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Credo 12 - God from God ...

Saturday, July 07, 2007
The Nicene Creed has an essentially Trinitarian structure, based upon the baptismal confession of faith in the one God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The central section of the Creed focuses on the Son, the Lord, Jesus Christ, whom Christians profess to be both truly God – God from God - and truly man. While the first articles of the Creed articulate an understanding of God that might be arrived at from a reading of the Old Testament – God as both Creator of heaven and earth and Father of Israel –in this central section, we move on to what Christians have been able to say about God by reflecting upon the significance of the words and actions of Jesus Christ recorded in the New Testament.

In the Gospel of John, the Pharisee Nicodemus describes Jesus as someone who has “come from God as a teacher” (John 3:2). In his conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus deepens this insight by disclosing himself as the son of God sent by the Father as saviour of the world. He tells Nicodemus, “God sent his son into the world not to judge the world, but so that through him the world might be saved”. In other words, God the Father, the creator of the world, has such a depth of love for his creation, and in particular for humanity, that he sends his only-begotten son, through whom everything was created, to enter into and become part of the world as a human being so that it might be redeemed from within.

Jesus is thus disclosed in the New Testament as God’s closeness to us. Saint Matthew, in his account of the angel’s announcement to Joseph that a son, called Jesus, was to be born to Mary, quotes the words of the prophet Isaiah to refer to Jesus as Emmanuel or God-with-us. The present Pope once wrote that Jesus is “the real proximity of God coming to meet us, God’s mediation to us, and that precisely because he himself is God as man, in human form and nature, God-with-us (Emmanuel)”.

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