unlike other creeds, this Creed attests the Triune God creates, redeems and sanctifies, present tense,  for us.  As much as Emil and Carol Schroeder loved each other to have a child, so much more the Father of all love and mercy creates, redeems and sanctifies. 

 “I believe in God the Father Almighty maker of heaven and earth”.  Just think of the radical change of meaning if the word “Father” is dropped, “I believe in God the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth”.  Most religions attest to that, but the Lord, our Father who art in heaven, the one God, has revealed His disposition toward us.  The living heart of the Creed is the Son, Jesus Christ, born of the Virgin Mary, conceived by the Holy Ghost.  To know God is to know his benefits (Phillip Melancthon) and the Creed is the witness that we are not self-created nor self-redeemed nor self-sanctified.  The Law of God has clearly shot out of the water self-creation by showing us the result of our self-creation:  sin and evil.  Truth is both fact and trust.  I believe that and I believe in.  The “For You” center of the Creed is Jesus Christ, who is both fact and the object of our trust, our Credo.  The Creed is: 

The greatest sign (signum), standing at the center, is the incarnate Son of God himself. The Creed thus acquires an aim and purpose directed toward us. Its ultimate aim and high point is not the revelation of the divine mysteries; it rather starts from the mysteries of God’s being and leads us to the works done in and for us. (Teaching Luther’s Catechism I, by Herbert Girgensohn) 

Women and men do not risk, “house, goods, honor, child or spouse” for an untruthful opinion.  Coptic Christians, 10 million in Egypt, are mostly poor day laborers.  For centuries, as second class citizens, brazenly tattooed on their wrists a cross and the cross is both fact and truth of the One who was born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate,  crucified, died and was buried and on the third rose again. 21 Copts seem to have not denied the cross tattooed on their wrists…and so have thousands upon thousands not denied Christ from the Coliseum in Rome to the concentration camps to the ISIS crucifixions and beheadings…they  were martyred not for an opinion .  Now, in the Rite of Confirmation in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, a confirmand is asked:  “Do you intend to live according to the Word of God, and in faith, word and deed to remain truth to God, Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, even to death?  “I do,by the grace of God.” The sheer law of God overwhelms us with our knowledge of our sin, the sheer Gospel of the Creed overwhelms with the utter grace of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, so that we can pray, Our Father.  Next week the third Chief Part, the Lord’s Prayer.

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

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.  But the Church knew that in the challenge of Arianism (and all heresies)  something is at stake:  the very basis of the Gospel and the authority of the Scriptures. (This is why the blessed Reformers took their stand on the Word of God).  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).  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 Nicene Creed

  • 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 His 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 at the right hand of the Father. And He will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead, whose kingdom will have no end.
  • And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And I believe in one holy Christian 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.

Read Full Post »

Note: I first saw this on Cyberbrethren, blogger Rev. Paul McCain.  The intro below is written by the blogger:

Here is a beautiful YouTube video of the reading of the Nicene Creed which dates back over a 1,000 years in the the Christian church. This recitation was done at Trinity Lutheran Church, Klein, TX during the March 4, 2012 church services by three members of Trinity as part ofLutheran Schools week. These three members, and students (former and present) are: Mr. Erich Klenk, 97 years old, confirmed in 1928, past Chairman of the congregation, charter member of the Men’s Club in 1946,  and Trinity’s oldest member. Lyle Lovett, great grandson of Trinity founding father Adam Klein, confirmed in 1971, singer/songwriter, and winner of four Grammys. Erin Pali, class of 2016 and current 4th grade student of Miss Marilyn Peterson/ Erin’s Dad Brett also had Miss Petersen in 4th grade during his years at Trinity. This video was posted to YouTube by Pat Blake.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: