CREED 01 « «    [ Français ]

Article 1 : I BELIEVE IN ONE GOD , THE FATHER ALMIGHTY, CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH
Article 2 : I ALSO BELIEVE IN JESUS-CHRIST, THE ONLY SON OF THE FATHER, OUR LORD.
Article 3 : I BELIEVE IN JESUS (...) WHO WAS CONCEIVED OF THE HOLY-SPIRIT , AND DESCENDED FROM JOSEPH AND MARY.
Article 4 : I BELIEVE IN JESUS-CHRIST , WHO SUFFERED UNDER PONTIUS PILATE , WAS CRUCIFIED , DIED AND WAS BURIED.
Article 5 : JESUS-CHRIST DESCENDED INTO HELL.     ON THE THIRD DAY HE ROSE AGAIN.
Article 6 : HE ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN , AND SITTETH AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD , THE FATHER ALMIGHTY.
Article 7 : FROM THENCE HE SHALL COME AGAIN TO JUDGE THE LIVING AND THE DEAD.
Article 8 : I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY GHOST.
Article 9 : I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH.
Article 10 : THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS , THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS
Article 11: THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY
Article 12: LIFE EVERLASTING. AMEN

CREED : I believe in God , the Father almighty , creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ , God's only Son , our Lord , who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, took flesh from Joseph and Mary , suffered under Pontius Pilate , was crucified , died , and was buried ; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again ; he ascended into heaven , he is seated at the right hand of the Father , and he will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost , the Lord and Life-giver , who proceeds from the Father and the son : who together with the Father and the son is adored and glorified and who spoke by the Prophets , the holy catholic church , the communion of saints , the forgiveness of sins , the resurrection of the body , and the life everlasting. AMEN.

COMMENTS ON THE THE APOSTLES CREED


PROLOGUE

  1. Faith is the first good necessary to a Christian. Without it, no one deserves to be called a faithful Christian. Faith produces four goods.

  2. I - First off , it is through faith that our soul is united to God. Through it, indeed, Christians contract with God a marriage of sorts , in accordance with this word of the Lord to Israel (Osea, 2, 2~.) : I will marry you through faith.

    So, at the time of the reception of his baptism , man first confesses his faith , in response to the question asked to him : do you believe in God ? The reason being that baptism is first and foremost the sacrament of faith. For the Lord himself says ( Mark 16, 16 ) : He who believes and is baptized will be saved ; but he who disbelieves will be condemned. For without faith baptism is useless. And so let it be known that without faith , no one can please God, as the Apostle declares in Hebrews ( 11, 6 ) : Without faith it is impossible to be well pleasing to him, for he who comes to God must believe that he exists, and that he is a rewarder of those who seek him. This is why Saint-Augustin in his comment of this word ( Rom. 14, 23 ) : Whatever is not of faith is sin , writes : « Where the knowledge of the immutable and eternal truth is missing, there is no true virtue »

  3. II. The second good produced by faith is to begin in us the eternal life. For the eternal life is nothing else than to know God , according to the word of the Lord ( Jn. 17, 3 ) This is eternal life , that they should know you , the only true God , and him whom you sent , Jesus-Christ. This knowledge of God beginning on earth by faith will reach true perfection in the future life , where we will know Him as He truly is. Therefore the Apostle writes to the Hebrews ( 11, 1 ) : Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, proof of things not seen. Thus nobody can reach the highest good , which consists in knowing God truly, if he does not know Him by faith. Therefore the Lord declares it ( Jn. 20, 29 ) : " Blessed are those who have not seen , and have believed. "

  4. III. The third good generated by faith consists in directing the present life . Man indeed , to live happy , needs to know what is necessary to carry out a virtuous life ; and if he was to learn through study all the things necessary to live well , man could not even get there or else, at the end of a considerable time. However , faith teaches all what is required to know in order to live wisely. Indeed , it teaches us the existence of the single God , tells us that God rewards the good and punishes the bad , that there is another life to this one , and other similar things. This knowledge sufficiently encourages us to do good and avoid evil. The righteous , says the Lord , will live by his faith. ( Habacuc, 2,4 ) This is so manifest that no philosopher, before the coming of Christ , and by all his efforts , could know as much about God and the truths necessary to lead to the eternal life , than an old woman after Christ by means of her faith. This is why the prophet Isaiah writes ( 11,9 ) : The earth will be full of the knowledge of Yahweh , as the waters cover the sea.

  5. IV. Faith produces a fourth good , namely victory over temptations , as the Aposlte tells us in Hebrews ( 11, 33 ) : ... who , through faith subdued kingdoms , worked out righteousness , obtained promises , stopped the mouths of lions , ( 11:34 ) quenched the power of fire , escaped the edge of the sword , from weakness were made strong , grew mighty in war , and turned to flight armies of aliens.
    The truth of this assertion is manifest , for any temptation comes either from the devil , or the world , or the flesh. Indeed , the devil tempts us to prevent us from obeying God and from abiding by His Love. Yet , it is by faith that we repell the suggestion of the devil , for, by it , we know that God is the Master of all and thus that we owe him obedience. This is why we find in Peter ( 1:5,8 ) :
    Be sober and self-controlled. Be watchful. Your adversary the devil , walks around like a roaring lion , seeking whom he may devour. ( 5:9 ) Withstand him steadfast in your faith.

    As for the world, it tempts us by alluring us with its goods , and by terrifying us with its adversities. But faith gives us to triumph over its attacks , while making us believe in the reality of a life better than the present one. For this reason, thanks to faith, we scorn the prosperities of this world and do not fear its adversities, as we read in Jn ( 1:5, 4 ) : For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world: your faith. And that same faith also gives us victory by teaching us that there is a bigger evil : the one of hell. Lastly , the flesh also tempts us by drawing us towards the momentary delights of the present life . But faith shows us that by its delights, if we stick to it unduly , we lose the delights of eternity. Therefore the Apostle warns us in ( Eph:6,16 ) : take up the shield of faith , with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the evil one. What we just said , concerning the goods produced in us by faith, clearly shows us its great utility .

  6. But it can be objected : it is absurd to believe in what we do not see ; therefore we should not believe in what we do not see.

  7. Four answers can be given to that objection. Here is the first difficulty : the imperfection of our intelligence reduces it to nothing : for if man could know perfectly by himself all of the visible and invisible realities, it would be stupidity to believe in that we do not see. But our knowledge is so weak that not even one philosopher has ever been able to discover perfectly the true nature of a mere fly. Therefore do we read that a philosopher lived thirty years in loneliness in order to discover the nature of bees. If thus our intelligence is so weak , is it not foolish to want to believe of God only what man can find out by himself. This is why we read in Job ( 36, 26 ): Behold, God is great , and we don't know Him. The number of his years is unsearchable.

  8. I answer in 2nd place : Let us make the following hypothesis : a teacher advances a truth , acquired by his science , before a vain man , and here is that this one denies this truth because he does not understand it . What will we think of him , if not that he is a downright fool. However, and this is a fact, the intelligence of angels exceeds that of the philosophers much more than the intelligence of the best philosopher exceeds the intelligence of the fool. This is why the one who would refuse to believe in the statements of the Angels would be fallow ; Much more would he be if he refused to believe in what God affirms. On this subject , the ecclesiast says ( 3, 25 ) : My son , you have been showed many truths which exceed the intelligence of man.

  9. Here is my 3rd answer : If a man wanted to believe only in what he knows, it would certainly be impossible for him to live in this world. How indeed could he live , if he did not believe anyone ? He would not even believe that the man who is truly his father really is . This is why it is necessary for man to believe others concerning the realities which he cannot know perfectly by himself . But nobody is worthier of faith than God ; therefore , those who do not believe in the truths of faith , far from being wise , are dumb and puffed up with pride . Indeed , the Apostle writes in his 1st epistle to Timothy ( 6,3-4 ) : The one who does not cling to the Church dogma concerning our Lord Jesus-Christ is conceited, knowing nothing . This is why Paul says in his 2nd epistle ( 1, 12 ) to the same disciple : I thank him who enabled me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he counted me faithful, appointing me to service ; And on his side , the Eccleesiast ( 2,8 ) mentions : You who fear the Lord, believe Him.

  10. One can still answer that God proves the truth of the teachings of faith. Indeed if a king was sending sealed letters made with his own seal , nobody would dare state that these letters do not come from the will of this king. However all that our Fathers believed and transmitted to us in matter of faith is obviously marked with the divine seal of God . This divine seal is the works which no pure creature can achieve and which we call miracles . It is by them that Christ confirmed the certainty concerning the things by which his apostles and his saints were instructed..

  11. If you tell me miracles , nobody ever saw their accomplishement , I will answer you : The whole world was worshipping idols and persecuting the faith of Christ. This is an unquestionable fact , even reported by the pagan historians. However , nowadays , all , and the wise and the noble , and the wealthy and the powerful , and great men , converted to Christ , though the preaching of a small number of poor and simple people announcing Jesus-Christ to them. Now one of two things : either this was done with the help of miracles , or it was not. If so , I have answered your objection. And if not , I say that there cannot be a greater miracle than to convert the whole world without miracles. Let us not seek other demonstrations.

  12. Therefore, no one must have doubts in the matter of faith, but all must believe more in the truths of faith than to what they see , for the sight of man is prone to error, while the science of God is always infallible.


    Article 1 : I BELIEVE IN ONE GOD , THE FATHER ALMIGHTY, CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH    Back   Top

  13. The first of all the truths that the brethren must believe is this one : there is only one God. Now , let us take a closer look at the meaning of this » God « . The meaning of this term « God » is without any doubt : The One who provides for all things and who governs them. To believe that God governs all beings in this world and provides for their good , is therefore to believe in the existence of God. On the other hand , to believe that life is left to hazard is to deny the reality of divine providence. However , nobody is mad enough not to believe that all beings in nature are subjected to a providence , that they are controlled and ordered by it , when they run their course according to a given order and according to the rhythm of times. We indeed see the sun, the moon, the stars and the other beings in nature keep a given course ; what would not happen, if their course was left to chance. If thus there existed someone who would not believe in the existence of God , it would be rather foolish. The Psalmist indeed declares ( PS 13, 1 ) : The fool says in his heart : « There is no God »

  14. There are some to believe that God governs and orders over human realities , while, at the same time , denying the action of divine providence over their acts ; they are convinced that God does not govern the actions of men because in this world they see some of the good afflicted and some of the bad in prosperity. For them , such a condition is the unquestionable proof of the inexistence of the action of providence providing for men : This is why the Book of Job ( 22, 14 ) states as follows : He walks on the vault of the sky : He ignores our business. Those who think this way are rather stupid. They can be compared to an man unlearned in the art of medicine who , seeing a doctor give tap water to a patient , and to another patient wine , according to the rules of medical science , would believe , in his ignorance , that the doctor acted randomly and not for a right reason.

  15. In the same way , indeed , God lays out all things necessary to men by His providence for just motives : to that end , He afflicts some of the good and lets some wicked enjoy prosperity. The one therefore who believes that such a state of things is the effet of chance is unwise , and he passes for one, for this error only comes from the ignorance of His wisdom and the reasons of the divine government.

    It is about him that speaks the Book of Job ( 11, 6 ) : Would to God that he shows you the secrets of His wisdom ! and the multiplicity of His plans. Thus , it should be firmly believed that God controls and lays out not only natural realities, but also human acts. We can read on this subject in Psalm 93 ( 7-10 ) : The wicked say : God does not see , the God of Jacob does not pay attention. Now understand you fools between all and you insane , when will you have intelligence ? The One who planted the ear would not hear ? The one who carved out the eye would not see ? The Lord knows the thoughts of men. God sees all things , as well as the thoughts of men and their secret wills. From where specially gives birth to men a duty to act well , since all what they think and achieve is exposed to His divine glance.
    The Apostle says it well ( Hebr 4, 13 ) : There is no creature that is hidden from his sight , but all things are naked and laid open before the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

  16. Therefore we must believe that this God who controls and lays out all things is a single God. Here is the proof : the government of the human things is well ordered , when only one man controls and governs the multitude. Often indeed , too many chiefs causes dissensions among the subordinates. Since the divine government is superior to the human one , it is by the same token obvious that the world is not governed by several gods , but by only one.


