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Theology 2: Annotating the Nicene Creed
Terms in this set (27)
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty,
• There is one God, so we need not worry that "another God" will come from his throne or compete for our affections.
• In the ancient world's understanding of the divine, a god was never almighty, but was always battling for superior status with other gods.
• When we profess that God is our Father, we acknowledge that he is the source of life, that all creation exists because of God.
• Jesus' relationship with God was filial, a father-son relationship.
• In the Gospels Jesus calls God Abba, which means "Father" in Aramaic- this is an intimate way to address God the Father who is almighty!
• Jesus actually invites us to call God "Father" ourselves.
• To say that God is our Father does not mean that God is literally male. "God is spirit" (Jn 4:24).
maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible
Maker of heaven & earth -
• God the father is the eternal source of all that exists.
• Because God created all that exists, Catholics believe that it is possible to encounter God's presence in every way and any situation which means there is never a situation that is too bleak or too dark for Gods to be found.
All things visible & invisible -
• In addition, this statement makes it clear that everything God has created does not meet the criteria of "matter" to be seen or felt. There is a spiritual world where "real things happen" even though they are unseen.
I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
Jesus means "God saves." Christ means "Anointed One." In the ancient world, anointing with oil symbolized being chosen by God for some special mission or purpose.
the only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages,
Jesus Christ has a unique relationship with God the Father: he is the only, and the Eternal, Son of God. Jesus was begotten, or fathered, by the Father.
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,
Jesus and the Father relate to each other as a source of light relates to the light it shines.
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
Because the Father "fathered" Jesus, Jesus was not made or created in such a way that he is a creature as humans and animals are.
through him all things were made.
Jesus was with the Father at the time of Creation and participated in it with the Father.
For us men and our salvation
Jn 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."
he came down from heaven:
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) states that God became incarnate for the following four reasons (see 457-460):
• to save us by reconciling us with God
• to share divine love with us
• to show us how to be holy
• to enable us to share in God's divine nature
Athanasius, a fourth-century saint, says that "the Son of God became man so that we might become God," or share in God's divine life (460).
and by the Holy Spirit
Several New Testament passages may help us to understand that Jesus is truly God, who became flesh through the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was not fathered by an earthly man.
was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
St. Paul ~ Galatians
"When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman born under the law."
and became man.
Man ~ refers to all men and women; otherwise it would say "a man." By assuming human nature, Jesus has shown us how to live in a way that reflects the fullness and beauty of God's reign
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death, and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.
These events can be found in the Gospels.
He ascended into heaven
This event can be found at the end of the synoptic Gospels and in the Acts of the Apostles.
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
To sit at the right hand of the Father is to sit in the most honored seat.
He will come again in glory
Before his Ascension Christ affirmed that the hour had not yet come for the glorious establishment of the messianic kingdom awaited by Israel which, according to the prophets, was to bring all men the definitive order of justice, love, and peace
to judge the living and the dead
Jesus announced the judgement of the Last Day in his preaching. As the Redeemer of the world, Jesus is also "Lord of eternal life". Jesus has the full right to pass judgement on people's hearts. People already judge themselves when they reject grace and the Spirit of Love.
and his kingdom will have no end.
Jesus talks about the Kingdom of God in his teachings and his parables. The Kingdom of God is eternal.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
In John's Gospel, when Jesus knows that the hour of his death is near, he promises his disciples that he will ask God to send them an advocate (in Greek, paraclete). An advocate is someone who is on our side to help us, strengthen us, and empower us for holiness
the Lord, the giver of life,
• Because Jesus is no longer physically present here on earth, the Paraclete blesses and strengthens our efforts to live as Jesus did: bringing justice, peace, and truth to all those we meet.
• The Holy Spirit is not limited to a physical definition of life but brings spiritual life and strength.
who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
The Holy Spirit comes from the Father and Son even though he is also fully God, and we worship the Holy Spirit as we do the Father and the Son.
who has spoken through the prophets.
The Holy Spirit worked in the hearts & minds of the prophets as he did through the early Christians and in our lives today. This statement makes a connection between the Holy Spirit's presence in the Old & New Testaments.
I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
One means that the Church is united; holy means it is sacred; catholic means it is universal; and it is apostolic, or sent to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
Baptism erases Original Sin and enables us to have the chance for eternal life. We can be baptized only once. A non-Catholic Christian who was baptized will not be rebaptized if he wants to enter the Catholic Church, but will receive Confirmation & Eucharist to fully join the Catholic community (Holy Saturday).
And I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
Jesus' rising from the dead means that our physical death will not be the end but rather the beginning of life with God. We will also rise at the Last Judgement & our bodies will be joined with our souls in a glorified state.
and the life of the world to come.
We believe that there is eternal life after this life on earth.
Amen is the translation if a Hebrew word that means "so be it"
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