I Believe in One God

Out of curiosity, for those of you who confess the Nicene Creed, who or what do you understand the “One God” mentioned in the Creed to be?

I understand it to mean one God in the Holy Trinity. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in one God.

Thank you for the response!

Anybody else want to explain his/her understanding?

Short answer I agree. :slight_smile:

As do I! :slight_smile:

Cavaradossi and other Orthodox reading–have a blessed Pascha!

One, not many.

For me believing in one God is believing in the divinity of God not making any other hiden translations like money, work, power, our intelligence and so on to put our faith in and to have for these things that kind of faith we should only give to our only God; even ourself can be another God. It depends if we believe in ourselves more deeply then we believe in God.
Of course this is the way I feel it.

Thank you! I hope you had (or will have, depending on when you have chosen to observe it) a good and blessed Easter yourself.

Could you be more specific? Surely you don’t think that the concept of oneness* is* God.

Thank you!

Out of curiosity, for those of you who confess the Nicene Creed, who or what do you understand the “One God” mentioned in the Creed to be?


For your curiosity, for those of us who profess the Nicene Creed, what I understand of the “One God” mentioned in the Creed is simple. For your curiosity as I profess the Nicene Creed when I say “One God” I believe it to be One God and not many gods. I believe that there was at the time many that believed in many gods and this was intended to direct attention to what Israel had proclaimed and we also believe…

Hear O Israel…the Lord Our God is one…as opposed to the many gods of Greece, Rome, Egypt and elsewhere…:thumbsup:

The Nicene Creed is pretty specific about what one God means, going into details of each person in the trinity and then confessing that each is that one God.

Not that this stops people from misinterpreting it.

Hey, it just occurred to me when I saw this thread that I’ve NEVER seen a thread started by you! :stuck_out_tongue:

As to your question, it sounds easy but it really is very hard, no? I mean, we obviously know THAT God is One- But do we really know what this means? :hmmm:God is not like us.

Happy Pascha!

Christ is Risen!

Yeah, a search through my post history will probably show that I’ve only started one or two other threads, and one of those was split off by a moderator, so technically, I didn’t even start it. :smiley:

You bring up a good point. If we approach it apophatically, we would say that God is one, and yet in some sense God is not one as we understand it, because God transcends all that we know, including our concept of oneness. At the same time, we must not go so far as to deny that the cataphatic experience of God as one is true. Gotta love that mind-blowing balance between the cataphatic and the apophatic. :wink:

Speaking as a baptized, confirmed and married Catholic, and also a revert, I find the Nicene creed to be cumbersome eventhough I confess it with my mouth in the Mass on Sundays. I prefer the Apostle’s Creed for its compactness, beauty and simplicity.

First of all, there is no desire for me to debate this subject with anyone. Discussing the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ is another matter.

Simply put, there are three persons in one God. The Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit. At this time, I can not comprehend the ‘equal’ part of this description.

As someone who has familiarity with orthodox Judaism and the concept of “Metatron” (the Metatron that is **not **Enoch), and of the writings of the early church fathers, I would have to agree that there is the greater and lesser YWYH. The greater being God the Father, and the lesser being the pre-existent Messiah, the eternal only begotten Son.

There are many scriptures such as Genesis 19:24, Exodus 33:11, Exodus 23:20-21, which speak of the pre-existent Messiah as YWYH and distinct from God the Father. In Malachi 3:1, the Lord is spoken of as the ‘messenger of the covenant’, this is the one who spoke to Moses ‘face to face’ (Ex. 33:11) and came to this earth as Jesus Christ to give us the new covenant.

The whole Judaic understanding that God the Father is invisible, that He is holy, that He can not be tempted with evil, and that He can not die is compatible with the pre-existent Messiah being the **lesser **YWYH who did in fact did become all of these in order for us to be saved from sin and death.

At the risk of being banned from CA, this is what I believe at this time in my life.

God’s peace to all.

I would like to add, …and this God only, can know my true worship of him.


The understanding of the Holy Trinity we have is God is three divine persons with one nature.

I am a person with an identity. That is who I am. I am a human being. That is what I am.

We are all finite in nature, and are different whos. We share human nature. That makes us human. We do what humans do, walk, talk, read, pray, laugh, cry, eat, sleep. Jesus took on our nature.

Our nature is not who we are. It is what we are and defines what we do. We not have bird nature. We do not fly, chirp, lay eggs.

