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Can Anyone Be Saved?


I was looking at the Athanasian Creed recently and found myself asking if anyone could be saved if the doctrines in this creed are necessary for obtaining eternal life.  Even folks I know who affirm their belief in the trinity would hard pressed to say that they even understood what the tenets of this creed espouse.  Here are a few points that are made about the creed by R. C. Sproul as found at Christianity.com.

Quicumque vult – this phrase is the title attributed to what is popularly known as the Athanasian Creed. It was often called the Athanasian Creed because for centuries people attributed its authorship to Athanasius, the great champion of Trinitarian orthodoxy during the crisis of the heresy of Arianism that erupted in the fourth century. That theological crisis focused on the nature of Christ and culminated in the Nicene Creed in 325. . .

Though the name “Athanasius” was given to the creed over the centuries, modern scholars are convinced that the Athanasian Creed was written after the death of Athanasius. Certainly, Athanasius’ theological influence is embedded in the creed, but in all likelihood he was not its author. . .

The Athanasian Creed is considered one of the four authoritative creeds of the Roman Catholic Church, and again, it states in terse terms what is necessary to believe in order to be saved. Though the Athanasian Creed does not get as much publicity in Protestant churches, the orthodox doctrines of the Trinity and the incarnation are affirmed by virtually every historic Protestant church.

Here are the first 12 statements of a total of 44:

1. Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic [universal] faith;

2. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.

3. And the catholic [universal] faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;

4. Neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance.

5. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit.

6. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.

7. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit.

8. The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated.

9. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.

10. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal.

11. And yet they are not three eternals but one eternal.

12. As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensible, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible.

The one thing I would agree with in these statements is that they are incomprehensible.  Thankfully the Scriptures do not teach these things.  I know that no one verse can adequately sum up what the Scripture say regarding salvation, but this one verse is a nice one:

This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.   NASB

One Response to “Can Anyone Be Saved?”

  1. on 10 Nov 2008 at 8:56 amMark C.

    This one’s a good “summation” too:

    “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” (I John 5:12)


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