What you believe and base your life on is your creed. Some of the earliest Christian creeds are found in the Bible. For example, the words of faith expressed by St. John in his Gospel, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Another very early Christian creed that we find in the Scriptures is the declaration, “Jesus Christ is Lord” (1Corenthians 12:3; Philippians 2:11). The word “Creed” derives from the Latin word “Credo” meaning, “I believe.” The Creed is the essence of our Christian faith. All the Christian churches all over the world have the same belief, and those who do not hold to it are not deemed Christians.
Creating the Creed
There was a need for a short summary of the faith to which those who were baptized could subscribe. Some of the earliest Christian creeds were written for this reason. The great heresies in early church history prompted the writing of the Creed. The “Nicene Creed” is the one formulated by St. Athanasius (the 20th Pope of Alexandria), the Hero of the first Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in the 4th century (324AD). This Council of 318 Bishops approved this Creed under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to refute the false teaching of Arius and his followers, who denied the divinity of Christ. This Creed was completed in the second Ecumenical Council of Constantinople (381AD) convened by 150 Bishops against Macedonious’ heresy against the divinity of the Holy Spirit. The third Ecumenical Council at Ephesus (431AD), convened by 200 Bishops against Nestor’s heresy, added the introduction to the Creed. This Creed is shared by all the churches the world over.
The Nicene Creed is expressing the faith of the Universal Church. It is the summary of our beliefs, based on the Biblical facts without any contradiction with the Holy Scripture.
We need to know, what we believe, and in whom we believe, if we want to be Christians. We cannot remain silent about what God had done for us. We must communicate our faith expressed through this Creed. This is why we have the Nicene Creed as a summary of our Christian faith to live by.
The Nicene Creed
We share with you the words of the Nicene Creed:
“We exalt you, the mother of the true Light. We glorify you, O saint, the Theotokos (Mother of God), for you brought forth unto us the Savior of the whole world; He came and saved our souls.
Glory to You, our Master, Our King, Christ, the pride of the Apostles, the crown of the martyrs, the joy of the righteous, the firmness of the churches, the forgiveness of sins.
We proclaim the Holy Trinity in one Godhead. We worship Him. We glorify Him.
Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy. Lord bless. Amen”
“We believe in one God, God the Father the Pantocrator (Almighty). Who created heaven and earth, and all things, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages; Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten not created, of one essence with the Father, by whom all things were made; who for us, men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnated of the Holy Spirit and of the virgin Mary, and became man. And He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried, and on the third day He rose from the dead, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into the heavens; and sat at the right hand of His Father, and also He is coming again in His glory to judge the living and the dead, whose kingdom has no end.
Yes, we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Life-Giver, who proceeds from the Father. Who, with the Father and the Son, is worshiped and glorified, who spoke in the prophets. And in one holy, Catholic (Universal) and Apostolic Church. We confess one baptism for the remission of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the coming age. Amen.”
What we believe
The main facts of faith, as stated in this Creed, have existed since before the official form of this Creed. Some of these facts were included in the laws of the Apostles, the laws of Apollides, and in some sayings of the early church fathers.
The Creed includes the following main facts of the Christian faith:
- The oneness of God
- The Holy Trinity, the Godhead, and the role of the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit
- The Incarnation, Redemption, and Salvation
- Baptism for the remission of sins
- The resurrection of the dead and the life to come in eternity
- The second coming of Christ for judgment
- The One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church