Today we will start commenting on the Orthodox creed. you all know that the Coptic Orthodox faith was there in history in the creed. It made by the saints of the fourth century and according to the history of the church. It started in the synod of Nicene. And then in the synod of Constantinople, it was completed by the hands of the saints. Some people may call them the creed of “Athanasius”. because we all know that “Athanasius” the deacon at that time was one of the important people who made this creed. They took the blessing of the 318 bishops or saints attending that day.
And the creed we used to pray with the creed in all our liturgies. Either the prior hour, the Agpeya or the liturgies the masses in the church. So we always repeat the creed because that’s the foundation of our life, We believe these words. That’s the brief of our Christian faith and that’s the belief of all Christians everywhere in this world.
Supposedly, all the denominations of real Christianity accepting this creed. However some of them praying with this creed like us, but others may not focusing on the creed in their prayers.
“Truly we believe in one God”
We start praying saying “Truly we believe in one God.” So we put the word “True” or “Truth in truth”, We believe in one God.
Starting by the word truly. Now we believe that there is only one truth given by God, truth is not man-made. We are not inventing religion. Moreover, We are not saying that God is this or that we are not shooting the picture of God. God revealed the truth. God spoke about himself. God made it clear before our eyes that he is one in divinity.
And then he explained that he is God, the father, the son, and the holy spirit. So we believed in the truth and truth revealed to people. Not invented by the minds of men. And also you all know that the truth, where there is always, it’s like the truth of the New Testament, the truth is the truth. God was and is to come.
God is always there. God is everlasting. So the truth of God. And the truth of life is there always before our presence before our existence, but now we come to know the truth. That’s why the Bible uses also always the meaning of knowing the truth and discovering the truth. However the truth is always there, Christ said “I’m the truth” because, in him. You can understand the full truth. The truth of God, and also the truth of man, the truth of this life and the truth of the coming life. So you can understand everything.
Nature reveals the truth
Also, the truth was revealed in nature before the books. before the prophets, the nature speaks about the truth. because these nice creatures everywhere spoke about the designer, the good God who created everything. So Heaven and earth are praising God. because they point at God, the designer, the painter, and the creator.
Then the truth was revealed by the prophets, in the books of the old Testament. And most people did not accept the truth given to man. Then the truth himself came to us being God incarnated, He is the truth. He came to reveal the truth in the full picture. Now we can see God through our eyes. We can touch and listen by our ears to his voice.
The belief of the Church
So the truth came but most people rejected the truth. because they like to live in darkness, not follow the light. That’s why we always put the word “Light” like the word “Truth” and life, the light and the truth are similar because they always speak about God himself. Truly. We believe so when we started the creed saying, we believe it’s not your belief and my belief, it’s the belief of the church.
It’s the belief of the one holy Catholic apostolic traditional church. It is there is only one church done by the hands of Christ. One church is founded on the same belief and faith. so we never say that creed “I believe“ it’s not personal. You are a member of the same body, you are a member of the church.
So we, all of us believing in the same faith, are considered Believers because we believe in this faith.
“We believe in one God”
It starts the creed’s speaking about the unity of God. God is one, not like a number one, but it’s like the unity that divine nature is one, there are not many gods and we do not believe in pantheism that God is in everything.
No, God is not in everything. God created everything, however he is different. He is separated. God being divine is just one. And by logic, by sensing the truth, you cannot believe in more than one God, because there should be one eternal, everlasting and the other in time created.
Who would the one proceed with the other? who came before the other? The one who came first is God. And the other can never be God. And according to logic, you cannot consider infinity like two entities. It’s like one entity. So when we speak about the infinite God, he should be like one God. we believe in one God.
“God the Father”
So according to our belief, as Christians, we look up to God as our father and father means he is full of love.
He loved us and because of his love, he created us. Now we are living according to his love. And we are ready to enjoy his love if we believe in him and worship him and work with him.
So God, the father, means that he is the source of everything he is even the source of the son and the holy spirit. There is only one God with his logos, with his spirit, but he is just like one God, the Holy Trinity is not against the unity of God.
God is one having his spirit and his logos and his son in him all the time. So he is considered the father, the father of all. He is the source of life, being and existence. The Almighty, so one of his characteristics is that he can do anything, he is all-powerful. Also He is full of strengths.
He can control anything. He is the creator because he is the almighty and with his might, we believe we are safe because of our father, the almighty God.
“Who created heaven and earth.”
When we look around. We can see the creatures done by the hands of our God, the father, Also, we look up to heaven to see the stars, all these stars speaking about our God, the father, all the nice things on earth, the plants, the animals, and the men themselves. Speaking about God, the creator, he created heaven and earth.
So we never believe that evolution may be the source of being or the source of existence of everything. No, God is there. God created everything. And maybe some of these species may be an evolution of each other. but the existence of things is related only to God the powerful God, the one who created everything and also
“Who created heaven and earth and all things seen and unseen.”
So we believe that we cannot see everything created and let me tell you. this goes with the science nowadays, because we cannot see the bacteria, the viruses, we can not see the stars far away in heaven. We cannot see even the cells in our body.Plus, We can not see the souls. Moreover, We cannot see the angels. Also, We cannot see the devils. So we cannot see many things, but these things are there.
God created the seen and unseen because he is beyond everything. he’s not created. He, the creator, God, the father, the son, and the holy spirit created everything. And according to the teachings of our forefathers of the church, they said that this way, God created everything by the Son through the Holy Spirit, through God himself. So the work of the Holy Trinity, they worked in everything together because they are one in divinity, one in nature.
“Truly we believe in one God, God the Father, the Almighty who created heaven and earth and all things seen and unseen, we believe in one Lord Jesus Christ.”
Starting to name the name of Jesus Christ because he came to us. He became a man. So because he became one of us, he had the name of a man’s name “Jesus“. Plus, He is also Christ because he was anointed to be the Messiah, the one who all the prophets spoke about. As he’s coming to save us. Jesus Christ It’s like the savior. He came to be a man to save us. We believe in one Lord. Therefore, we believe in one God, the father and the only begotten son of this father “ Jesus Christ.”
He was always there in the father. the logos has always been there. the son of God was always there. but he became man in time 2000 years ago. So when we speak about his divinity, he was always there because he is God. But when he came to us, he came in our time. He came to be a man. Therefore, he started to appear to people on time. So speaking about his divinity with no time speaking about his humanity, he should have time.
“We believe in one Lord Jesus Christ. The only begotten son of God”
When we speak about the Lord Jesus Christ, we speak about him in his divinity and his humanity being divine in nature He is the only begotten son of God, although we call all the children of God nowadays, the believers, sons of God, however we are not like the Lord Jesus Christ because he is divine in his nature.
He is the only begotten son of God, he did not become the son of God. He was always there as the logos, as the son of God. That’s why we call him the only begotten son of God. And to explain this, the fathers of the church, put it this way, begotten of the Father before all ages. So the father begot his son before all ages, he is eternal and everlasting.
“Light of Light, true God of true God.”
He is the true light and like the light shining from the sun. You cannot touch the sun itself, but you can deal with the sun through the light coming out of the sun. So the son of God came to us like the light of God’s shining upon us.
And at the same time, the sun gives also heat, however we cannot see the heat, we can feel the heat and the heat stands for the holy spirit but, the sun is one. The sun with the light, with the heat, is just like one being, God is one in divinity having God, the father, the source of everything, the son, the only begotten Son, the logos, and the holy spirit. So speaking now about the only begotten son, begotten of the Father before all ages.
So the fathers of the church start speaking about his divine nature before starting speaking about his human nature, then putting them together because he is one person, one nature of two natures. He does not work in two natures, but he is always like one person having the two natures in himself.
“Light of light true God of true God.”
He is not like God, he is not similar to God. He is not like the little image of God, but he is true and real, having all the attributes of God. All the power of God or the might of God, or the wisdom of God or the love of God or the unlimitedness of God.
