Summary: Recognizing the Truth of the Trinity - The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit - is imperative to knowing God and living a life that glorifies Him and experiences His great love.
The Creed – The Truth of the Trinity
Today we are beginning a new series called “The Creed”
What is a Creed?
A Creed, by definition is
A Creed is a set of beliefs that guide someone’s actions.
Typically, a creed is a statement of beliefs that people have found necessary to formalize, typically because someone else or a group of people have been trying to put forward a teaching that is in error or false.
There have been a number of Christian Creeds that have been produced throughout the ages, a couple that you may be more familiar with. These were produced at church councils during the first few centuries of the church.
One of the first you may have heard of is
The Apostles Creed
It is still recited today by a number of mainline denominations who stick to a liturgy.
It was Produced to combat Gnostic heresy regarding the true humanity of Christ, including the material body of Jesus, since that was the point of the Gnostic heresy at the time. So there was a significant section focused on the person and work of Christ being born, dying and rising from the dead.
The Apostles Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended into hell.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church, (meaning not the Catholic (big C) but Christian church)
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
Another you may have heard of is
The Nicene Creed
This creed came about in the 4th century and was produced to combat Arian heresy regarding the divinity of Christ as opposed to his humanity, which is what the Apostles Creed was combating.
The Arian view was that Christ was a subordinate entity to God the Father. The Nicene Creed sought to formalize a main Christian belief that Jesus is God as is the Holy Spirit and addresses their roles.
It reads as follows
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 the 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 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 on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father [and the Son]; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.
And I believe one holy catholic 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.
So that is the Nicene Creed.
There are a number of other less well known, but the last one I want to comment on is
The Athanasian Creed
The Athanasian Creed, addressed a belief in the Trinity, that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit were all God in unity.
It is rather long, but begins by stating
That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons; nor dividing the Essence. For there is one Person of the Father; another of the Son; and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one; the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal.
So we see these creeds have come about to confront heresies or false teachings that at that time were being put forward. These Creeds were to help people understand the truth of a teaching and the importance of it as well.
In this series we begin today, we are going to be talking about things that are truly essential to Christianity and are important to living a life of faith because our beliefs affect our actions. The things we talk about are not only essential to Christianity and living a life of faith, but these are things that some false religions or teachers dispute and work to try and lead people astray with.