Friday, 3 June 2022

Calling of Constantine (CW35)

      Coming World War 3

God prepared Saul a Pharisee of Pharisees to be the apostle of the Gentiles to protect the Gentiles from being coerced into the heretic Judaizers.
    Similarly, before God hands over the Roman Empire and the rest of the world to Christianity, He ensures that His truth and the genuinely inspired gospels and apostles' epistles were available to all the bishops.

Vision of Constantine
    Constantine was heavily outnumbered and he was advised to withdraw but there was no doubt in his mind that he would be victorious for on the eve of the battle he'd had a vision. The historian Eusebius described what happened: "He saw with his own eyes in the heavens the Cross arising from the light of the sun, carrying the message In Hoc Signo Vincesa- In This Sign Conquer.
    On October 28 in 312 A.D. Constantine defeated the superior forces of his rival Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge. Immediately, he attributed the victory to the God of the Christians in front of the powerful Pagan Roman Senate.
    In February, 313 AD the Roman emperors Constantine and Licinius, signed the edict of Milan proclaiming religious toleration in the Roman Empire and removed the persecution of Christians.

Mission of Constantine
    The Church generally regarded the definition of doctrine as the responsibility of the bishops; the emperor's role was to enforce doctrine, root out heresy, and uphold ecclesiastical unity.

Council of Nicaea
    In 325 he summoned the First Council of Nicaea, effectively the first Ecumenical Council (unless the Council of Jerusalem is so classified). The Council of Nicaea is the first major attempt by Christians to define orthodoxy for the whole Church. Until Nicaea, all previous Church Councils had been local or regional synods affecting only portions of the Church.
    Constantine brought together 1,800 bishops from around the empire to work out official doctrine and provide the basis for a unified Church.
   The bishops produced the Nicene Creed, which summarizes the apostles' preachings and teachings concerning the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Apostles' Creed held an important place in the early church. It is believed that the creed was originally formulated to refute the claims of Gnosticism and protect the church from early heresies and deviations from orthodox Christian doctrine.
    Since the First Council of Nicaea, many more council meetings were held to rectify any flaws.

Canon Books of the Bible
The Council of Laodicea (AD 363) concluded that only the Old Testament (along with the Apocrypha) and the twenty-seven books of the New Testament were to be read in the churches. The Councils of Hippo (AD 393) and Carthage (AD 397) reaffirmed the same twenty-seven books as authoritative.
    The principles used by the councils to determine whether a New Testament book was truly inspired by the Holy Spirit were fourfold. First, the author must be an apostle or have a close connection with an apostle. Second, the book must have been accepted by the body of Christ at large. Third, the book had to contain consistency of doctrine and orthodox teaching. Finally, the book had to bear evidence of high moral and spiritual values that would reflect a work of the Holy Spirit as the divine Author. Most importantly, however, it must be recognized that it was God, and God alone, who determined which books belonged in the Bible. God, via the inspiration of the Spirit, imparted to His followers what He had already decided. The human process of collecting the books of the Bible was flawed, but God, in His sovereignty, and despite the limitations of sinful man, brought the early church to the recognition of the books He had inspired, and those books are recognized today as the canon of Scripture.