An Early Account of the Basics of the Christian Faith

This is the rule of our faith, the foundation of our building, and the consolidation of our way of life. God, the Father, uncreated, unlimited, invisible, one God, the creator of the universe—this is the first article of our faith. The second article is the Word of God, the Son of God, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was revealed by the prophets in accord with the genre of their prophecies and in accord with the plan of the Father; through him all things have been made. At the end of times, in order to recapitulate all things, he has become a human among humans, visible and palpable, so as to destroy death, bring life to light, and effect the reconciliation of God and humanity. And the third article is the Holy Spirit; through the Spirit the prophets prophesied, our ancestors were taught the things of God, and the just were led along the path of justice. At the end of times, the Spirit has been poured forth in a new manner upon all flesh, in order to renew them for God over the whole earth.

Therefore, the baptism of our new birth is placed under the sign of these three articles. God the Father grants it to us in view of our new birth in his Son through the Holy Spirit. For those who are bearers of the Holy Spirit are led to the Word who is the Son, and the Son leads them to the Father, and the Father confers incorruptibility on us. Without the Spirit it is impossible to see the Word of God, and without the Son one cannot approach the Father. For the Son is the knowledge of the Father, and the knowledge of the Son is had through the Holy Spirit; and the Son gives the Spirit according to the Father’s good pleasure. Through the Spirit, the Father is called Most High, Almighty, and Lord of Hosts. Thus, we come to the knowledge of God: we know that God exists, that he is the creator of heaven and earth and all things, the maker of angels and humans, the Lord, through whom all things come into existence, and from whom all things proceed, rich in mercy, grace, compassion, goodness, and justice. This is he who in the law is called the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob: the God of the living. The sublimity and greatness of this God surpass all description.

—Irenaeus (late 2nd century), Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching

Does this faith match yours?