Our Statement of Faith 

Praying Together

 

    We are a hybrid homeschooling academy of Christian families that desire our children to be educated according to the truth found in God’s Word.  This statement of faith is agreed upon by all the families, teachers, staff, and the executive board of Hope Hybrid Academy as an accurate summary of the essentials of Christian truth.  We elected to use the Nicene Creed as a basis for our statement of faith for several reasons.

 

 

   One, the Christian faith has been the same in all ages of the Church.  Ever since Christ sent out his apostles to preach the Gospel, those who have placed their hope in Christ have confessed the same truth (Ephesians 4:1-6).  The Nicene Creed is one of the oldest and widely recognized statements of faith in the Christian world (2 Timothy 1:13).  In our day of shifting definitions, it is important to remember and confess that same faith, once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).  

    Two, the Nicene Creed is Trinitarian in structure.  The three main sections of the Creed are based on the Persons and work of each member of the Trinity.  By using this structure, the Nicene Creed expresses one of the deepest truths of the Christian faith in a way that even the simplest children can memorize and embrace as their own (Matthew 18:10).  

    Three, the Nicene Creed is devotional in nature.  The word “creed” comes from the Latin word “credo” which means “I believe.”  The purpose of the Creed was to give personal expression to the saving truths of the Gospel in a way that could be easily taken up by every believer (Philippians 1:27).  

    For these reasons, we have chosen the Nicene Creed as the basis for our statement of faith.  But, given this older way of expressing the Christian faith, the Creed requires some explanation to make it clear what each of the phrases and sections are saying (Nehemiah 8:8).  

The Nicene Creed

I believe in one God,

     This is a statement of monotheism, that there is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4). 

 

the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

     This God has revealed himself in Three Persons (Matthew 3:16-17).  The First Person is the Father, the Creator of heaven and earth (Hebrews 1:1-2).  The fact of creation excludes any theory of macroevolution.  Macroevolution is Darwinism, namely that all living things evolved from a common ancestor and that the species arose over time through the process of natural selection (Genesis 1:21, 25-26).  This does not exclude microevolution, which is the adaptation of species to various environments or breeding practices of men (Genesis 30:37-39).  Dog breeds are an example of microevolution.  This is not in conflict with the doctrine of creation.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

     The Second Person of the Trinity is the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:1, 14).  His equality with the Father is stated in the phrases “God of God, Light of Light, very God or very God (Titus 2:13).”  The difference between the Father and the Son is stated in the phrase “begotten of the Father (John 1:14).”  The unity of God is restated here in the phrase “being of one substance with the Father (John 10:30).”  This means that there is one divine substance, there is one God.  And yet there are distinct Persons by which that substance exists.  The Father and the Son are the same divine substance yet distinct persons, equal in power and glory (Matthew 11:25-27).  

 

Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; 

     The Second Person of the Trinity, in order to save men (Matthew 20:28), became a man through the miracle of the Incarnation by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary (Matthew 1:20).  This statement does not imply any veneration for Mary in a Roman Catholic sense.  Rather it elevates the miracle of the Incarnation by stating that Jesus’ mother was a virgin (Isaiah 7:14).  This is also the reason that Jesus was sinless (Hebrews 4:15).  He had no earthly father.  Not having an earthly father means that Jesus did not inherit original sin and, thus, was without sin, from the womb.  

and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again,

     This section of the Creed speaks about the work of the Incarnate Son of God in his crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).  The reference to Pontius Pilate locates the death and resurrection of Christ in actual history (Daniel 2:44; Luke 1:5, 2:1-2, 3:1-2).  It was under the administration of the Roman governor Pontius Pilate.  This was a common was to mark dates in the Roman world, and is a common colloquial way that we speak to each other.

 

according to the Scriptures; 

        This phrase contains the doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture.  All that Christ did for us and for our salvation was according to the predictions of the Old Testament and the interpretation of His work in the New Testament.  The only way for this to be accomplished is by confessing that the Scriptures were not invented by man, but came by divine inspiration (2 Peter 2:14-21)

and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; 

     This section refers to the current reign and rule of Christ over all things.  The phrase “on the right hand” refers to a place of honor and authority.  There can be no higher authority than the right hand of the Father.  That is where Christ is seated (Ephesians 1:19-23).  

and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

     The Creed goes on then to speak of the return of Christ and what shall happen on that day.  He shall return, with the glory of his Father, to judge the living and the dead.  This simple statement of the return of Christ gives us only those facts that are necessary to live a godly life today.  Christ will come to judge us, therefore let us be ready by believing in Him and glorifying Him in our lives.  All of the other questions that often come up when the return of Christ is discussed are irrelevant here.  All that is important is that He will return and show us His glory (Matthew 25:13)

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; 

    The Third Person of the Trinity is the Holy Ghost, the one who gives life to all things, both in the work of creation (Genesis 1:2) and salvation (John 3:5).  

 

who proceeds from the Father and the Son;

     The difference between this Person and the other Two Persons is expressed in the phrase “proceeds from the Father and the Son.”  Just as the Father begets the Son and the Son is begotten of the Father, so also the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son (John 14:26).

 

who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

     Likewise, the full divinity of the Spirit is expressed in the phrase “together is worshipped and glorified.”  Only that which is fully divine can receive divine worship along with the Father and the Son (Acts 5:3, 7:51, 13:2).  The Holy Ghost is also confessed to be the one who spoke by the prophets.  This is another reference to the inspiration of the Scriptures (Acts 1:16, 2 Samuel 23:2, Ezekiel 11:5, Micah 3:8).  In all of this, the Holy Spirit is confessed to be a fully divine Person and not an impersonal force or power.  Only persons can be worshipped and glorified.

 

And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. 

     This phrase often presents the most trouble for Protestant Christians.  The term “catholic” here refers to the universality of the church.  The church includes people from every tribe and tongue (Galatians 3:28, Ephesians 2:11-22, Revelation 5:9).  The church is no longer restricted to one nation as it was under the Old Testament.  

“Apostolic” refers to the nature of the one true and universal church.  It is based upon the message of Christ as preached by the apostles and preserved in the writings of the apostles (Acts 2:41-42, Galatians 1:6-9, Ephesians 2:19-22, Hebrews 2:1-4, 2 Peter 1:12-21, 3:1-2; 14-16, 1 John 2:18-23, 2 John 7-11, Jude 3-4, Revelation 22:18-19).  Thus, we confess that there is one true church open to and including men from every tribe and tongue which teaches and preaches the same Gospel that was first delivered by the apostles.  

I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

     This section of the Creed gives expression to salvation by faith alone.  In the ancient world, faith was marked by being baptized into the church and by placing your hope in the resurrection of the dead and the life hereafter.  Though not the same kind of expression we would use, this section confesses the same truth.  We are saved by faith in Christ and hope in his return (Ephesians 4:1-6, Philippians 3:20-21).   

The Nicene Creed is presented here, without commentary, for your reference:

The Nicene Creed

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.