The first ecumenical council which is also known as the Nicene council in reference to Nicaea, a city next to Constantinople, is the council that put the largest part of the Orthodox Creed. This Creed starts by mentioning the Father: “I believe in one God, the Father”. Then comes the part that’s related to the Son and the most explicit phrase is what it says about the Son being “of one essence with the Father”, and this means that He has the same essence that the Father has.

The council was held after an invitation from the Emperor St. Constantine in order to refute the heresy of Arius who was an Alexandrian priest and taught that the Son is the first between all creatures and through him God created all other creatures. The Church understood from this position that Arius destroyed the Holy Trinity as he refused that the Father and the Son are one and that the Son is co-eternal with the Father in a way that both of them are before time.

This heresy was terribly spread and is today renewed with the heresy of Jehovah’s witnesses. They are actually Arians as they deny the Divinity of the Son.

In order to confirm the common faith between us and other Christians, the Church read over us first the text from the book of Acts containing a speech for Paul to the elders of Ephesus saying: “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood”. This means that the apostle has called the person that gave his blood as God. Christ is not only human; he is both God and man together.

Then, the Church read the second biblical passage that says that our knowledge of the true God and Jesus Christ together gives us the eternal life as you cannot have an eternal life without knowing Christ. The second thing is what the Lord said: “And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began”. It is clear from this phrase that Christ existed before the creation of the universe and that he had the same glory of the Father.

The Christian faith is all based on the fact the Jesus existed (without a body) before the world did, until the time has come when the Holy Spirit made for Him a body from virgin Mary and therefore he became with two natures: A divine nature (which he always had) and a human one, which he got through the power of the Holy Spirit from Mary’s womb. This God-man is the one who was crucified on the cross and his Divinity was not touched by death but stayed complete on the cross. Jesus, therefore, did not abandon his humanity nor erased his Divinity. They both stayed united in death and in the grave and then his body rose from death that didn’t touch his Divinity. We worship a God in the body and worship him free from the dead and un-subjected to the laws of death and rottenness.

We also worship the Father and the Holy Spirit; however, we don’t worship the saints but venerate them. We live united with Jesus and take from him every grace and holiness.

Christ became a man through the will of the Trinity and stayed on this earth united with the first hypostasis, the Father, and the second hypostasis (the Holy Spirit) in every moment he lived on earth un-separated from them and having the same glory, honor and worship.

Translated by Mark Najjar

Original Text: “المجمع الأول” –Raiati no23- 05.06.2011