One iota’s worth of difference

Athanasius fights for the truth of the divinity of Christ in the 4th century

This sermon is one of a series of five.

1. The Background

  • Arius
  • Alexander, Bishop of Alexandria
  • Eusebius, Bishop of Nicomedia

2. The Heresy

  • Arius: “The Son of God is a created being”

3. The Conflict

  • The Council of Nicea – 325 AD
  • Arius vs. Bishop Alexander (and Athanasius)

4. The Complications

Radical Arians: “anomoios”
- The Son is unlike the Father

Athanasius: “homo ousios”
- The Son is of the same substance

Moderate Arians: “homo iousios”
- The Son is of like substance

5. The Implications


The Creed of Nicea:

We believe in one God, the Father all-sovereign, the maker of all things visible and invisible;

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,

the Son of God, begotten of the Father, only begotten,
that is, of the substance [ousia] of the Father;
God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God,
begotten not made,
of one substance [homoousios = consubstantial] with the Father,
through whom all things were made in heaven and things on earth;
who for us men and for our salvation came down and was made flesh, and became man, suffered and rose again on the third day, ascended into the heavens, is coming to judge living and dead.

And in the Holy Spirit.


Appendix to the Creed:

And those that say “There was when he was not”, and “Before he was begotten he was not”, and that “He came into being from what-is-not”,

or those that allege that the Son of God is “Of another substance or essence”, or “created”, or “changeable”, or “alterable”

– these the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes.

Brian Watts is Pastor of The King's Community Church and lives in Langley with his wife Rosalind.
mail: church@tkc.com
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