An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church


The Nicene Creed affirms that Jesus Christ was eternally begotten and the only Son of God the Father, and is of one being with the Father, "God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God." All things were made through him; he came down from heaven for us and for our salvation; he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit; he died and was buried after being crucified under Pontius Pilate; and he rose on the third day after his death and ascended into heaven, where he is seated at the right hand of God the Father (see BCP, p. 358). The Apostles' Creed also states that Jesus descended to the dead, or hell, after his crucifixion and before the resurrection (see BCP, pp. 66, 120). The Council of Chalcedon (451) affirmed that the one person of Christ has two natures, divine and human, which are "in no way annulled by the union," and that Christ's divine and human natures are "without confusion, without change, without division, without separation." The Chalcedonian Definition also held that Christ is of one substance (homoousios) with God the Father concerning his divinity and of one substance with us concerning his humanity (see BCP, p. 864). The Christian hope is centered in the victorious Christ, who will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and whose kingdom will have no end (see BCP, pp. 120, 359). The Athanasian Creed states that at Jesus' coming all humanity "shall rise again with their bodies and shall give account for their own works" (BCP, p. 865). The Christian assurance is that nothing, not even death, will separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 8:38-39; BCP, p. 862).

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.