What We Believe

Statement of Faith:

 THE NICENE CREED

 

We 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 Son of God, the Only-begotten, Begotten of the Father before all ages, Light of Light, True God of True God, Begotten, not made, of one essence with the Father, by Whom all things were made:

 

Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and was made man;

 

And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried;

 

And the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures;

 

And ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father;

 

And He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, Whose kingdom shall have no end.

 

And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, Who spoke by the Prophets;

 

And we believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

 

We acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins.

 

We look for the Resurrection of the dead,

 

And the Life of the age to come. Amen.

Essentials of Orthodox Christian Doctrine 

(Adapted from Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy by Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick)

 

The Holy Trinity

  • There is only one God, who created all things out of nothing.

  • God is uncreated, existing before all created things, even time itself

  • God is three divine persons (hypostases) who are one in essence (homoousios)

  • The three persons of the Trinity are all absolutely equal in deity, power, honor, and eternality

  • Each person of the Trinity shares all that it means to be God with the other two, but none of what it means to be that person with the other two.  There is nothing that two share without the third also sharing it

  • The eternal source of the Godhead is the Father, from whom the Son is begotten and the Holy Spirit proceeds

  • God is essence and energies.  God is absolutely transcendent and unknowable in His essence, but immanent and knowable in his energies.  Grace is another term for God’s energies

 

Jesus Christ

  • Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity

  • Jesus Christ is fully divine, by virtue of being the Son of God, begotten before all ages.  He is of one essence, or consubstantial (homoousios) with the Father

  • Jesus Christ is fully human, by virtue of being the Son of the Virgin Mary, begotten in time of her and incarnate of her and the Holy Spirit.  He is of one essence or consubstantial (homoousios) with all of mankind

  • Jesus Christ is one Person (hypostasis) in two natures, the divine and the human.  This union is the only hypostatic union in existence

  • Jesus Christ was born, grew up, taught and healed, was crucified and died on the cross, and then rose from the dead on the third day

  • Jesus is the Messiah prophesied in the Hebrew Scriptures

 

Salvation and the Church

  • The Church is only one Church, the Apostolic Church

  • The Church is the Body of Christ, a divine-human organism, of which Christ is the chief member and the only Head

  • Salvation is within and through the Church

  • Salvation consists of Theosis, becoming divinized/deified (holy), which means attaining to union with God and becoming ever more like Him, becoming by grace what Christ is by nature.  It is participation in the energies of God (grace), becoming “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pet. 2:4), but not participation in his essence.  This process extends through all eternity, because God is infinite.

  • Salvation rescues us not only from the guilt of sin, but from the very power of sin and death.  It is not merely a change in legal status, but a change in actual being.

  • Salvation is possible only by the power of God, with the cooperation of man – “by grace, through faith” (Eph. 2:8).  This cooperation is termed synergy.  God will always honor man’s free will, so if man ceases his cooperation, then God’s grace is rendered inoperative.  Cooperation consists in spiritual disciplines like repentance of sins and prayer, as well as participation in sacraments.

  • The Holy Mysteries (sacraments) truly communicate grace by the action of God Himself through the clergy, who are the servants of the mysteries, not their masters.  The clergy are, through the episcopacy, in the succession of the Apostles, who were ordained by Christ.

  • Christ will return again to earth, which will be the end of time and of reality as we now know it.  All those who remain alive in the earthly life will then be transitioned into the next life, where everyone else awaits them.  All the dead will then rise again, reuniting their bodies with their souls eternally.  Everyone will be judged according to what they did in this life.