In orientation, Michelle Bickers refers to The Nicene Creed as the basis for finding common ground in our Christian beliefs. Below is a brief history of the creed from Christianity Today Magazine that we thought might be helpful.
In the first three centuries, the church was often forced into secrecy and seclusion. As a result, it was fraught with theological disputes, especially concerning the divinity of Jesus Christ.
When Constantine won control of the Roman Empire in 312 A.D., he elevated Christianity to favored status. He soon discovered the fractured state of the church and what it believed. To bring unity, he convened a council in the year 325 that met in the city of Nicaea. Out of that convention came the Nicene Creed, which is still a standard of belief for many Christian churches.
Below is the 1975 ecumenical version agreed upon by the International Consultation
on English Texts (ICET), published in the book Prayers We Have in Common. The reference to “the holy catholic Church” in both the Nicene and Apostle’s Creeds refers to the universal church, not the denomination.
We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of Life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
by JoHannah Reardon
July 30, 2008