Symbol of faith: an explanation from the Orthodox point of view
Faith is in the depths of a person’s heart; it does not depend on any evidence. When unbelievers ask what a Christian believes in, he must give a clear answer.
I became interested in the creed of Christianity after talking with one atheist. A woman tried to explain her atheism to me from the point of view of a narrow-minded opinion. I did not manage to convince her of disbelief, and each of us remained at our own convictions.
Then I read in the Orthodox literature, what is the symbol of faith in Christianity. This gave me a clear understanding of the essence of Christianity, and now I can answer all the questions of atheists.
Let’s take a look at these fundamental concepts of Christianity together.
The Meaning of the Creed
In a conversation with atheists and representatives of other religions, it is very important to clearly and convincingly explain what Christians believe. It is this explanation that gives the creed, which was approved at the Third Ecumenical Council by the church fathers.
The creed is not a prayer, but expresses the foundations of Christian doctrine. It does not appeal to the Most Holy Mother of God and saints, but confession of faith is proclaimed.
The Creed contains 12 basic tenets of the Orthodox Church, which are referred to as members:
- The first dogma is about our Father, God;
- from the second to the seventh it is spoken of God the Son;
- the eighth tells about the Holy Spirit; the ninth tells about the church (meeting of believers);
- the tenth speaks of receiving baptism;
- The 11th and 12th talks about eternal life and the resurrection of the dead.
Symbol of faith in Orthodoxy (in modern Russian)
Prayer Symbol of Faith in Russian with accents
As you can see, this is a brief confession of what a person believes. The text can be called a prayer, but in fact there is no appeal to anyone from the spiritual world.
The prayer «I Believe in the One God» is often pronounced on liturgies, when all believers proclaim their faith to hear. This is a necessary and important condition for the spread of Christianity on earth.
You can not believe in secret and with sneak, you must declare your faith to the whole world.
The first Christians found it very difficult to declare their faith, as they were subjected to severe persecution for it. Nevertheless, the Christian martyrs did not renounce their faith in Christ, even under the threat of martyrdom.
Nowadays, no one subjects people to torture for their faith, since more than a third of the world’s population professes faith in the Savior of mankind.
The prayer “I Believe in One” is the foundation on which the universal church stands. Every Christian should know and understand these words in order to avoid the temptations of the devil and not lose eternal life. This is the weapon with which you can resist Satan and his army.
The prayer of faith was compiled by the fathers of the church in the distant past, when it was necessary to clarify the spiritual essence of faith to the new converts and prepare them for accepting the sacrament of baptism.
Prayer. I believe in the one God of the Father, is pronounced at every service in the church.
In the old days, mainly adults were converted to Christianity, therefore the text of the prayer to I Believe was made just for them. On the eve of baptism, the newly formed person uttered the Creed, expressing his will to become a member of the universal church and devote his life to serving Christ.
However, in different places the text of the Symbol of the Faith often did not coincide, therefore the fathers of the church met at the Council in the city of Nicaea (325 AD) to approve the uniform form of the Symbol of the Faith. A few years later, the Symbol was supplemented at the Nekeo-Tsargrad Cathedral, and in 431 it was finally approved at the Third Ecumenical Council in Ephesus.
Since then, the text of the prayer has not changed, and can not be changed. In whatever language the Symbol of Faith sounds, it has the same meaning.
Let’s look at what the 12 members of the Symbol of the Christian Faith signify.
I believe in the one God of the Father
The word «believe» is fundamental here. This is the focus of human consciousness on a specific object. Faith does not involve thinking about the topic, it asserts and convinces of the truth.
However, this truth is hidden, it is impossible to see or touch it — therefore, a person needs faith. They believe that it is impossible to feel the earthly senses.
However, faith gives inner knowledge that convinces a person of truth.
Faith is a hidden secret that can only be revealed in a miraculous way. Scientists have not been able to find the key to unlocking the mystery of faith, because it is deeply hidden in the heart of man and does not have a material nature.
