The Arian Heresy is named after its founder – Arius – who was a presbyter in an urban parish in Alexandria, Egypt during the early part of the fourth century. Arius put forth the view that Jesus Christ was not self-existent, eternal or of the same divine essence as God The Father. Arius taught that Christ was the first-born and highest of the created order of created beings.
Arius’ doctrine placed him in stark opposition to the Apostles of Jesus who affirmed the Deity of Christ in the four Gospel narratives (confer with John 10:30 where Jesus states that “I and The Father are One.”).
Arius interpretation errors were the result of the poor exegesis of certain Christological passages of Scripture such as Proverbs 8:22-36; this is an Old Testament Wisdom narrative which some scholars in the spirit of Origen’s figurative mode of biblical interpretation could translate symbolically and erroneously put forth the teaching that JESUS the Son of God was a created being.
Arius’ doctrine reach a point of great influence in the Eastern part of the Catholic Church right at the time that the emperor Constantine granted the Christian Church the status of “religious tolerance” and “freedom from persecution” (313 A.D.). Constantine hoped to reinvigorate the Roman Empire and he could not have the strongest institution in the empire – The Christian Church – being torn asunder by internal controversy.
Constantine’s solution to the Arius controversy was to propose a council of the entire Catholic Church to resolve this issue; this council became known as the Council of Nicea (325 A.D.).
At the council of Nicea, the Bishops present voted 323 to 2 against Arius’s teaching. The Bishops declared that Jesus is begotten, not made and that His divine nature is of the same essence (homoousios) with God the Father. Christ Jesus is not merely similar to Deity, but He is Deity. The Bishops put together the great Nicene Creed which has stood as a bulwark against many heresies for more than 1650 years.
In many Churches throughout the globe, the Nicene Creed is repeated at every worship service. This wonderful Creed helps to strengthen Christians as they walk with Christ and seek to fulfill His Divine mission in their lives.
May GOD richly bless each one of you as you seek to affirm the truth of Christ into your lives each and every day
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