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The First Council of Nicaea

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Today I am beginning a new series of articles on the seven ecumenical councils of the early church. These councils commenced with the First Council of Nicaea in 325 and concluded with the Second Council of Nicaea in 787. Between these two events were five more, each of which attempted to understand and establish a unified Christian theology.

 

In this series we will take a look at each of the seven councils. For each one we will consider the setting and purpose, the major characters, the nature of the conflict, and then the results and lasting significance.

 

We begin today with the First Council of Nicaea.

 

Setting & Purpose

 

The First Council of Nicaea was convened in 325 by the Roman Emperor Constantine. Constantine had hoped to unite his empire under the banner of Christianity, but now saw such unity threatened by a grave theological dispute. Hosius of Cordoba recommended a council as the means to address the brewing controversy and Constantine responded by calling church leaders to Nicaea in Bithynia (modern-day Iznik, Turkey). Somewhere between 250 and 318 bishops from across the Roman empire attended, and the council began its formal deliberations on May 20.

 

The major issue the council was charged with addressing was the nature of Christ’s divinity, and in particular, the relationship between the Father and the Son. As a secondary matter the council was to debate the celebration of Easter.

 

Major Characters

 

The two most important figures at the council were Athanasius, a young deacon who came as a companion to Bishop Alexander of Alexandria, and Arius, a controversial presbyter and priest from Alexandria. Constantine was present as an overseer, but did not vote.

 

The Conflict

 

The conflict at the heart of the First Council of Nicaea involved the nature of God the Son in relation to God the Father. On one side of the conflict were those who held that Jesus Christ was created by the Father and on the other side were those who held that Jesus Christ was begotten by the Father.

 

Arius was the lead proponent of the created position. He held that God the Son was God’s first creation and that through him everything else was made (Colossians 1:15). This made the Son the only direct creation of the Father and thus unique among all creation as the first and greatest created being. He believed that the Father’s divinity was greater than the Son’s, and cited John 14:28 in support of his position: “You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.” Arius said, “If the Father begat the Son, he that was begotten had a beginning of existence: and from this it is evident, that there was a time when the Son was not.”

 

Alexander of Alexandria and his protege Athanasius held that Christ was begotten, not created, and was, therefore, fully equal to the Father. The council agreed with this view and understood that Arianism undermined the unity of the Godhead, making the Father greater than the Son and contradicting such scriptures as John 10:30 and John 1:1. Over the course of the council, the great majority of the delegates came to agree with Athanasius that the Son had an eternal derivation from the Father but was nonetheless co-eternal and equally divine. Athanasius explained, “Jesus that I know as my Redeemer cannot be less than God.”

 

The Result

 

The debate lasted from May 20 until June 19, at which point the council produced an initial form of the Nicaean Creed which explicitly affirmed the begotten position and condemned Arianism. All but two of the attendees voted in its favor and those two, along with Arius, were excommunicated and banished to Illyria. All of Arius’ writings were ordered confiscated and burned.

 

Here is the original version of the creed (which was adjusted at the Second Ecumenical Council in Constantinople in 381).

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father [the only-begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, 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 both in heaven and on earth]; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man; He suffered, and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. And in the Holy Ghost. But those who say: ‘There was a time when he was not;’ and ‘He was not before he was made;’ and ‘He was made out of nothing,’ or ‘He is of another substance’ or ‘essence,’ or ‘The Son of God is created,’ or ‘changeable,’ or ‘alterable,’ they are condemned by the holy catholic and apostolic Church.

 

The council also agreed on a date to celebrate Easter. In a circular letter Constantine issued after the council, he explained: “At the council we also considered the issue of our holiest day, Easter, and it was determined by common consent that everyone, everywhere should celebrate it on one and the same day.”

 

Lasting Significance

 

The First Council of Nicaea is most significant in settling an essential issue related to the divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was decreed to be eternal and divine, equal with the Father, and infinitely greater than a created being. However, the Council is also significant as the first attempt to achieve a consensus among all Christians through a debate between representatives from the opposing sides. It set a precedent for holding councils to decide other doctrinal and practical church matters, and for turning these decisions into creeds and canon law.

 

It would be 56 years before the next council, First Council of Constantinople.

 

Source: https://www.challies.com/articles/7-...cil-of-nicaea/

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The NT does state Jesus is the firstborn. 

Jesus does have his own Spirit, "Father into your hands I commit My Spirit"

 

The bible does state Jesus is the wisdom and power of GOD.

 

Both the Son and the Father agree that the Father is the God of the Son. The Father as stated -psalm 45:7 Jesus stated as you already know.

 

I see a difference in all the fullness of the Deity or Godhead dwelling In Jesus versus Jesus being that fullness. But since the fullness was pleased to dwell in Jesus Jesus is all that the Father is. The exact representation of the wisdom and power of God.

 

That does not paint in picture to me that Jesus always was and alway was God. It does seen to indicate that Jesus's being was defined by the Father and His Spirit was formed first by the Father. And yet at the same time shows Jesus as the image of the invisible God. That the divinity in the Son is not His Spirit but the Spirit of His Father. The Spirit without limit was given to the Firstborn as well as all authority. 

 

Its quite clear the creation was made through the Son.

 

So I think Arius got a bad deal in regard to the relationship between Father and Son. Not sure of His position on the Spirit of God. 

 

I see the HS as the very Spirit of God the Father. 

In the last days I will pour out My Spirit...

 

Jesus did define oneness

Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.

