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Summary: There are three Ecumenical Creeds which were constructed in the early days of the Church, to communicate Scriptural truth and combat errors. We can use them as tools for evangelism.

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The purpose and value of the Athanasian Creed: ‘all truth’

John 16 v. 13

We are here today because we believe certain things about God and Jesus.

If we did not believe them we would be in a different place, a different church.

If we did not believe any of them we wouldn’t be in a church at all.

So, how or why do we believe what we believe?

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If we were going to buy a car or a washing machine

we would need to believe it was right for us and good value for money,

so what would we do?

Just believe the seller, or check the specifications,

or speak to someone who owned the same model?

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One of the reasons why we are here must be

because we checked this church out and what it stands for

at some time in the past,

and this is what the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds are for,

to check beliefs against the Bible,

so anyone wanting to join a church knows what it believes and stands for.

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Today is Trinity Sunday;

the day when we especially confess our belief in One God in Three Persons,

and because it is Trinity Sunday we recite the Athanasian Creed,

an ancient Statement of Trinitarian doctrine and Christology

which is held to and proclaimed by all the mainstream branches

of the One, Holy, Catholic or Christian, and Apostolic Church.

The Athanasian Creed is the least used in public worship

of the three Ecumenical Creeds, and in the Lutheran church,

this Creed is generally only used on Trinity Sunday as a confession of our faith.

It is the first creed in which the co-equality of the three persons of the Trinity

is explicitly stated, and this is why it was constructed and promulgated,

to oppose the heretical teachings of the Arians,

who denied that Jesus was co-equal with the Father.

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It is often attributed to Athanasius (293-373 AD), bishop of Alexandria,

because he was a staunch defender of the divinity of Jesus Christ

and of the Trinity,

but most church scholars believe this Creed was written much later,

because it was not mentioned at all in early church councils.

It differs from the Nicene and Apostles' Creeds in the inclusion of anathemas,

or condemnations of those who disagree with it.

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The three Ecumenical Creeds are very important

because they were written in defence of the true teachings of Scripture

and to reject doctrinal errors that were present at the time they were written.

Creeds are firm and clear statements of the faith


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