THE TRUE CHURCH
In the ancient Creed of our holy Faith, at every Divine Liturgy we affirm our belief, including:“I believe in one God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth . . . And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before the ages. . .”
The Church of Christ confesses The True Christ who is the living Truth who came down from heaven,
It is the will of the heavenly Father that all of mankind should enter the one true Church, accept His beloved Son, be baptized by true baptism, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Then be sanctified, not only by faith in Him, but keeping all His commandments, which are preserved in the Church. It is not possible to believe in Christ and draw near to Him, without entering the true Church of which He is the Head. Christ, and certainly not Peter is the Foundation and only Head of the Church.
Christ is also the Bridegroom o His bride, the Church, which is composed of the faithful who entered the Church through confession and baptism, and who remained in the Church since apostolic imes. The Church established by Christ has never been ruled over by any man or group of men, but s ruled and guided by the Holy Spirit, the Comforter and Spirit of truth, whom Christ sent to us from the Father, and who is piloting it on its course without error or adulteration , as He promise
THE CHURCH IS PARADISE ON EARTH
From Wounded by Love by the holy Elder Porphyrios, p91
“With the worship of God you live in Paradise. If you know and love Christ, you live in Paradise.
Christ is Paradise. It is in this life that we must rejoice in Paradise. The Church is Paradise on
earth, exactly the same as Paradise in heaven is here on earth. There all souls are one, just as the
Holy Trinity is three persons, but they are united and constitute one.
Our chief concern is to devote ourselves to Christ, to unite ourselves to the Church. If we enter
into the love of God, we enter into the Church. If we do not enter the Church, if we do not become
one with the earthly Church here and now, we are in danger of losing the heavenly Church as well.
And when we say “heavenly” do not imagine that in the other life we will find gardens with flowers,
mountains, streams and birds. The earthly beauties do not exist there; there is something else,
something very exalted. But in order for us to go into this something else we must pass through these
earthly images and beauties.”
The Church cannot have two heads nor can there be two churches. Orthodox Christians worldwide, confess this truth: “I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church”. Those who are not in the holy Orthodox Church are always welcome to come and learn the truth regarding the Church built on the rock by Christ. The beloved disciple of Christ, John the Theologian and Evangelist wrote three epistles or letters. Clearly he states the truth about those outside the church. The Church is not our property, but we are stewards to speak for her and defend her against malice.
“Little children, it is the last time; and as you have heard that antichrist has come, even now are
there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us (forming new
churches, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us, but
they went out, that they may be made manifest that they were not of us” (1 John 2:18-19)
The Church is the source and fountain of all truth and its only Head is the eternal Truth who came
down from heaven – the Living Truth. The Church necessarily needs a guide. Christ speaks of this
one and only Guide of the Church: “I have many things to tell you, but you cannot bear them now.
But when He, the Spirit of Truth is come, He will guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak of
Himself, but whatever He hears, that shall he speak” (John 16:12-13). No one can search the Bible
and find truth in the book alone, for the Church is the author of the Bible and interpreter of its
meanings in Holy Spirit. Orthodoxy has never added or taken away any of the divine truths revealed
The Church, in agreement with Holy Scripture has established that there are two divinely inspired
sources in Orthodoxy. One is Holy Scripture (in its original language) , the other is the combined
Holy Fathers of the seven Ecumenical synods, and all the doctrines and canons they established in
Holy Spirit. Blessed are all those who preserve the doctrines and holy traditions of the Church, and
who never deviate from this wealth of true knowledge.
ELDER PORPHYRIOS SPEAKS OF THE CHURCH
In the Church we are all one and Christ is the Head
“The Head of the Church is Christ and we humans, we Christians, are the Body. The Apostle Paul
says: “He is the Head of the body of the Church.” The Church and Christ are one. The body cannot
exist without its head. The body of the Church is nourished, sanctified and lives with Christ. He is the Lord, all-powerful, as all-knowing, everywhere present and filling all things, our staff, our friend,
our brother, the pillar and firm foundation of the Church He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the basis – everything Without Christ the Church does not exist. Christ is the Bride-groom; each individual soul is the Bride. Christ united the body of the Church with heaven and earth: with angels, men and all created things, with all God’s creation – with animals and birds, with each tiny flower and each microscopical insect. The Church thus becomes the fulness of Him who fills all in all, that is, of Christ. Everything is in Christ and with Christ. This is the mystery of the Church!”
Wounded by Love, Elder Porphyrios p 88