First then let there be laid as a foundation in your soul the doctrine concerning God; that God is One, alone unbegotten, without beginning, change, or variation ; neither begotten of another, nor having another to succeed Him in His life; who neither began to live in time, nor ends ever: and that He is both good and just; that if ever thou hear a heretic say, that there is one God who is just, and another who is good , you may immediately remember, and discern the poisoned arrow of heresy. For some have impiously dared to divide the One God in their teaching: and some have said that one is the Creator and Lord of the soul, and another of the body ; a doctrine at once absurd and impious. For how can a man become the one servant of two masters, when our Lord says in the Gospels, No man can serve two masters ? There is then One Only God, the Maker both of souls and bodies: One the Creator of heaven and earth, the Maker of Angels and Archangels: of many the Creator, but of One only the Father before all ages—of One only, His Only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom He made all things visible and invisible.
This Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is not circumscribed in any place , nor is He less than the heaven; but the heavens are the works of His fingers , and the whole earth is held in His grasp (Isaiah 40:12): He is in all things and around all. Think not that the sun is brighter than He , or equal to Him: for He who at first formed the sun must needs be incomparably greater and brighter. He foreknows the things that shall be, and is mightier than all, knowing all things and doing as He will; not being subject to any necessary sequence of events, nor to nativity, nor chance, nor fate; in all things perfect, and equally possessing every absolute form of virtue, neither diminishing nor increasing, but in mode and conditions ever the same; who has prepared punishment for sinners, and a crown for the righteous.
Seeing then that many have gone astray in various ways from the One God, some having deified the sun, that when the sun sets they may abide in the night season without God; others the moon, to have no God by day ; others the other parts of the world ; others the arts ; others their various kinds of food ; others their pleasures ; while some, mad after women, have set up on high an image of a naked woman, and called it Aphrodite , and worshipped their own lust in a visible form; and others dazzled by the brightness of gold have deified it and the other kinds of matter;— whereas if one lay as a first foundation in his heart the doctrine of the unity of God, and trust to Him, he roots out at once the whole crop of the evils of idolatry, and of the error of the heretics: lay thou, therefore, this first doctrine of religion as a foundation in your soul by faith.
(Catechetical Lecture 4, 4-6).
Last Updated: April 4, 2011