A Historical Survey
The Nicean Creed was compiled by the Fathers of the 1st and 2nd Ecumenical Councils. The first seven articles of the creed were drawn up at the 1st Ecumenical Council, and the last five were drawn up at the 2nd Ecumenical Council.
The 1st Council met in Nicea in 325 A.D. to confirm the true teachings about the Son of God to oppose the false teachings of Arius. Arius believed that the Son of God was created by God the Father. The 2nd Council met in Constantinople in 381 A.D. to confirm the true teaching on the Holy Spirit and to oppose the false teachings of Macedonius. He rejected the divine origin of the Holy Spirit. The Creed is named the "Nicean-Constantinopolitan" after the two cities in which the Fathers gathered for the 1st and 2nd Ecumenical Councils. The Creed consists of twelve articles. In the 1st article we speak of God the Father, from the 2nd though 7th articles we speak of God the Son, in the 8th article about God the Holy Spirit, in the 9th about the Church, in the 10th about Baptism, and in the 11th and 12th about the resurrection of the dead and eternal life.
We begin the Creed with "I believe." This is because the essence for our religious convictions depends not on external experiences but on our acceptance of God-given truths. Surely one cannot prove truths of the spiritual world by any laboratory experiments. These truths belong to the sphere of personal religious experience. The more a person grows in the spiritual life - the more one prays, thinks about God, does good - the more his inner spiritual experience develops, the clearer the religious truths become to him. In this fashion, faith becomes for him a subject of personal experience.