That’s all in him because he is true God of true God, begotten not created. After all, at that time, you all know that, “Arius“ started to say that, Christ was the first creation of God, the creator, God created everything. And he started this by creating Jesus. No, that’s not the faith of our Christianity. It’s against fully the Christian sound doctrine.
Begotten is not created because it’s out of his nature. So he is always there, there is no father without the son and there is no son without the father.
The Father & The Son
Therefore, we can never say God, the Father if he has no son. So God was always the father to his son and Son was always the son to his father. That’s why, and the words were given by the Lord, Jesus Christ himself.
He said that this time the father loved his son and the son is loving his father. So it’s the story of divine love. There was always love.
So when we speak about, God is love, we mean that God was always loved even before the creation of all human beings.
“True God of true God, begotten not created of one essence with the father”
the same essence as the father.
So the essence or the nature, the divine nature is one. We do not have two divinity two natures of God, is only one God in divinity, but in person, they are different, however not separated. So they are one in the essence, but in person, no, they are not the same one.
“Begotten not created of one essence with the father, by whom (by the Lord, Jesus Christ) all things were made“
Starting speaking about God, the father, we mentioned that he created everything, seen and unseen. Now he’s speaking about the son, God, the Son by whom all things were made. So he shared the father is creating everything, God created everything by the son, and the term “By” is used in the gospel of St.John in the first chapter when he said that this way
“By him, everything was made. Who for us men and our salvation came down from heaven.”
Now, starting speaking about his humanity being incarnate, coming to our land. So he made it in this way for us men and our salvation. So it was not like a need in God, because God need nothing.
But because of us being created in his image and the image was distorted because of us, because of our free will, because evil came into our nature. The corruption happened because of our choice. Adam and Eve had done bad. They broke the commandment of God. So they brought us the sin in our nature, corruption, and death.
But because of us men and for our salvation, he came to us. So the incarnation is just because of us, the incarnation, it’s the need of human beings. It’s not the need of God. God was always there and he need nothing, but because of his love for his children, and people on earth, he came to save us.
“By whom all things were made, who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven”
by saying coming down from heaven.
It’s not like he will not be in heaven, being divine in his nature. He is everywhere. He is not, kind of thing being part of anything. but, he’s filling every space in this universe, is in heaven and on earth, but coming down stating for the humility of God because of us and for our salvation, he came down to be one of us, as if he stepped down to save us to be like a slave, one of us. He is the Lord. He is the almighty God. But because of our salvation, he had to be like one of us.
The saint, “Athanasius” made it in this way because he came to die for us, but he had no body, no human nature to offer as a sacrifice. So he had to unite himself with human nature to offer his life for the salvation of everyone.
So coming to sacrifice his life, he had to be incarnate. He had to have this human nature.
“Came down from heaven and was incarnated.”
He was incarnated by the holy spirit and of the Virgin Mary. what was the role of the Holy spirit?? and the role of the Virgin Mary?? The Holy Spirit sanctified the body of St.Mary. The cell is coming from St.Mary as one of us, one of human nature, she offered her body to be the start of the body of the Lord himself. Therefore, she shared in this incarnation process by giving her body to start this process and the holy spirit blessed her and let her womb holy so it can accept the presence of God incarnate.
That’s why he mentioned both the Virgin Mary and all the spirit, but the work is the work of the son. He came and welt down in the womb of St. Mary united his divine nature with the human nature, given from the womb of said Mary. and, they came holy by the Holy Spirit and became man by saying he became the man he did not take as the body of a man.
He became a real man having the soul of man has the mind of man having the full nature of a human being, but with no sin with no corruption, because he is holy and the divine nature of Christ united with the human nature of people and the womb of St. Mary and he was born like, God incarnates God in the flesh, God and man in one person. he is unique. No one like Jesus Christ because he is always fully God and fully man but always one person with one will.
“Of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became man. And he was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate“
Therefore, because he came to us, the creed did not mention much about his miracles about his teachings, because definitely, he is the perfect man, because he is the only God and also he proved to be divine because he came from heaven and he came specially to offer himself as a sacrifice and the ransom for the human beings.