The three persons of the Trinity are infinite. None of them has any quality the other lacks, or the one lacking would not be infinite.

For all eternity the Father loves the Son and gives Himself to the Son, holding nothing back. The Son loves the Father, holding nothing of Himself back. They give themselves to each other.

God is love, life, existance, truth. These are infinite perfections of God

We know from our experience that love can not exist alone, by itself. There is a lover, a beloved and the love itself. Love gives love to love, a trinity. Life gives life to life. Truth knows truth in truth.

The three are of one another and in one another.

As human persons we do some things others do, but some of us can run faster than others, or some can’t even walk, because we have different abilities. That does not take away our humanity. The three Divine Persons are of the same nature, share what they are, but they are identical, being infinite.

In the Old Testament when the writer tried to tell us who a person was the person was usualy identified by who they were descended from, Solomon son of David, Isaac son of Abraham, etc.

This is who the person is. We get our identities from those with whom we are related, from those we come from.

Joseph the carpenter is what Joseph is. Jesus son of Mary is who Jesus is.

This is why the claim that Jesus is the son of God, makes Him God. He is from God. Another way of saying this is the Son proceeds from the Father.

We also are from the Father, but we are made not begotten.

Jesus lowered Himself to share our nature, so that He could raise us to share His. So Peter writes that we will participate in divine nature, as adopted sons of God, both men and women. We will still be who we are. We will not be Jesus, Son of God and son of Mary, but we will participate in the life of the Blessed Trinity. That is what heaven is.

It is impossible for us to have complete understanding of any of this, because our minds are finite and can not comprehend the infinite. We can know something about it, just not everything, so we call it mystery. We say God is incomprehensible.

This is also why we fall into argument. We struggle to understand and come up with different understanding.

I can agree with most of what you write save this. There are certain hypostatic properties which are attached only to one person. The Father, for example is the only cause and He alone is autotheos.

YHWH (Yahweh in English).

If you are asking me to be more explicit and explain the nature of the Trinity, then I will borrow from the Athanasian Creed:

Now the Catholic Faith is this: We worship One God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the Persons nor dividing the substance.

For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, another of the Holy Spirit. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is One, the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal.

Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit; the Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated; the Father infinite, the Son infinite, and the Holy Spirit infinite; the Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal. And yet not three eternals but one eternal, as also not three infinites, nor three uncreated, but one uncreated, and one infinite. So, likewise, the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty; and yet not three almighties but one almighty.

So the Father is God, the Son God, and the Holy Spirit God; and yet not three Gods but one God. So the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord; and yet not three Lords but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by Christian truth to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be both God and Lord; so are we forbidden by the Catholic religion to say, there be three Gods or three Lords.

The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone, not made nor created but begotten. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and the Son, not made nor created nor begotten but proceeding. So there is one Father not three Fathers, one Son not three Sons, and Holy Spirit not three Holy Spirits. And in this Trinity there is nothing before or after, nothing greater or less, but the whole three Persons are coeternal together and coequal.

So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Trinity in Unity and the Unity in Trinity is to be worshipped. He therefore who wills to be in a state of salvation, let him think thus of the Trinity.

But it is necessary to eternal salvation that he also believe faithfully the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. The right faith therefore is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man.

He is God of the substance of the Father begotten before the worlds, and He is man of the substance of His mother born in the world; perfect God, perfect man subsisting of a reasoning soul and human flesh; equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, inferior to the Father as touching His Manhood.

Who although He be God and Man yet He is not two but one Christ; one however not by conversion of the GodHead in the flesh, but by taking of the Manhood in God; one altogether not by confusion of substance but by unity of Person. For as the reasoning soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one Christ.

Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again from the dead, ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, from whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life eternal, and they who indeed have done evil into eternal fire.

This is the Catholic faith, which except a man shall have believed faithfully and firmly he cannot be in a state of salvation.

Yes, you’re right. These are the distinctions among the Divine persons, but I don’t know that it contradicts what Grandfather said. It’s what makes them three distinct persons in the one being (The distinctions being the one who is principle, the one who is begotten, the one who proceeds) but seeing as they share the one essence/nature/being or the same ‘whatness’ that belongs to the Father, then his statement is correct in the sense that all are eternal,omnipotent, infinite etc because the Father is eternal, omnipotent, infinite etc. So the different processions signify the distinct person-hoods in God, but not distinct essences/being.

