“What is truth?”. The question asked by Pilate as he stood in front of Jesus is a question so many ask today of us and all Christians. Our answer has to be a resolute “Jesus” “the Way, the Truth, the Life” (Jn.14:6). Alas that answer has become the butt of jokes and ridicule, as christians have not really lived and believed that Jesus is the “Truth”, choosing rather to acknowledge and confess that Jesus is less then he said he was. It was the Ecumenical councils that affirmed time and time again, in the face of adversity, and political pressure, that the Jesus of the Scriptures is the “Way, Truth, and Life” as lived in the Church.
|Nicea 1||325||Formulated the First Part of the Creed, defining the divinity of the Son of God|
|Constantinople I||381||Formulated the Second Part of the Creed, defining the divinity of the Holy Spirit|
|Ephesus||431||Defined Christ as the Incarnate Word of God and Mary as Theotokos|
|Chalcedon||451||Defined Christ as Perfect God and Perfect Man in One Person|
|Constantinople II||553||Reconfirmed the Doctrines of the Trinity and of Christ|
|Constantinople III||680||Affirmed the True Humanity of Jesus by insisting upon the reality of His human will and action|
Although each of these councils have their own day of remembrance throughout the year, they are brought forward for us on the heals of Pentecost, to remind us of what it is that we confess. That our faith is not an arbitrary interpetation of scripture, or a snapshot of a Christianity long gone, but rather a living breathing life (as the Body of Christ) shaped by our work with the Holy Spirit, “the comforter, the Spirit of Truth”. Our confession of Jesus as the “Truth”, has to be founded on the work and expressions of those councils.
That He is perfect God, of “one essence with the Father” (the Creed), who emptied himself taking the form of a servant (Ph. 2:7), out of his love and desire to save creation.
That He is perfect man, joining in our condition and brokeness, fully (even to death), of his own human will, that he might raise and save our mortal nature. Not as the old Adam who used his will to sever his life from the Father, but as the new Adam who’s will was to do will of his Father (Jn. 5:30)
That He is both perfect God and Perfect man, and not some other nature or creature.
And that the Holy Spirit, who Christ promises will be sent by the Father (Jn.14:26) is the “Lord, the giver of Life” (the Creed), who will “come and abide in us”.
Anything less then this, reduces Jesus to a creature, an ambassador, a masquerading deity, a spiritual anomaly, and the Holy Spirit to a divine electricity. If this is the case, then we cannot be redeemed, and saved. Their can be no real mercy, justice, peace, just kind words, and fuzzy feelings, which in our hurting world, is like water off a duck’s back.
Let our confession of Jesus Christ “the Way, Truth, and Life” be the confession of those council fathers. And by it proclaim the salvation of the world, and the destruction of death eternally, in the risen, and glorified Jesus Christ, He who is the “Truth”.