So did not mention, the gospel details because the people of the church will follow the gospel details. But according to the creed we need to brief our faith. And, We believe in Christ as God and also a man in one person, he was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate to make it historical because it happened in history. That’s why the creed mentioned the name of Pontius Pilate.
“He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate”.
So he chose to be crucified because he is God. And with his full choice, he chose to be crucified, to die for his people. And let me remind you that the crucifixion was very tough, was not an easy way to die, to be killed, but he chose this painful way to show us how much he loved us. And also the cross was the symbol of the curse because we were all cursed because of our sins.
Now he’s taking the curse on himself and also by the cross, he will live to the church people assigned the powerful sign of the cross to conquer all evil powers.
Also being crucified people could see him because if he was murdered in any room, maybe Jews may arise saying that he was not killed and that was not the one who rose from the dead, but thousands of people could see him crucified for many hours. That was for the history that the one who died on the cross and they made sure that he died. He is the same one who rose from the dead.
Also, according to the cross meaning he was opening his arms to embrace all the world’s people in all generations as if he is inviting everyone to come to his heaven.
He also was crucified that the king and the title over his head, was the king of the Jew because he is the king of Kings. So he died like standing up, not sleeping down.
And also he conquered the evil power in the air. That’s why he was between heaven and earth as if he is making the reconciliation between those who are up with God in heaven, the angels, and those who are down on earth all the people in all generations.
“He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate“
Suffered and was buried. the importance of the word suffered to prove that he was a real man. And he suffered like any of us and his death was not an easy one to show us the sacrifice, the ransom for everyone. He paid the debt of our sins. And was buried. And also to mention his burial is important to prove that he was dead. He died for everyone and the proof was he was buried.
“And on the third day, he rose from the dead“
It was important to point at his crucifixion, his death, and his resurrection. On the third day, he rose from the dead. That’s the belief of all believers. We believe in this because this will simplify the idea of redemption.
Now, everyone is saved because of this. And rising from the dead meaning that he is not only a man, because no man whatsoever can have this power of rising from the dead alone, but being God, United with the human nature in one person in one nature, he could rise from the dead and according to the scriptures.
And now the creed mentions the scriptures because if we want to speak about the details of the scripture, we will have a big, big, big creed. but just naming the name of the scriptures to tell everyone, you can go back and study more and more about your belief in the scriptures. The scriptures the old Testament and the New Testament books mentioned his redemption, his death, his burial, and his resurrection.
“And ascended into the heavens.”
So again, He came down from heaven. He was incarnate.
He was crucified, suffered and buried. Then, He rose from the dead. After that, He ascended to heaven being God in himself. He could ascend to heaven by his power and by his ascension, he is telling everyone for all believers. That this will be their faith. They will fly after him. Everyone will ascend one day on the day of judgment, we will be taken to heaven with him, with the power of his ascension.
“And sat at the right hand of his father.”
God incarnate our Lord, Jesus Christ is there, in heaven, on the right hand of the power of his father, but we can never paint in this painting for putting the father and the son on his right because the father can never be seen the only God whom can we see is the Son.
So we always put the son on his throne and we worship him. Also, We worship the father in him. We can see the father in him. those are the exact words given by the Lord Jesus Christ. When he was asked: why don’t you show what the father?
he said I am in the father and the father is always in me. So whoever saw me, saw the father. So we need not see the father because he is not seen, but the father sent his son to be seen. Now we will enjoy forever watching Christ in glory and seeing his face forever.
“Ascended into the heavens and sat at the right hand of his father.”
And saying these words right-hand of the father to simplify the idea that he is the only begotten son, king of king, True light of true light. God of God.
So he is the one who can be the king of the kingdom because he had the full power of his father. Also, I want to remind you that the big feast of our church is related to these words because we celebrate the feast of “Announcing”. After all, he started being human in the womb of St. Mary on the day of annunciation.
Then we celebrate the day of his birth, Christmas because he became a man and see by men. Then we celebrate Palm Sunday because he was celebrated as king. We celebrate also the day of his resurrection and the day of Ascension, then the Pentecost. So we celebrated all these days’ important days because these are very important for our salvation.
“Sat at the right hand of his father. And also he is coming again in his glory.”
So we are still waiting for him to come. We believed in his first coming, we couldn’t see him because we were not there 2000 years ago, but we believed in the church revelation and proclamation. and we believed in the teaching of the church inspired by the Holy Spirit. So we believe that he came to save us and he promised to come again.
So also he is coming again, the same Christ, the Lord incarnate. He is coming again in his glory. When he came the first time he came in humility to save us. He came to become like a man, a slave among us to redeem us, but in the second coming, he is coming for judging everyone. So he will come in glory. Also, He will come on the cloud and heavens and everyone will look up to him and that’s the end of the story. That’s the judgmental day.
“He is coming again in his glory to judge the living and the dead.”
Which means that all the dead will rise from the dead from death to see God face to face. And whether they were good or bad, whether they believed in him or disregarded the truth. They will face it at that minute. Therefore, he judging not only the living but also the dead, all generations will attend this minute of his second coming. So we believe in the general resurrection of all human beings in all generations with the end of life on earth.
“He is coming again in his glory to judge the living and the dead whose kingdom has no end.”
He is a king, his kingdom is not like any kingdom on earth. It’s like a time-limited kingdom. It’s the eternal kingdom. The everlasting God kingdom. So he is the king of all kings. The king of the church, the king of his beloved people.
“He will come in his glory to judge the living and the dead whose kingdom has no end.”
and the words of the kingdom not ended taken from the words of the prophecy of Daniel. Speaking about God, the father who created everything, because he, the only God, the almighty God one God. Then speaking about the son, the only begotten son true God of true God, the light of light. and then the story of salvation because of us, for our salvation, he came down. he redeemed us and he promised to come again to judge everyone.
“We believe in the Holy Spirit”
So moving now to the holy spirit, yes, we believe in the Holy Spirit. Now speaking about the Holy Trinity, God, the father is the source of divinity. So the light comes out of the father. The spirit comes out of the father, but the spirit, the son, the father is one in divinity, one in nature in essence, but the holy spirit is the source of life to everything and everyone.
Also, we believe in the Holy Spirit. Believing in the Holy Spirit, at the belief of the church, we all the believers believe in the holy spirit. because in the history it happened like, heresies against the divine nature of the Lord Jesus Christ, like the Arius heresy. And also there were many attackers, and many people heretics offended the divine nature of the holy spirit. That’s why it was completed by saying “ Yes, we believe in the holy spirit, the Lord.” So it’s exactly the Lord, as the son, like the father, the life-giver. Therefore, we all live because of the Holy Spirit. God created everything, by the son through the holy spirit, the source of life is the spirit of God.
“Who proceeds from the father.”
So when we speak about the son we say this way the only begotten son of the father, the father begot his son not created and not born like men giving birth. No, he was the only begotten son, he is, and also for the spirit, the church uses the term proceeding because that’s the exact verb given by the Lord Jesus Christ.
When he spoke about the holy spirit, who proceeds from the father. that some the Catholics added to this sentence who proceeds from the father and the son if the procession comes from two, the father and the son this mean in theology, like two separate gods. So by this, as if we believe in many gods, more than one gods, but, the father, the son and the holy spirit, one entity, one being. Therefore, the procession should be from the father at the begotten son from this father.
It’s the unity of the father with the Holy Trinity, with the father. So “ who proceeds from the father?” The procession had no time, but, the Holy Spirit was sent to us in time, like exactly the son of God was always there, eternal, had no time. but, when he was sent to us to be born of the Virgin Mary, that was in time.
So when speaking about sending, not speaking about the procession, the procession is like a very personal attribute in the holy spirit, proceeded from the Father before all ages like a begotten Son before all ages, but send in the ages in time.
“Proceeds from the father who, with the father and the son is worshiped.”