 

In these last days God has spoken to us by His Son. That agrees with Jesus that He spoke the words the Father commanded Him to state and that those words belonged to the Father.

 

according to acts 2 the Spirit Jesus sends He received from the Father .

 

Jesus saw that Spirit as the Fathers Matt 10:20 -...for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, ....

 

So to me

Is Jesus God?

Is answered thus:

He never dies

yes, He is ALL that that the Father is

no, he has always been the Son

 

Jesus has everything He needs to give life -Authority and the  all the power and wisdom of the Father.

For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.

 

 

Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.

Jesus never dies just as those in Him will never die.

 

I did note the word SON and who gave Him such authority

 

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 

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3 hours ago, Randy said:

I see a difference in all the fullness of the Deity or Godhead dwelling In Jesus versus Jesus being that fullness. But since the fullness was pleased to dwell in Jesus Jesus is all that the Father is.

 

3 hours ago, Randy said:

That does not paint in picture to me that Jesus always was and alway was God.

 

3 hours ago, Randy said:

So I think Arius got a bad deal in regard to the relationship between Father and Son. Not sure of His position on the Spirit of God. 

I find these comments, among others, concerning.  This is an orthodox forum.  So let me ask you a few questions.

 

Is Jesus a god or the God?

 

Do you consider Jesus to be a created being?

 

Please no equivocation, no second guessing, no doubt talk, just answer the questions.

 

 

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As I stated Jesus has always been the Son. Jesus is not the Father as you would agree. 

Yes, Jesus is all that the Father is. We differ on how that is so. 

Jesus the firstborn would have a beginning at some point in History before the world began. 

I would state the Son who was(His Spirit) was in the tent of the body God prepared for Him.

I do not see the Spirit of God as a separate distinct person from the "Father" but as the Fathers own Spirit. 

I see One God the Father and One Lord Jesus Christ. And the One Divine Spirit whose is of the Father. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jesus=>Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, AND Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

 

Last time I checked Jesus was the head of the body of Christ.

 

Since Jesus calls the Father the one true God if He always was and always was God how then do you believe in One God for Jesus stated on the cross, "Father into your hands I commit my spirit"

 

Its clear to me the "Son" who was, (His Spirit), was in the tent of the "body" God prepared for Him. The Father was still living IN Him.

 

Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a "body" you prepared for me;

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12 minutes ago, Randy said:

As I stated Jesus has always been the Son. Jesus is not the Father as you would agree. 

Yes, Jesus is all that the Father is. We differ on how that is so. 

Jesus the firstborn would have a beginning at some point in History before the world began. 

I would state the Son who was(His Spirit) was in the tent of the body God prepared for Him.

I do not see the Spirit of God as a separate distinct person from the "Father" but as the Fathers own Spirit. 

I see One God the Father and One Lord Jesus Christ. And the One Divine Spirit whose is of the Father. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So the Word\Jesus is a created being?

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4 minutes ago, Origen said:

So the Word\Jesus is a created being?

He is Gods firstborn. The fullness of the divine Spirit that dwells in Him was not created. Jesus's spirit was formed by His God. The fullness was pleased to dwell in Him and in that Jesus is the exact image of the wisdom and power of God. God in that context. And He and the Father are One in that manner.

Jesus still is the word of life or word of the Father. It was the Father living in Him doing His work.

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24 minutes ago, Randy said:

He is Gods firstborn. The fullness of the divine Spirit that dwells in Him was not created. Jesus's spirit was formed by His God. The fullness was pleased to dwell in Him and in that Jesus is the exact image of the wisdom and power of God. God in that context. And He and the Father are One in that manner.

Jesus still is the word of life or word of the Father. It was the Father living in Him doing His work.

The fact you won't answer these simple question in a straight forward manner is troubling.

 

It is not hard.  Let me show you.

 

Is Jesus a god or the God?  Jesus is not a god but the God.  There are no other gods.

 

Do you consider the Word\Jesus to be a created being? No!  He is not a created being.  Since he is God he has always existed from eternity pass.  The Word was born a man (i.e. Jesus) but he was still God.

 

Now would you please do the same.  Please no equivocation, no second guessing, no doubt talk, just answer the questions.

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Perhaps you should reread my answers. Jesus's spirit was formed was formed by His God. The fullness that was pleased to dwell in Him was not created. 

Jesus's spirit is not divine. The fullness (divinity)that dwells in Him is the Father. In that He is the exact expression of the wisdom and power of the Father (God) Jesus is the firstborn of all creation. He has always been the Son. The Father has always been His God. It is the Father who glorifies Jesus.

Jesus and the Father are One as Jesus taught. 

Is Jesus God?

He never dies

yes, He is all that the Father is. 

no, He has always been the Son.

 

About the Son - Hebrews

You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
    therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
    by anointing you with the oil of joy.

 

The Son

The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name.

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Do you believe that God is a Trinity?

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3 minutes ago, Faber said:

Do you believe that God is a Trinity?

Not in the same manner you do. I believe the Father is God. I believe the Son is the exact expression of the wisdom and power of the Father for in Him the Spirit of the Father dwells without limit. I believe the Spirit of God is the Fathers very own Spirit therefore Divine.

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The one true God is personal, yet beyond our comprehension. He is an invisible spirit, completely self-sufficient and unbounded by space or time, perfectly holy and just, and loving and merciful. In the unity of the Godhead there are three “persons”: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

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A direct simple question has been proposed. The dance around the answer is not acceptable . Jesus is God . For those who dont believe so there are many other sites . 

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