  1.   There are four reasons that led men to believe in the plurality of gods.    [  Return  ]    [   Top   ]

    The first is the weakness of their intelligence. There were indeed men whose debility of intelligence rendered incapable of rising above the corporal beings ; they believed that nothing existed beyond the nature of the sensitive bodies : consequently they stated that the bodies that were more beautiful and nobler were better than the rest of the world and were running it , thereby devoting to them divine worship. Among the number of creatures , object of their worship , were also the celestial bodies , namely the sun , the moon and the stars.

    But these foolish men are , in truth , similar to someone who would go to the court of a king , with the desire to see him , and who would think that the first man , well clothed or entrusted with a function , that he would meet on his way to be the king himself. These people , relates Wisdom ( 13, 2 ) looked at the sun , the moon , the circle of stars , as gods controlling the universe. But God says in ( Is 51, 6 ) : Look up at the stars in the skies , then look down to the earth . The skies indeed will dissolve like smoke , and the earth will worn out like an old garnment , and its inhabitants will perish in the same way , but my salvation is eternal and my justice will have no end.

  2. In second place, the men multiplied the gods, by adulating their like. Some indeed , filled with the desire to flatter the powerful and the kings , passed to them the honors due to God alone ; they obeyed them , they subjected to them with excess ; thereby they made gods of them after their death, even while they were alive. Thus we read in Judith ( 6, 2 ) : All the notables of Holophernes said among themselves that all the nations know that Nebuchadnezzar is God and that outside of him there is no God.

  3. Carnal affection for children and family ties was the third cause for the multiplication of the gods. Excessive love on the part of some men for their kind , indeed pushed them to erect them statues after their death and brought them afterwards to devote to these statues a divine worship. It is of them that speaks the Book of Wisdom ( 14, 21 ) : men imposed to wood and to stone the name of the Most High , because they yielded too much to their affection or honoured their kings in an excessive manner.

  4. In fourth place , the gods multiplied by the mischievousness of the devil. The demon indeed wanted , straight from the beginning , to make himself an equal to God.

    ... ( 14:12 ) How you have fallen from Heaven , morning star , son of the dawn ! How you are cut down to the ground , who laid the nations low ! (14:13 ) You said in your heart, " I will ascend into heaven ! I will exalt my throne above the stars of God ! I will sit on the mountain of assembly , in the far north ! ( 14:14 ) I will ascend above the heights of the clouds ! I will make myself like the Most High ! " ( 14:15 ) Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol , to the depths of the pit ... But that perverse will , Satan has never revoked it ; therefore , all his efforts tend to make them adore him and offer him sacrifices , not that he takes his delights in a dog or a cat that would be offered to him , but rather in the marks of respect testified to him , as though he were God himself ; this is why , as relates the Scripture , he was so bold as to make this statement to Christ ( MT 4, 9 ) : He said to him ,
    " I will give you all of these things , if you fall down and worship me.
    "

    It is also to be worshiped like gods that the demons were entering idols and giving answers through them . Therefore it is said in Psalm 95 ( 5 ) : All the gods of the nations are demons , and furthurmore the Apostle writes in Corinthiens ( I Co 10, 20 ) : .. the things which the Gentiles sacrifice , they sacrifice to demons , and not to God , and I don't desire that you would have communion with demons.


  5.  How horrible is it to see man adore other gods than the only true God. However , many are those who frequently commit such a  great sin , for one or the other of the four reasons that were just given . Of course , neither of mouth nor of heart do they profess to  believe in multiple gods , but their actions prove otherwise. Those moreover who think that the celestial bodies force the will of  men , and who choose determined times to act , these ones look at the celestial bodies as gods who reign over the other  beings.    Return    Top

    God warns us against such a behavior ( Jer10:2 ) : Thus says Yahweh , " Don't learn the way of the nations , and don't be dismayed at the signs of the sky ; for the nations are dismayed at them . In the same way , all those who submit themselves to the kings more than to God , or who obey them even when their commands get in conflict with those of God , turn their kings into gods ; whereas we read   in Acts ( 5, 29 ) : " We must obey God rather than men ".

  6. Likewise , those who love their children or their parents more than God , express by their works that they believe in the existence of several gods. { 3:18 } For many walk , of whom I told you often , and now tell you even weeping , as the enemies of the cross of Christ , { 3:19 } whose end is destruction , whose god is the belly , and whose glory is in their shame , who think about earthly things. { 3:20 } For our citizenship is in heaven , from where we also wait for a Saviour , the Lord Jesus Christ ; Those also who surrender to sorcery and incantations figure that the demons are gods , since they ask of the demons what God alone can give , namely   the revelation of a hidden thing or the knowledge of future things.

  7. As we just mentioned , initially, we must believe in the existence of only one God. In second place , it is necessary for us to believe that this God is the Creator , who made the skies and the earth , the things visible and invisible.


    Leaving aside for a moment a too subtle reasoning , let us show with a simple example the truth of the proposal : All things were created and made by God. If someone , when getting into a house , felt heat there , and if he felt that heat is increasing while progressing inward , he would obviously believe in the existence of a fire in this residence, even though he does not see this fire , source of the heat. The same applies to the one who considers the things in this world.  He indeed finds all things laid  out according to various degrees of beauty and nobility , and he considers that the closer they are to God , the more beautiful and good they are . This is why the celestial bodies are more beautiful and nobler than the terrestrial ones , the invisible things than the visible things . Must we therefore believe that all these realities come from THE single God , who gives to each thing a part of His existence and His excellence.

    It is also said in the Book of Wisdom ( 13, 1 & 5 ) : 1 For all men were by nature foolish who were in ignorance of God , and who from the good things seen did not succeed in knowing Him who is , and from studying the works did not discern the Artisan ; 5 For from the greatness and the beauty of created things , their original author , by analogy , is seen.   (  Return  )

  1. On this subject, we must avoid three errors.

    The first , is a error of the Manicheans. These ones say : all visible things were created by the devil ; therefore they allot to God only the creation of the invisible things. Here is the cause of their error : they maintain in accordance with the truth : God is the sovereign Good, and all that comes from that kind of Good is good ; but in their incapacity to distinguish good from evil , they believed that all the things which were bad in a certain manner, were bad purely and simply : thus, according to them, fire is entirely bad , because it burns ; water also is entirely bad , parce it suffocates ; and the same applies , to their eyes , concerning other visible realities . Thus ,  because none of the sensitive beings is entirely good, but that all are partly bad and deficient ,   the Manicheans said : all visible things were not made by the good God, but by the bad one.

    To refute these heretics , St-Augustin proposes the following exemple : If someone was to enter in the house of a craftsman and found tools against which he would run up and hurt himself , and if he concluded that the craftsman is bad because he has such tools, he would be stupid, since this craftsman only keeps them to do his work. Thus it is downright nonsense to maintain that certain creatures are bad beause they are harmful in something : what indeed is harmful to one is useful to the other.

    This error of the Manicheans is against the faith of the Church. To remove it , we affirm that God created all the visible and invisible things. Indeed, we read in Genesis ( Gn, 1:1 ) : In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth , and in the gospel of John ( 1, 3 ) : All things were made by the word.

  2. To this assertion of the Sacred Writings on the creation of the world by God appears a second error : namely that of men for whom the world is eternal.

    Here is what S. Peter puts on the lips of these people ( It, 3, 4 )

    Since our Fathers have died , everything remains the same as since the beginning of the creation. These men were brought to think this way , because they could not consider the origins of this world. This is why, says Maïmonide , they are like a child who , at the time of birth , would have been placed on an island and never had the chance to consider neither a pregnant woman nor a child brought into the world : if you explained to this child , once he is an adult , how man is conceived and carried in his mother's womb, and how he is born, he would refuse to give faith to these words , because it would seem impossible to him that a man can be in the womb of a woman. In the same way , these men , considering the actual state of the world , refuse to believe that it had a beginning.

    They too put themselves in contradiction with the faith of the Church. Therefore to repel their error , we say of God that He is the creator of the heavens and the earth. If the heavens and the earth were made at one time , it is obvious that they have not always been ; this is why it is said of the creatures in Psalm 148, 5 : God commanded , and they were created.


  3. The third error concerning the creation is that of those men who declare : God created the world from a preexisting matter. The cause of their mistake is that they wanted to measure the power of God according to that of ours , men. Thus , since man can do nothing without a preexisting matter , they believed that it had to be the same with God.

    Which is why they stated : » In the production of things, God uses a preexisting matter

    But this claim is false. For if man can do nothing without a preexisting matter , it results from the fact that he acts as partial cause , who can only give such or such form to a given product provided to him by another. His power , indeed , spreads only to the form : therefore can he be cause of it only. As for God , He is the universal cause of all things : He does not only create the form , He also creates the matter : He did everything from nothing. This is why , to draw aside the error mentioned previously , we say that He is the Creator of heavens and earth. There is indeed a big difference between creating and making : to create is to do something out of nothing. But to make is to manufacture or produce something from a preexisting matter. If therefore God did everything from nothing , we must believe that He could again all create , if everything was destroyed ; This is why He can give his sight back to a blind man , resuscite the deads and operate other miraculous works. The author of the Book of Wisdom indeed says to the Lord (12, 18) : For power , whenever you will , is with you.     Back

  4. This doctrine has five practical consequences.
    Firstly man is led to the knowledge of the divine Majesty.
    Indeed the craftsman is higher than His works : so , as God is the Creator of all things, He outweighs without question all his creatures.


    We indeed read in the Book of Wisdom ( 13, 3-4 ) :     Back
    If men, charmed by the beauty of the creatures , took them as gods , let them know how much their Master surpasses them : for this is the very Autor of beauty who conceived them ; and if they admired of them their power and effects , let them deduct how much more powerful is the One Who shaped them in the first place. This is why all that we can understand and think of God is below Him.  Therefore do we read in the Book of Job ( 36, 26 ) : Yes , God is great ; He exceeds our Science.


  5. Secondly : the consideration of God , creator of all things , leads man to give Him thanks. For if God is the creator of all things , without any doubt all that we are , and all that we have comes from God. As the Apostle says to the Corinthians ( 1, 4, 7 ) : For who makes you different ? And what do you have that you didn't receive ? But if you did receive it , why do you boast as if you had not received it ? and we read in Psalm 24, 1 : The earth is Yahweh's , with its fullness ; The world, and those who dwell therein. We must thus give thanks to God and say with the Psalmist (PS. 116, 12) : What will I give to Yahweh for all his benefits toward me ?

  6. Thirdly : if we contemplate God as the Creator of all beings , we are brought to practice patience in the adversities. Indeed , every creature comes from God and by the same token is good by its nature : however if one of them harms us in something and inflicts sorrow on us , we must believe that this sorrow comes from God. Sin , however , does not come from Him , because God can only be at the origin of an evil that is ordered to the good. If whatever sorrow that man endures comes from God , he therefore must support these evils with patience. Sorrows indeed purify us from sin , they humiliate the culprits , and are a cause for the goods to love God. ( Job 2, 10 ) : If we have received the good from the hand of God , shall we not receive evil ?

  7. In fourth place : Contemplating God as Creator of all things , encourages us to make a wise use of creatures. We must in fact use the creatures for the end for which God made them. However God created them with a double goal : initially for His own glory , because Proverbs (16, 4) say : The Lord made everything for His own end (i.e. for His glory) ; and also in the second place , for our utility , as says Moses ( Deut. 4, 19 ) :
    The Lord your God made these creatures so that they might be at the service of all the nations.

    We must thus use these things for the glory of God, that is to say , when we put them to use , we can be pleasing to God and we must also make use of them for our own utility so that , while employing them , we do not commit sin. All things are yours , used to say king David to the Lord ( I. Par. 29, 14 ) and we give you what we received from your hand. Therefore all that you have , be it science or beauty , you must bring it back to the glory of God and use it to promote His glory.

  8. The consideration of God , Creator of all things , brings us in fifth place to the awareness of the dignity of man. God indeed created all things for man, as is reported in Psalm ( 8, 6 ) : You have put all things under his feet. And man, after the Angels, is among all creatures the one that resembles God the most. In truth , the Lord declares in Genesis ( 1, 26 ) : "Let us make man to our image, after our likeness " : In fact, God pronounced this word , neither concerning the heavens , nor in connection with the stars , but about man. And this same word does not aim at his body but at his incorruptible soul , endowed with a free will ; it is by the soul indeed that man is more similar to God than the other creatures.

    We must therefore consider this : man , after the Angels , outweights in dignity the other creatures ; therefore , he must in no manner reduce his dignity through sin and the disordered appetite of carnal things ; God made these things lower than us and placed them at our service. But we must behave in our acts in accordance with the intention that God had in mind when creating us. God indeed created man to dominate over all the other beings on earth and to submit themselves to God. Theerefore , we must dominate and subject the creatures lower than us and at the same time submit ourselves to God , obey Him and be useful to Him and from there , we will reach the enjoyment of God , which in his mercy He condescends to grant us.


  9. Article 2: I ALSO BELIEVE IN JESUS-CHRIST, THE ONLY SON OF THE FATHER, OUR LORD.    Back   Top

  10. Not only is it necessary for Christians to believe that there is a single God and that this single God is the Creator of the heavens and earth, but it is also necessary for them to believe that this God is Father and that Christ is his only begotten Son. That God is Father , and that Christ be his Son , it is not , as says S. Peter , a myth , but a certainty ; certainty proven by the word of God on the mountain. This Apostle indeed tells us in his 20° epistle ( 1, 16-18 ) : Indeed , it is not by following clever fictions , that we indicate to you the power and the presence of our Lord Jesus-Christ , but in eyewitnesses of his Majesty. In fact , He accepted honor and glory of God the Father, when , out of his splendid glory , a voice reached him : This one is my beloved Son ; in Him I take pleasure ; listen to Him. And we heard this voice ourselves , from heaven , when we were with him on the holy mountain.

    Christ Jesus himself calls God his Father in several circumstances and he calls himself the Son of God ; the Apostles also and the holy fathers reflect among the articlees of faith this truth : Christ is Son of God , when they said : I also believe in Jesus-Christ , his Son , i.e. the Son of God.

  11. But there were heretics whose faith in Jesus-Christ Son of God was erroneous.

    Photin indeed proclaims : Christ is Son of God exactly as these virtuous men who deserved , through an honest life and the achievement of the will of God , to be called sons of God by adoption. In the same way , Christ , says he , whose life was virtuous and in compliance with the will of God , deserved to be named Son of God and he claimed that Christ did not exist before the Blessed Virgin , but that he started to exist upon conception .

    Thus Photin committed a double mistake. The first was not to affirm " Christ is the true Son of God according to nature " ; the second was of saying " Christ started to exist in time , according to his whole being " , whereas our faith states : Jesus is the Son of God by nature and he is eternal , in accordance with testimonys clearly expressed in the Holy Scripture.

    Against the first error, indeed, the Sacred Writings clearly state : Christ is not only the Son of God , but He is his only Son. The only Son of God , who is in the womb of the Father , is the One who has revealed God to us , said S. John ( Jn:1,18 ). And against the second error Jesus-Christ himself declared ( Jn. 8, 58 ) : In truth, I say to you , before Abraham was, I am. Now , without any doubt , Abraham existed before the blessed Virgin. This is why , the holy Fathers , in another claim against the first error , added to the words « I believe in Jesus-Christ » the words : the only Son of God , and against the second error : He was born of the Father before all centuries.

