EVER SINCE JESUS EMBARKED on his ministry there has been confusion and disagreement about who he was. Increasing discord over his identity among fourth century Christians—especially his relation to the Father and to the Holy Spirit—caused the Roman emperor Constantine to call together a council of bishops in 325 AD to settle the matter and restore harmony in the Church: Was Jesus Christ—the promised Messiah—God, or the Son of God; coexistent with the Father, or created by Him? At this Council of Nicea the bishops drafted a document known as the Nicene Creed declaring that the Son is "true God from true God," who came down from heaven and "by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man.
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