This is a spiritual phenomenon that cannot be explored by the material instruments of knowledge. Even the work of the brain was studied in detail by scientists of the world, but they did not find faith in the brain.
Because faith is above knowledge.
Faith can penetrate the mysteries of life, enter into other dimensions — spiritual. This is the key to the spiritual worlds, where other laws of the universe reign.
Only by faith can one feel God, know his truth and touch the imperishable.
When faith is born in man, he can sense the one God of the Father. Without faith, this is impossible.
How many do not explain to the atheist the miracle of the creation of the world, he will not hear — there is no faith in the heart. The believer feels that the whole world was created by one god. If our pagan ancestors worshiped a whole host of gods, then Christianity asserts that God is one.
The pagans felt that the world was created by God, but attributed it to many gods. They sought God in nature and found many different powers.
It remained only to find a single source of these forces of nature, which Christianity did.
The teaching of Christ gives us not just God, but God the Father. He is filled with love for the world and people, he sends only good.
Only the Father can love his children, care for them, and fill them with joy. Only the Father can love children, giving their sincere hearts.
The Symbol of Faith establishes between God and people a trusting relationship of relatives, which are based on mutual love and reverence. Also, the status of children obliges them to obedience, which is important to understand.
In the Creed, it is emphasized that the Father of Christians is also the Almighty, since he created the entire universe. The world created by him is full of perfection, wisdom and beauty.
The world is permeated with the highest meaning, which can be grasped only by faith. Many people see evil and deformity in the world because they do not realize the essence of creation and are not filled with love for the world.
When faith settles in a person’s heart, it fills him with love and wisdom.
And in the one Lord Jesus Christ
This dogma of faith is central, for without Jesus Christ there is no Christianity itself. Belief in God is inherent in many world religions, but there is no only begotten Son in them.
Christians believe that Jesus Christ was a God-man. Jesus is the name of man, and Christ is the title of the anointed of God.
This anointing clothed man with divine authority and empowered the Holy Spirit.
Christ was sent into the world to bring the good news (gospel) of salvation.
To understand what kind of salvation is involved, you need to know the Old Testament well. In ancient times, God chose the Jewish people to serve as a source of light for all the peoples of the earth. It was a God-bearing people.
But the Jews did not cope with this mission and fell away from God. They began to live in hatred for each other and quarrels, forgot about love.
Christ came into the world to show God’s love and grace to people, to save them from the fall and to reveal the truth. This was the Messiah, sent by heaven for the salvation of all people on earth.
It is with the acceptance of the mystery of the God-man that Christianity begins.
God himself came to people in the flesh to bestow salvation from evil and hatred, death and decay. This dogma is the most basic in Christianity. This is incomprehensible to the earthly mind, but that is what requires the belief that it is impossible to comprehend with reason.
Is it possible to doubt the power of one who has created the universe with his word? Can he not appear in the flesh through his only begotten son?
Doubting this means denying God the power and authority.
For the sake of what came down from heaven
Every Christian understands that he is saved by faith. This is the faith of salvation given free. There are religions that offer life improvement, and Christianity offers soul salvation from eternal torment.
You can read about this in the Old Testament, where God gives people the 10 commandments of salvation. Jesus fulfilled all the commandments in our place, and now through faith in him everyone can be saved.
However, this does not mean that we can now break the commandments of God, we just have been given salvation by the all-loving Lord.
What does Christ save us from? From the death of death and hellish torment.
Modern people are trying to forget in the bustle of earthly life, believing that after it nothing will be. But the gospel says that the soul of man is eternal, and it is she who needs salvation from eternal torment. If the heart of a person is inclined to faith, he will hear these words and find salvation.
If a person is completely immersed in the material world and sees only in him the meaning of life, he will remain deaf to the words of truth.
Christ, by his death and resurrection, showed the world that there is eternal life, and that our earthly life is not real. When a person looks at the image of the crucified Christ, he begins to think about the meaning of his life. For this, the Savior came to our world, so that people would think — why do they live?
He offers us eternal life, which is prepared by God the Father from the foundation of the world. He gives us eternal life, taking all the sins of the world upon himself.
This is the gospel that Christianity preaches.
And incarnated by the Holy Spirit
This is the sacred part of the Christian faith, which directly indicates the divine origin of Christ. No man can save people from sins, only the God-man. Jesus had a dual nature — human and divine.
Human nature was necessary for incarnation into matter, divine — for fulfilling the mission of salvation.
However, this particular dogma becomes a stumbling block for the adoption of Christianity. People cannot believe that this is possible at all.
However, is there anything impossible for the creator of the universe? It’s just worth thinking about it in order to understand — for him nothing is impossible, and the fact of immaculate conception is not something fantastic. This is no more fantastic event than the creation of the universe.
Whoever created the worlds, is it not possible to create an embryo with the help of his Spirit?
Crucified for us
This dogma of the Christian faith also puzzles atheists and representatives of other faiths. Why do we need this victim, to whom? To understand the tragedy of the situation, you need to refer to the Old Testament, which mentions death for committing sins.
It was from this that Jesus saved us, dying on the cross in our place. It was a substitute sacrifice, without which salvation from eternal death is impossible.
Jesus, in our place, suffered for the removal of retribution for breaking God’s law. And where is this law?
He is spelled out in the laws of nature, he is established by the creator of the world from the beginning. After the tragic death on the cross, Jesus miraculously resurrected and appears to the disciples in a new body.
This suggests that there is no death — it is illusory. But in order to attain eternal salvation, one must have a sinless soul.
Jesus’ soul was sinless, and he gave it in the name of the salvation of mankind.
A man died on the cross, but was resurrected — a god. This is where the divine nature of Jesus, the God-man, is revealed.
When Christians perform the Sacrament of the Eucharist, they miraculously unite with Christ. This is what Jesus commanded us at the last evening before his execution.
He broke the bread, distributed it to the disciples, and said: This is my body, which is broken for you. Then he poured out wine and said: This is blood that is shed for you.
Since then, the sacrament of communion has been performed at divine services in the church, since without it it is impossible to unite with Christ and receive salvation.
When we unite with Christ through the sacrament of communion, we acquire the divine nature. After death, we will also be resurrected and gain new perfect bodies.
This sounds ridiculous for atheists, but modern physics scientists have already proved the duality of quanta. They also proved that all matter is illusory and subject to the thoughts of man. This means that any body can rise from non-existence, if that is what the spirit desires.
Nowadays, the theme of resurrection does not sound as fantastic as in past centuries. Just read the works of quantum physicists.
The human mind refuses to understand immortality, as it constantly sees death around itself. But this death refers to the illusory matter from which our world is woven.
Jesus by his resurrection showed that there is another world over which the death of illusory matter has no power. Is the creator who created the worlds incapable of creating an immortal body? The mind of atheists constantly limits the ability of the creator to its framework of earthly criteria.
But it is impossible to understand God with the earthly mind, therefore, faith is necessary.
And ascended to heaven
Here it is not the material heaven that is meant, but another world. In the gospel it is called the highest, that is, the highest. Higher means higher than our world.
Heaven — this word allegorically expresses something high and inaccessible to man within the framework of the earthly world. These are other spaces and dimensions that we cannot sense with earthly senses.
Therefore, we need faith.
If a person is able to perceive adequately the purity of conception, the embodiment of God in human flesh and resurrection in a new body, he will correctly understand the Symbol of Faith in Christianity. He will be able to realize the triune essence of God, when he (the one) manifests himself in three forms — the Father, the only begotten Son, and the Holy Spirit.
In the trinity, there can be no idolatry, as claimed by other religions. Trinity can be seen even in a person, when he forms his thoughts in his body with the help of his consciousness.
Guess today with the help of the tarot spread "Day map"!
For proper divination: focus on the subconscious and do not think about anything at least 1-2 minutes.