Athanasius - (296-373 A.D.) Bishop of Alexandria, who strongly opposed the Arians (deniers of the Trinity and divine nature of Christ) at the Council of Nicea (325 A.D.)
Read the concluding statement of the Athanasian Creed. Why must a person believe in the Trinity - in a divine Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - to be saved?
The Nicene Creed reads as follows:
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.
Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spake by the prophets.
And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge our baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.
The Athanasian Creed
The Athanasian Creed appears to have been written toward the end of the fifth century or the beginning of the sixth. It was probably named after Athanasius, due to his clear teachings regarding the Trinity.
The Athanasian Creed contains two main sections - the first an extensive summary of the doctrine of the Trinity, and the second a statement regarding Jesus' two natures - His being fully divine and fully human. The creed concludes by stating, "This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved."