This Creed was especially written in response to the heresy of Arianism, which arose during the 4th century. Its teachings destroyed the doctrine of the Trinity and of the Deity of Christ, saying that the Father alone was the eternal God, while the Son was a created being. Therefore, there is one God, the Father, who created a Son (a familiar teaching in our day by the Jehovah’s Witnesses).
Both the Eastern and the Western Church confess this Creed, but with one important difference. The West insisted on the inclusion of the phrase “and the Son” (Latin filioque) in discussing the procession of the Holy Spirit; but the East rejects this phrase. The inclusion of this phrase is important as it protects the consubstantiality of the Holy Spirit with the Father and the Son; without it the heresy of subordinationism creeps into the doctrine of the Trinity.
In its present form this Creed is the creed of the Council of Nicea (325 A.D.), but the addition of the articles on the Holy Spirit from the Council of Constantinople (381 A.D.) form this majestic creed.
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.
Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the living and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe one holy catholic* and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen. (*universal)