Nonetheless, we are told many times that God is one, and there is no other beside him. "Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour (Isaiah 43: 10, 11)." In this same book God often reveals his relationship with
The original Greek word for "image" in Colossians 1:15, speaking of Christ Himself ("Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature...") is the word εἰκών (eikon), which simply comes over into English as "icon." The Fathers who gathered for the second Council of Nicea knew that the heresy of the Iconoclasts contained an essential danger. The Iconoclasts failed to understand the difference between Christian icons and pagan idols. Christian icons are based on revelation, especially the ultimate revelation, the Incarnation: "The Word was made flesh." Pagan idols are a deception, taught by human imagination at best, by demons at worst, to lure men away from the true God. Icons, on the other hand, are based on revelation, and point to the Truth. The true God is known only through the Son (John 14:6, 17:3). The Fathers at that Second Council of Nicea (787 AD) knew that if the Church rejected icons they might also come to reject the iconic nature of revelation, the truth that the Word was made flesh. In time, they could refuse to believe in the Son, as he has been revealed through his human nature. In time, the knowledge of God could be lost, if the Iconoclasts were to prevail.
Our salvation, as revealed, is sacramental. It stems from the Incarnation, and depends on the death and resurrection of Christ, from which flow the power and grace that are given to us by the Holy Spirit, as he uses the means of grace through his Church. Without the atonement Christ worked for us on the cross, and by His rising again, we would have no absolution, no baptism, no Communion. Without the Holy Spirit present and active in the Church, this grace would never be imparted through the preached word and through the sacraments. For, it is the Holy Spirit, the other Comforter (παράκλητος, paraklētos), who imparts every grace that flows from the Incarnate, crucified and risen Son.
1. See my article Threefold Chords about how J.S.Bach used music to present a theological demonstration of the Trinity.