  12. As for Sabellius, if he declared « Christ was anterior to the blessed Virgin » , on the other hand , he stated « the person of the Father is not different from that of the Son ; the Father himself took flesh ; this is why the nature of the Father and of the Son is the same » . Such a doctrine, destructive of the Trinity of the persons is erroneous. Against it is this word of Jesus to the Pharisees (John 8, 16) : I am not alone : there is Me and the One who sent me, the Father. Now , obviously , nobody can be sent by himself. Sabellius is therefore mistaken. This is why the Fathers' creed adds about Jesus-Christ : we must believe Him God of God, light of the light, i.e. God the Son proceeding from God the Father, and Son who is light, proceeding of the Father who is Himelf light.

  13. Let us come to Arius. If he declared : Christ was anterior to the blessed Virgin, and other is the person of the Father, other that of the Son , however he allotted to Christ three things contrary to the truth ; according to him, firstly, the Son of God is a creature ; secondly , he is not eternal, but at one time he was created by God as the noblest of all creatures ; thirdly, God the Son does not have the same nature as God the Father, and thus He is not really God.

    Such a doctrine is also erroneous and contrary to the testimonys of the Holy Scripture. The Lord Jesus indeed had these words ( Jn. 10, 30 ) : The Father and Me we are one , obviously by nature ; this is why , as the Father always existed , the same applies to the Son ; and just as the Father is the true God , so is the Son.

    This is why , to the words of Anus « Christ was a creature » the Fathers opposed in their symbol these others words « He is true God , proceeding from the true God ». And to the error of Anus « Christ was not since eternity , but He was created at one point in time » , they opposed these words « He was generated and not created ». Lastly , againts this other error « Christ is not of the same substance as the Father » , they added these words « He is cosubstantial to the Father ».

  14. As we have just clearly shown , we must thus believe the following truths : Christ is the Only Son of God ; He is really the Son of God ; he always was with the Father ; other is the person of the Father, other the person of the Son ; the Son has in common with the Father an identical nature. But these different truths that we believe on earth through faith , we will know them in the eternal life with a perfect vision. Therefore for our consolation , shall we now say something of it.

  15. It must be known that various beings have various modes of generation. The generation as a God differs from that of other beings ; and so can we not manage to know what is generation as a God only by using generation in the creatures that are most similar to God. Now nothing is more similar to God, as we have said , than the human soul , and here is how a generation happens : man thinks through his soul something that we call understanding of the intelligence , and this understanding comes from the soul as a father ; one verb ( i.e. word ) of the intelligence or of man . The soul thus generates his word through thinking. In the same way , the Son of God is nothing more than the word of God ; It is not a verb , a word uttered outside us , because this external word passes , but it is a verb , a word , conceived inside us ; this is why this word of God is of comparable nature as God and is equal to him.

    The blessed Apostle John , while speaking about the word of God , destroyed the heresies that we have just reported. Firstly he destroys the heresy of Photin by these words (Jn. 1, 1) : In the beginning was the word. Secondly , he destroys that of Sabellius by saying : and the word was with God. Thirdly , he cuts down that of Anus , while adding : and the word was God.

  16. But the verb , the word is not in same manner in God and in us. In us , indeed our word is an accident ; but in God , the word of God is the same reality as God himself , since there is nothing in God that is not the very nature of God. Yet , no one can say : God does not have a word ; for , if it were so , He would be without intelligence. This is why , since God always existed , the same applies to His word.

  17. And since a craftsman carries out all his works according to the model that he worked out in advance in his intelligence , model that is his word in like fashion , God also achieves all things through His word , which is like His science, His art. All things were made through him , the word of God. ( John 1:3 )

  18. If the word of God is Son of God , and if all the words of God are in resemblance to this word , we have , in the first place , the duty to readily listen to the word of God. Indeed , listening with pleasure to his word is a sign that we love God.

  19. We must , in second place , believe in the words of God by this faith. Indeed , the word of God lives in us , in accordance with the word of the Apostle ( Eph. 3, 17 ) : That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith ; Therefore the Lord declares with the Pharisees ( Jn. 5, 38 ) : You don't have his word living in you ; because you don't believe him whom he sent.