Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Anniversary of the Nicene Creed

I was reminded today in an email that this is the anniversary date (JUNE 19-20, 325 A.D.) of the Nicene Creed.

Pastor Perkins from our daughter mission church at All Nations Fellowship wrote that The Nicean Creed was "formulated at a small town called Nicea—because of the heresy that was being propagated in the Early Church (right after persecutions were ending and Constantine was ascending).

"Arius was teaching that Christ was NOT both fully God and fully man... As the heresy grew, Constantine (in his concern for church unity as much as for truth) called a general assembly.

"Invited to Nicea were almost 1800 presbyters—from across the empire. Each was allowed to bring two other church-leaders, which conceivably might equal an assembly of over 5,000 presbyters. But traveling conditions were difficult and so only about 400 assembled. Some were shepherds and some were scholars."

After the debate wound down, "Hosius suggested drawing up a creed. When this statement of faith was developed, it was announced over two days: June 19 and 20. It describes our Savior as:

'God from very God, begotten not made, of the same substance as the Father, through Whom all things were made…Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was made flesh, was made man, suffered and rose again…'

"The Nicene Creed was adopted as being Biblical…and the doctrine of Christ’s divine nature was formally and publicly affirmed for the first time since the close of the Biblical canon.

'Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He is the Son, superior to all creation. Everything was created by Him—everything in heaven and on earth, everything seen and unseen, including all forces and powers, and all rulers and authorities…He is the Head of His Body…the Church' [Colossians 1:15-18]."

Pastor Perkins' message reminds me of how blessed we are to have the wisdom of our creeds, confessions, and fathers of faith available to us today. And I for one am grateful for so many faithful men who lead and teach in our great denomination.

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