- Within a few generations of Jesus’ death, Christianity had spread from the middle east to Greece and Rome
- 325 CE, the Emperor of Rome organized a council of religious leaders at Nicea (a city in modern-day Turkey)
- The idea was to decide on the official beliefs of the Christian Church.
- This meeting produced the Nicene Creed, which outlines the basic beliefs shared by most Christians:
We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from 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:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from 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.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Important Aspects of the Creed:
- The whole universe is created by God (it does not say how He did it)
- Same belief as Judaism
- One God, an all-good creator
- Seen as a Supreme Being, and as a personal God that one can communicate with through prayer
- God chooses to be nice, but does demand authority
- A focus on God’s love for humanity
The Holy Trinity:
- The Nicene Creed officially states that Jesus is the Son of God, and is therefore God.
- The Holy Spirit is the life-giving presence of God present in Christian’s lives
Salvation and Eternal Life:
- Jesus suffered in order to accomplish the forgiveness of sin and human salvation
- Jesus’ mission was to bridge the gap between God and humanity caused by the original sin of Adam and Eve.
- Therefore because of Jesus’ sacrifice, humans can once again achieve eternal life with God.
The Last Judgment:
- The creed states that Jesus will come back to earth to make the Last Judgment – to determine which humans will join him, body and soul, in heaven
- This includes those already dead – their bodies will go up to heaven to rejoin their souls