The regula fide, or rule of faith, was one of the most important concepts in the early, pre-Nicene Church. The Nicene Creed is essentially our official rule of faith. It’s what we all are supposed to believe, what we sign-off on when we embrace this thing called Christianity. Catholics and Orthodox differ slightly in their official creeds, but there is overwhelming agreement between the two churches. Protestant churches differ widely in their beliefs and creedal statements they are willing to embrace. Some simply use the traditional formulation of Nicea. Many others make up their own. Some use a trinitarian formula; some don’t. Some include the Holy Spirit; some don’t.
In the face of this dizzying diversity of belief among people calling themselves Christians, it is necessary to to understand and agree on a rule of faith. A creed or rule of faith serves as a starting point for everyone to live a deeper spiritual life. If we can’t get a firm footing on the first rung on the ladder, we will never be able to climb.
The Nicene Creed
I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.