One of the main accomplishments of the First Council of Nicaea held in 325 was the settlement of the Christological issue of the nature of the Son of God and His relationship to God the Father. The creed said the following about Jesus:
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 . . .
Jesus was called “Emmanuel” which means God with us. Jesus was with God from the very beginning, not as some sort of separate entity but as a part of the very nature of God. The risen Christ also declared, “I am with you always, to the close of the ages” (Matthew 28:20). Jesus was and will always be “One with the Father.” This was the beauty of the divine/human mystery of God’s presence with us. Luke Timothy Johnson wrote in his book Creed,
The Nicene theologians who argued for what we have now as the Nicene Creed maintained that salvation meant our sharing in God’s life, and that only God can give us such a share in God’s own life. A mere human cannot elevate other humans to the level of God. Christ therefore was not a human being who achieved divine status in the manner of the Greek heroes. Christ was rather the way in which God became human and through that humanity made it possible for all humans to share in the divine life. (Luke Timothy Johnson, Creed, p. 112.)
The Franciscans say that Jesus did not come to change the mind of God about humanity; Jesus came to change the mind of humanity about God. When we allow Jesus to be the Lord of our life, we are transformed, we are changed. God came in human form so that we might see that God is love. God came in love so that we could change and be that love for others. Think about it.
Lenten Preaching Series: “We Believe: A sermon Series on the Nicene Creed”
2/14 – We Believe in God
2/21 – One Lord Jesus Christ
2/28 – Who for us . . . Became Human
3/6 – We Believe . . . in the Holy Spirit
3/13 – One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church
3/20 – Chancel Choir Easter Music (8:30 & 11 am Traditional Services)
3/27 – He Ascended . . . And Will Come Again (Easter Sunday)
The following book and study guide are available in our Food for Thought book store: The Nicene Creed by Martha Porter and The Creed by Luke Timothy Johnson.