Day 18, Nicene Creed, 10th Line
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the father;
When my Filipino relatives communicate in their native dialect, and they really want to emphasis what they’re saying, they tend to repeat things a lot. For example, if they want to say something is big, they say it’s malaki. But if they want to say it’s really big, they say it’s malaki-laki. Beautiful is maganda, and very beautiful is maganda-ganda. The repetition adds emphasis.
I feel like our forefathers who wrote the Nicene Creed had a similar approach to emphasizing the point they wanted to make. We’ve already covered the fact that Jesus was the only begotten son of God, and that He is constubstantial—same substance or essence—with God the Father (God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God). Now, we emphatically drive it home as if to say, “It is extremely important that we understand this. Jesus was not made by God like the rest of us; He is God. Jesus = God. He’s GOD!!”
And we get why they did that, because Jesus is so unusual, which is precisely why it’s easy for people to fall into another line of thinking that says Jesus was something else other than God Himself. Like it’s easy for my teeth to get crooked again if I don’t wear my retainer. So this discourse is like a faith retainer, if you will, because this is the essence of what Christianity is—the belief that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh.
Care to share?