Purpose of the Council (2 of 8) by Eddie Snipes
This content is part of a series.Purpose of the Council (2 of 8)
Colossians 4:16; Galatians 1:8
A priest named Arius began to make waves in the church around 318 AD. Arius denied the deity of Jesus Christ. He reasoned that since the Son was begotten, he could not be eternal. He could not believe that the begotten Son could also be the pre-existing Son. He said that there had to be a point in time when the Son did not exist. He believed that Jesus was exalted over all creation, but was also himself a created being. He was heavily influenced by Gnostic philosophies as well as Christian doctrine. He believed that God was not triune (three persons). He reasoned that by human definition, this would make God divided. He also believed that Jesus held his rank because of obedience to the Father, and because Jesus was a created being, it was possible for him to fall from grace and become disobedient.
Soon after, Arius was removed from office by his bishop. However, Arius had friends and contacts all over the Roman Empire, and he began a writing campaign. He wrote songs and jingles to teach his doctrine and created a large division in the church. He also had a good friend named Eusibius who knew Constantine personally and was also the bishop of Nicodemia. Through Eusibius, he petitioned for Constantine's help.
Constantine tried to play peacemaker and wrote a letter to Athanasius, advisor of bishop Alexander who removed Arius in an attempt to gloss over the issue. Arius' campaign was beginning to get a following. This group would become known as the 'Arians'. In an attempt to end the dispute, Constantine called for a council of bishops to resolve the issue. Almost all of the council consisted of eastern bishops. The heresy of Arius was not a problem in the western churches, but it was troubling the eastern churches. Over 300 eastern bishops attended, while only 10-12 western bishops participated.
At the council, the most divisive issue by far was the deity of Jesus Chr ...
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