Monday, July 22, 2013

The Council of Nicea I - 325 AD

The Roman Emperor Constantine called for the Council to gather in order to deal with the rise of the heresy of the priest Arius (Alexandria, d. 336 AD). The First Council of Nicea was the first ecumenical Council of the Church, gathering all bishops of the Orthodox Faith from around the world to defend the divinity of Jesus Christ against the heresy promulgated by the erroneous teaching of Arius.

Arius denied the consubstantiality of the Son with Father, thus denying the divinity of Jesus Christ as fully human and fully divine. The heresy subsequently took its name from Arius and has since been known as Arianism.

The holy Council condemned Arianism and definitively set forth the Orthodox teaching of Jesus Christ as "begotten, not made" and thus "consubstantial with the Father," (i.e. homo-ousion).

The crowning point of the Council of Nicea I was the formulation of the Creed recited in every Orthodox and Catholic Church known as the Nicene Creed. The same Council fixed the date of Easter/Pascha.

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 ages; God of God, light of light, true God of true God. Begotten not made; consubstantial with the Father; by whom all things were made. Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven. And became incarnate by the Holy Ghost, of the Virgin Mary; and was made man. He was crucified also for us, suffered under Pontius Pilate, and was buried. And the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures. And ascended into heaven: and sitteth at the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead: of whose kingdom there shall be no end. And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and giver of life: who proceedeth from the Father. Who together with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified: who spake by the Prophets. And in One holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. 
I confess one Baptism for the remission of sins. And I look for the resurrection of the dead. 
And the life of the world to come. 

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