So we worship the Holy Spirit with the father and the son as one God, that’s the Holy Trinity. That’s our creed, our belief that the holy spirit with the father and the Son is worshiped and glorified. That’s why we use when we prayed God we say, we worship you, God, the father, the son, and the holy spirit in one divinity.
“Worshiped and glorified who spoke in the prophets.”
The Holy Spirit, the one who spoken the prophets. That’s the inspiration. we believe that the Bible was inspired by the holy spirit in the hearts of the prophets and the hearts of the apostles. So we believe that the holy book, we believe in the Bible and the word of God, inspired by his spirit through his men.
“And in one holy Catholic and apostolic church.”
Because according to this faith, we believe in the Holy Trinity, and we believe in God incarnate to save us. the story of redemption, the story of salvation. And we believe in the second coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Now we have the church, the church is the pillar of the truth. the church is the Ark of salvation.
Now the believers should be united in one church. So we believe so. And this stands for, we believe. In one Holy Catholic and apostolic church. because Christ is one having only one body, all members, all believers who have the sound doctrine, who stick to the orthodox traditional early doctrine given by the church, they are one body to one head to one God. We believe in one holy Catholic, universal. We are not the Copts only. Also, We are not Egyptian. it had nothing to do with the tongues, with the language, with the country, with the maps.
No, it’s the salvation that is given to everyone, but for all believers on the same belief, the sound creed given by the church, inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Now, we are one holy Catholic and holy because we have the holy spirit, Catholic is a universal and apostolic church because the church was founded upon the stone of the Lord, Jesus Christ. Then the first layer was the apostles, the apostles taught all people, the sound faith, the real truth. So we are an apostolic church.
Saint Mark was one of the apostles who brought the light of the truth to our land. So we believe in one holy catholic apostolic church. We are not speaking about the Copts, the Ethiopian, the Indian, the Greek, the Russian. we’re speaking about one church, one body for Christ, one faith to all generations revealed by God, himself, and delivered to the apostles and kept by the church fathers.
“We confess one baptism for the remission of sins”
and because how to join this church, how to be a member in this one Catholic apostolic church, you have to be baptized. You have to be born again. You have to be the son of God or the daughter of God.
And there is no way but through the holy Baptist. So we confess as if we believe in confessing one baptism because it’s related to the one faith, it’s related to the one god. it is related to the one holy apostolic church. Therefore, we have one baptism. That’s why if people were baptized in a different faith, they have to be re-baptized again because that was different. That’s not the same faith.
That’s not the same God or the same church. So we do not baptize people more than once because Christ redeemed us once he came in age, once and he was crucified once he rose from the dead once. Therefore, while we are baptized and buried with him in baptism. So it should happen once in our life. But if it happens on top of any different faith away from this creed, we need to be baptized again.
“We confess one baptism for that remission of sins“
even the Baptism of children for the remission of sins, because the children were born with the sin of their grandfather, Adam, grandmother, and Eve.
So they had the sin in their nature. So for the remission of sins applied to all baptized people, If you are an adult and coming to be baptized, the Baptism will remit all the sins that happened, the original one and whatever you had done in your life, but for a child, it’s the remission of sins not done by his will, but in his nature.
“We look for the resurrection of the dead“
Because we mentioned the second coming of Christ. He will come again to judge everyone the dead and the living people. So we look for the resurrection, all the verbs given, related to us and this creed were like, we believe, confess and glorify but now we look for. That’s one step needed.
Only the last station coming. We look for the resurrection of the dead because he will judge the dead and the living. Therefore, we are waiting for this day to come and the life of the coming age, according to his promise, we are waiting for the kingdom of heaven to come to the coming age.
So we look for the resurrection of the dead and on this day, our new life, our eternal life, and the joining of the kingdom of heaven will start. Amen.
So by saying, amen, as if we are stamping and ceiling this creed, that’s the belief of the church. We all believe in the same. Moreover, We all glorify God with the same faith we are founded on this pillar of truth in the church.
So we have to keep this in heart and we need to die on these words.
And those are the words, given by the apostles to the church. And we need to praise God, having this faith forever.
May God bless you all, glory to God, Amen.