Full Text for Dogmatics 3- Volume 34 - The Nicene Creed on the Holy Spirit (Video)

No. 34 Thanks for your response to all of our questions. Perhaps my next question takes us in a slightly new direction, so I hope you don�t mind. Here in our congregation in Cleveland, we most frequently speak the Apostles Creed � I guess most churches use the Apostles Creed more than any of the other creeds � but every time we celebrate Holy Communion, we use the Nicene Creed. I�m ashamed to admit it, but I do not remember much about the history of this creed. Wasn�t the focus of the Creed a response to heresy about Christ? Of course the Nicene Creed also addresses the Holy Spirit, so I want to ask, what does the title �the Lord and Giver of life� and the clause �who together with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified� tell us about the Holy Spirit? >>DR. LEOPALDO SANCHEZ M.: Good historical question, Dave. And theological, too. To answer this, we should probably look at the distinction between the Council of Nicaea and the Council of Constantinople. What we call the Nicene Creed is really a coming together of the teachings from both of those councils. The Council of Nicaea, as you may have heard from your Systematics 2 class took place in the year 325. And the Council of Constantinople took place in the year 381 in the year of our Lord. Now, you may recall that at the Council of Nicaea, the statements put forth there were really directed against Arius and the Arians, who basically asserted that Jesus was only a Son of God by grace. He was sort of a deified man, a special man. But not quite God. In response to this, the Council of Nicaea argued that Jesus is Son of God by nature. The way that they articulated this was by saying the Son is ***homouseus, with God the Father. The Son is ***consubstantial, of the same substance of the same nature with God the Father. In other words, the Son is not a mere creature. He's not of the substance or of the nature of creation. Rather, the son is of the substance, the nature of the Father. Therefore, the Son is Creator and God. So when someone in the congregation asks you: What does that consubstantial with the Father mean?" Well, that simply means that the Son is Creator with the Father and therefore God. Now, thus, the Council of Nicaea you settle the question of the identity of the Son. The Council of Constantinople in 381 had to deal with a similar question. But this time it was directed against the ***numato macoi. They also go by numato makians, too. It is a term that means the Spirit fighters. They basically said that the Holy Spirit was only a minister of God. A sort of servant of God. A creature in the end through whom God does his work. But the Holy Spirit was not God as such. Now, over against this view the fathers of the Council of Constantinople asserted that the Holy Spirit is worshiped and glorified together with the Father and the Son. So if the Holy Spirit receives the same worship with the Father and the Son, then the Holy Spirit must be God. Only God is deserving of our worship and adoration. Now, the homouseus, that term is not explicitly used in the third article. Nevertheless, the argument made for the Son at Nicaea is actually extended to the Holy Spirit at Constantinople. That the Holy Spirit receives the same glory as the Father and the Son implies that the Holy Spirit is of the same substance of the same nature as the Father and the Son. Similarly, to say that the Holy Spirit is the Lord and giver of life highlights the fact that the Holy Spirit is Creator and therefore God. For who is Lord over all things? Only God. And who can give us life? Only God. So the Holy Spirit is God with the Father and the Son. And that's what the Holy Spirit has in common with the other two persons of the Trinity.