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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.





The Nicene Creed

An inspiring reading of this famous Christian declaration of faith:-


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The meaning of the Nicene Creed

The Nicene Creed asserts the belief of the Trinity (that God is three persons in one being - Father, Son and Holy Spirit)

The Father

This statement of faith confesses the Father as God and cites two important attributes:-
He is all-powerful ("Almighty")
He is the creator  - the maker of all things

The Son

Jesus is declared as both completely human ("he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man") and fully God ("true God from true God"). There is a long tradition of pseudo-Christian faiths that do not agree with one (or both) of these important statements of faith. For example, The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (commonly known as the "Jehovah's Witnesses"), whilst considering Christ to be the Son of God (and the Archangel Michael in Jesus' pre-human epoch) do not believe that Christ is divine. The Nicene creed further asserts the divinity of Christ in the confession of Him as creator ("Through him all things were made"). This is a reference to the Apostle Paul's writing in Colossians:
For in him (Christ) all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him".

(Col 1:16 NIV)

The action of Christ as creator attests to His divinity in two ways:-

Only God (and hence Christ) is the creator of all things (Gen 1:1)
Christ created ALL things. (Col 1:18) Hence Christ is not a created being, as Christ created everything. He also can not be an angel or archangel as these are all beings created by God. He can only be God Himself. Furthermore, Christ is of one being (or "consubstantial") with the Father. This has scriptural resonance when we consider that Christ says of His relationship with the Father "I and the Father are One" (John 10:30, NIV) and God is often recorded as acting in the plural in the Old Testament, for example, in Genesis 1:26 God says "Let us make man in our image". The confession of this creed explicitly refutes the claims of Arianism, a view popularised by Arius in around AD 300 that the Father is pre-eminent over the Son, and that Christ is a created being.

The Creed also declares Christ to be fully human, and this confession devotes several lines to His humanity - He was born, he suffered. and he died. However, unlike any other human, he defeated death and he lives again, and He will also come again as the perfect Judge  - demonstrating once more that Christ is both man and God.

The Holy Spirit

The Nicene Creed devotes about twenty lines to Christ and only four to the Holy Spirit. Perhaps this is because less is understood about this mysterious third person of the Trinity. However, the fact that the Holy Spirit is declared as co-equal with God is important (He is to be "worshipped and glorified"), as the Spirit of God is more than just a "force" or "power" but is also a person who can be grieved (Eph 4:30). The creed also declares the Spirit to be the revealer of truth ("He has spoken through the Prophets").

The last four lines

The last four lines of the confession are the only lines in the whole Creed that do not deal directly with the Trinity.
"We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church"
This is known as the Four Marks of the Church:-

One, holy, catholic and apostolic:-

One - Christ's body on earth (the Church) is one body, mirroring the nature of God as One  (One Lord, one God, one father etc - Eph 4:5-6)
Holy - The Church is holy because it has been founded by Christ (Math 16:18)
Catholic - the word Catholic means universal - this refers to all the believers in Christ through all times.
Apostolic - the Church is founded on the early apostles and their teaching's about Christ.

After a believer is baptised, the creed exhorts him or her to look forwards to the resurrection of dead and the life eternal. The apostle Paul compares the resurrection of Christ's body with the resurrection of the believers bodies in Romans 15:12-57 anticipating a time when, by the work of Christ, "Death has been swallowed up in victory" (Rom 15:54, NIV).


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A short history of the Nicene Creed

The original version of this Creed was first approved by a Council convened by Constantine in AD 325 to help settle a disagreement over the Deity of Christ. Arius, a priest at the time, was teaching that although he considered Christ to be God, he did not believe that Christ was of the same "essence" as the Father. Rather, he believed that Christ was created by the Father.

Although often thought to be the work of Pope Athanasius 1 of Alexandria some scholars believe that the Creed may already have been in use before this date in the area of Caesarea Maritima,  a major hub of the early Christian church. The Nicene Creed affirms that Christ is equal and pre-existent with God the Father. Christ is also "consubstantial" with the Father (of one being, not two separate Gods, thus safeguarding the church from the heresy of polytheism).

The Nicene creed was later modified in AD381 at the First Council of Constantinople, which added (amongst other things) more detail about the work of the Holy Spirit, and Christ's incarnation and crucifixion.
This Creed is shared as a statement of faith for all the major denominations in Christianity - including the Orthodox, Catholic and the various streams of the Protestant Church. It is a useful benchmark in determining whether a church upholds the traditional beliefs of the Christian church or is a cult.

Nicene Creed Printable pdf

A free version of the nicene creed as a A4 pdf:-
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What is a creed?

A creed is a statement of faith by a religious group. It seeks to summarise the core beliefs of that faith and safeguard against erroneous or heretical ones. Creeds are often recited during corporate worship, a practice more common in the traditional Christian denominations (such as the Catholic and Anglican churches) than in more modern streams of Christianity, such as the house church and new church movements.