So they are not the same “who” but they are the same “what”. I think Grandfather was referring to the “what”, not the whos.

I suppose somebody should give an Eastern answer to Cavaradossi’s question: the one God is the Father Almighty, just as the Nicene Creed states.

Thus Fr John Behr:

The Father alone is the one true God. This keeps to the structure of the New Testament language about God, where with only a few exceptions, the world “God” (theos) with an article (and so being used, in Greek, as a proper noun) is only applied to the one whom Jesus calls Father, the God spoken of in the scriptures. This same fact is preserved in all ancient creeds, which begin: I believe in one God, the Father…"

“For us there is one God, the Father… and one Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor 8:6). The proclamation of the divinity of Jesus Christ is made no so much by describing Him as “God” (theos used, in Greek, without an article is as a predicate, and so can be used of creatures; cf. John 10:34-35), but by recognizing Him as “Lord” (Kyrios). Beside being a common title (“sir”), this word had come to be used, in speech, for the unpronounceable, divine, name of God Hiself, YHWH. When Paul states that God bestowed upon the crucified and risen Christ the “name above ever name” (Phil 2:9), this is an affirmation that this one is all that YHWH Himself is, without being YHWH. This is again affirmed in the creeds. “And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God… true God of true God.”

According to the Nicene creed, the Son is “consubstantial with the Father.” St Athanasius, the Father who did more than anyone else to forge Nicene orthodoxy, indicated that “what is said of the Father is said in Scripture of the Son also, all but His being called Father” (On the Synods, 49). It is important to note how respectful such theology is of the total otherness of God in comparison with creation: such doctrines are regulative of our theological language, not a reduction of God to a being alongside other beings. It is also important to note the essential asymmetry of the relation between the Father and the Son: the Son derives from the Father; He is, as the Nicene creed put it, “of the essence of the Father” – they do not both derive from one common source. This is what is usually referred to as the Monarchy of the Father.

St Athanasius also began to apply the same argument used for defending the divinity of the Son, to a defense of the divinity of the Holy Spirit: just as the Son Himself must be fully divine if He is to save us, for only God can save, so also must Holy Spirit be divine if He is to give life to those who lie in death. Again there is an asymmetry, one which also goes back to Scripture: we receive the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead as the Spirit of Christ, one which enables us to call on God as “Abba.” Though we receive the Spirit through Christ, the Spirit proceeds only from the Father, yet this already implies the existence of the Son, and therefore that the Spirit proceeds from the Father already in relation to the Son (see especially St Gregory of Nyssa, To Ablabius: That there are not Three Gods).

So there is one God and Father, one Lord Jesus Christ, and one Holy Spirit, three “persons” (hypostases) who are the same or one in essence (ousia); three persons equally God, possessing the same natural properties, yet really God, possessing the same natural properties, yet really distinct, known by their personal characteristics. Besides being one in essence, these three persons also exist in total one-ness or unity.

There are three characteristics ways in which this unity is described by the Greek Fathers. The first is in terms of communion: “The unity [of the three] lies in the communion of the Godhead” as St Basil the Great puts it (On the Holy Spirit 45). The emphasis here on communion acts as a safeguard against any tendency to see the three persons as simply different manifestations of the one nature; if they were simply different modes in which the one God appears, then such an act of communion would not be possible. The similar way of expressing the divine unity is in terms of “coinherence” (perichoresis): the Father, Son and Holy Spirit indwell in one another, totally transparent and interpenetrated by the other two. This idea clearly stems from Christ’s words in the Gospel of John: “I am in the Father and the Father in me” (14:11). Having the Father dwelling in HIm in this way, Christ reveals to us the Father, He is “the image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15).

The third way in which the total unity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is manifest is in their unity of work or activity. Unlike three human beings who, at best, can only cooperate, the activity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is one. God works, according to the image of St Irenaeus, with His two Hands, the Son and the Spirit. More importantly, “the work of God,” according to St Irenaeus, “is the fashioning of man” into the image and likeness of God (Against the Heretics 5.15.2), a work which embraces, inseparably, both creation and salvation, for it is only realized in and by the crucified and risen One: the will of the Father is effected by the Son in the Spirit.

Such, then, is how the Greek Fathers, following Scripture, maintained that there is but one God, whose Son and Spirit are equally God, in a unity of essence and of existence, without compromising the uniqueness of the one true God.

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