143. How were the men elevated to this faith in One God Who has a Son ?
The Jewish people was raised carefully in the faith in One God so that through them to engrain in time this faith to the other peoples. Gradually in order not to put in danger the faith in One God the Jewish people was taught by the prophets that the One God has a Son Who would come to save the world and a Holy Spirit.
In the Genesis God speaks to the other divine persons:
`Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.` (Genesis I, 26-27) too show that the three persons form a single divine being. God’s apparition at Mamre’s oak in the form of three travelers (Genesis 18, 2) has the same meaning. David knows afterwards explicitly that Gd has a Son when he sees God the Father saying to the Lord (to God the Son):
The Lord says to my lord: Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”(Psalm 110, 1-2), or when he hears God the Father saying to God the Son: You are my son; today I have become your father.Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. (Psalm II, 5-6).
Due to the influence of the Jews who from their Babylonian slavery were scattered among all peoples and by the hidden guidance of the Word of God many philosophers from other cultures propagated the idea of One God and of His action in the world through His Word or Intellect especially upon the minds of the enlightened men. Thus before the coming of the Savior the world was in a strange condition because on one hand they believed in One Almighty and men loving God Who wanted to send someone from Himself for the salvation of the world and on the other they were in the greatest moral decadence and helplessness.
This condition made the people wait salvation from God and when the Savior came it helped them to be able to receive Him and His teaching about God
144. Was this preparation enough for mankind to receive Jesus Christ as God ?
No, it was not enough, all the Jews and most of the philosophers should have received Him.
At those mentioned were added as grounds of faith: 1) His teaching beyond comparison with any other; 2) His purest Life and 3) His miracles from these especially His Resurrection and Ascension.
But all these grounds are surpassed by the power with which He worked and has been working until today upon the souls that are opened to His Word renewing and engraining in them the steady belief that He is God. The faith in Christ comes first from the grace of God not from rationalizing the mentioned grounds. But those reasons prepared the mind of the man for receiving this grace. For us the Christians one of the strongest reasons which prepares our mind to receive the grace of faith and work together with it is the existence of Christianity for 2000 years, the fact that since then until today hundreds of billions of souls believed permanently in the divinity of Jesus.
145. What is the belief of our Church in the divinity of our Savior Jesus Christ?
Raspunsul mai amanuntit la aceasta intrebare il da articolul II al Simbolului Credintei, primul dintre cele sase articole(II-VII), care se ocupa cu persoana si lucrarea mantuitoare a Domnului Iisus Hristos. Caci acest articol cuprinde in forma cea mai scurta, dar si cea mai deplina, invatatura Bisericii despre Dumnezeirea lui Iisus Hristos.
146. What is this article?
This article is: `And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages. Light of light; true God of true God; begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by Whom all things were made.`
147. What does this article teach us?
Two things. First that our Lord Jesus Christ Who saved us is the Son of God, equal in everything with God the Father, eternal like Him and One with Him in terms of essence and glory being distinguished Himself by the fact that He is Son and not Father, by the fact that His Father gives birth to Him and He is born from the being of the Father. Even Jesus said about Himself: ` And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.`
Secondly that Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World is the Creator of everything, His divinity being shown by this.
As the Father is the Creator of everything, and we were taught about this in the first article of the Creed, as is His Son, Creator of everything. The Father does everything but does this through His Son
`Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.` (John I,3)
Even time was created through Jesus Christ as the Apostle says : `and through whomalso he made the ages.` (Hebrews I, 2), and in another place he says: ` For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. ` (Colossians I, 16-17)
If in Hi mis everything settled this means that He supports everything and in in Him everything lives so He is a partaker in their providence preserving their life and taking care of them as He says it Himself: `In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working. (John V, 17).
148. What mean the first words from the second article of the Creed : `And in One Lord Jesus Christ `?
As we were taught by the first article to believe in God the Father so we are taught by the second one to believe in Jesus Christ, His Son. Without the faith in the Son we cannot know the Father. The Father does not exist without the Son. Who doesn’t believe that God has a Son doesn’t believe either that God is a Father and has in Himself paternal Love. That kind of God would be a loveless One, not a True One. `I am the door` (John X, 9) says Jesus: `No one comes to the Father except through me.`(John XIV, 6). Jesus Christ in whom we believe as we believe in the Father is One, because the Father has only One Son and we have only One Saviour. Only by this One we are saved and reach the Father because there is nly one way and only one door leading to the Father and He is that way and door.
He is the Lord reigning over our souls, He is the Lord and Master of our life Whom we serve (Colossians III, 24) and we dedicate gladly all our life to Him so we do not belong to ourselves anymore but to Him (II Cor. X, 7) and we can say like Apostle Paul : `I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God,who loved me and gave himself for me.` (Galatians II, 20) Because He gave us this life and saved us from death. And if we dedicate our life to Him we are the ones who benefit from this, because He furbishes us day by day making us be in His image (Romans VIII, 2.9)
Christ’s reign over souls is not a a harsh and coercive one but a gentle one. He reigns over us through Love and Truth: `Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.` (Matthew XI, 29-30).
This reign doesn’t mean that we don’t have the duty to work for our brothers. On the contrary we serve Jesus when we do good to the small and exhausted (Matthew XXIV, 40). This complete reign over our souls and over the whole world Jesus Christ won it as a man too because He humbled Himself as no one else and sacrificied His life for us. His name was raised then higher than any other name and all the knees must kneel down before Him receiving Him as the Lord.
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.(Philippians II, 6-11)