The Nicene Creed
In One God the Father Almighty
We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth,
and of all things visible and invisible
The Nicene Creed is a great Trinitarian statement of the faith, the design of which is to tell us who each person of the Godhead is (to the extent that has been revealed) and what each has done (and continues to do) in the divine economy (plan) of salvation. Each person is represented in the order of their subsistence within the Godhead and outside in their work in the world for our salvation. As such, it is far more comprehensive that the Apostles’ Creed while saying the bare minimum of what must be said.
The first line of the Nicene Creed is as concise as it is precise. It speaks first, quite naturally, of the Father—the divine Original, the Fount of the two other persons—not that He was before them (by no means!) but that the Son is begotten of and the Spirit proceeds from Him from all eternity. And who is the Father? He is that One who is great beyond measure. How great? So great that He created the world out of nothing—a necessary belief else one credits divinity to the world. Christians reject this. There are two basic categories—the Creator and the created—and only God maintains the former. And all things are not only made by Him but are utterly dependent upon Him for their continuing state of being; that is, He not only created all things but sustains all things as well.
And He created all things, not only visible, but invisible as well. There were heresies in the second and third centuries in which heretics (Marcion, Basilides, etc.) posited a world in which two gods existed—one good, the other evil—the latter creating the world, and the world encircled by numerous spheres, commanded by various angelic beings, ascending upwards to the pleroma (fullness). Naturally, the Church rejected this nonsense (now replayed in the New Age Movement), but it is still important we recognize this. Modern man has often rejected the invisible altogether, deeming man to be nothing more than the highest animal on the food chain (evolution) and then demeaning him as merely a creature of the state (communism and socialism). Within such a system, man is seen as soul-less, at least as the Church understands “soul” as the very essence of the man created in the image of God. God has created man an embodied soul, the death of whom is the soul’s separation from the body. Let us never forget this, lest we be reduced to creatures living on a collective animal farm.