OUR SACRED ORTHODOX CREED AND CONFESSION OF FAITH
I believe in one God, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
A common phrase about Orthodox, Roman Catholics, Jews and Moslems is "we all believe in the same God." However, this is not at all true. Orthodox Christians do not believe or worship the same God as others, for we do not believe in their God nor do they believe in our God. It is not possible for two gods to exist. We Orthodox confess the truth about the true God, revealed to us through Jesus Christ. We sing: "God is the Lord and has revealed himself to us. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord."
God is correctly identified as we confess Him, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, for the Holy Trinity is three hypostases and one God. He is a Trinity remaining a Unity and a Unity remaining a Trinity. He is the Creator of everything that exists and nothing exists that He did not create. We also believe in His invisible kingdom, which though unseen with our eyes but is visible to our spirits. We clearly see the Holy Trinity and those who serve Him doing His will that is the Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones, the Dominions, Powers and Authorities, and the Principalities, Archangels and Angels. We also are able to communicate with these powers from on high.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages;
The Father is continually begetting the Logos who is begotten before the ages of time. The Only-begotten Son of God is always in the Father and the Father is in Him. The Father refers to the incarnate Logos as "my beloved Son," commanding us to "listen to Him!" The Father delights in His begetting His Logos and emitting His Spirit which is the life of God. He alone is the true and living God of who we confess in our Creed as being the one God. Those who worship a different God are not in communication with the Creator, for they do not communicate with the true God. Those who do not believe in the Holy Trinity, the source of all life, the fountain of joy and mercy, the living and acting God. Tragic are those who find a different God who is not God.
Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten, not created, of one essence with the Father through whom all things were made.
"I am the light of the world; whoever follows me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life". Light is the Logos coming forth the fulness of light from the Light of the Father. He is not created as heretics assert dare to say, but is eternally begotten of the Father; he is not a creature but is both uncreated as God and a creature as concerns His humanity. This is the one Christ, born of His Father before the ages, and from His Mother in time. That is why He is also called the Godman. He is co-essential with the Father and all things were made by the Father through His divine Logos, who also governs all creation. The Holy Trinity is one in nature and in essence.
Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became man.
There was a hypostatic union of the Logos with the Virgin’s humanity which the Godman acquired in the nine months before birth. She is called the Virgin because her virginity was preserved when the Logos dwelled in her womb and she remained a virgin after giving birth – a virgin before, during and after childbirth. The Virgin is so called for she never knew a man. Many Protestants insult her majesty and reject her purity saying she had children by Joseph, not realizing how great a sin is this accusation against her perpetual virginity. The Papacy also insults the Virgin, by the falsehood that she was born sinless, they reject the history of her struggle in the temple, her prayers, fasting and sincere work. She was a struggler who received grace from God cooperating with Him for the wonderful destination to which she was headed – to become the one and only Holy Theotokos who gave birth to God in the flesh. To the shame of her detractors, she is now praised as being more honorable than the Cherubim and incomparably more glorious that the Seraphim. She is the Queen of heaven and our most pure Mother. God made her womb His Throne and her body more spacious than the heavens.
And was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried;
"Away with Him! Away with Him! Crucify Him! Their fury whipped up to a frenzy by the wicked High Priests and Pharisees, they led the people, preferring a robber and demanded the crucifixion of the Son of God Jesus Christ. The unjust crucifixion of Christ is a most wonderful event, for we see the Son of God entering into battle with the Devil and his many agents. He willingly ascended the Cross in the flesh, and by His unjust death, he sealed the fate of Satan and his demons and minions. The crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ becomes death to the Evil One, but life to those who believe in and love Him. The suffering of Christ, grants us rest and freedom from all pain and suffering. But first we need to be buried with Him in order to rise with Him. Burying our sins in the likeness of His death makes us able to rise in the newness of life, in His resurrection for ever.
Sinless Christ could not undergo corruption, but instead He put death to death by His voluntary sacrifice, and He alone is the Way and the Truth and the Life of all men, in whose name alone is salvation. The resurrection of Christ is the cause of great joy and celebration. It is filled with light and love, with glory and exultation. It is the Feast of feasts and the Festival of festivals! On this glorious event, the resurrection on the third day, we sing in jubilance: "Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!"
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father;
Christ finished the work for which He came into the world. As God, He never left the Father, but appeared as a man, and He is the example of perfection, the goal to which we all must strive until we reach "the stature of the fulness of Christ." In ascending Christ never left us, for He said: "Behold, I am with you to the close of the age." He promised and fulfilled His great promise, by sending down upon us the Holy Spirit who remains within Orthodoxy sanctifying everything.
And He will come again with glory to judge the living and dead. His kingdom shall have no end.
He came to earth as a little babe, nursed and carried by His Mother, in great humility and being born and placed in the feeding place of animals. He certainly will come again but not the same way. He came in humility and apparent weakness, but accomplished the greatest task ever, putting death to death and then gloriously rising on the third day.
And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Creator of life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who together with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, Who spoke through the prophets.
The Holy Spirit, the Creator of all life, is one of the Holy Trinity. He proceeds from the Father alone who is the uncaused Cause of His Logos and Spirit. This doctrine is badly corrupted in the western churches, by entering falsehood into this pure doctrine, saying the Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son. St. Photios the Great calls this insane. He also demonstrated that this blasphemous doctrine makes the Father also a grandfather, if the Son is the cause as well as the Father. In the Perfect Trinity there is a single Uncaused Cause which is the Father, and it is from Him that the Logos is being born and the Spirit is being emitted.
In reality there exists that which we confess, one single Church, there is no brother or sister churches possible, for what communion has light with darkness, or truth with falsehood? For to deny the oneness of the Church is to deny Christ its one Head and the Holy Spirit its Guide. Whoever thinks different and recognizes many churches as being Christ’s church forfeit their own salvation. The Church is One because there can only be one Body as there is only one Head our Lord Jesus Christ. It is Holy because it is guided not by a man, like the Papacy, but by the Holy Spirit whom Christ sent as Comforter and Guide, so as to remind us of everything. It is not an imaginary church as the Protestants believe, but is the Living Body of Christ, filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit. The Mysteries or Sacraments of the Orthodox are unique and do not exist outside of the Church.
I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
"You are baptized; you are illuminated; you are anointed with the Holy Chrism; you are holy; you are washed clean in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen."
It is sad that today, many of those coming into the Church are not baptized, so as to unload and bury their sins in the only holy and true Baptism. Concerning this our Lord says: You do not put new wine into old wine skins, for you will lose the wine and the wineskins. But you put new wine into new wineskins and save both the new wine and the wineskins. The old wineskins represent the unbaptized person, while the new wineskin represents the newly baptized person. The wine represents the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit. This seal should not be placed on the forehead alone but on the entire person, hands, feet and head. It is a holy seal dedicating the person to God in Holy Spirit.
I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the age to come. Amen.
If we practice our Orthodox Christian Faith we already live in the resurrection of Christ. Every Sunday or Lord’s Day, is a continuous celebration of the resurrection of Christ. For this reason it is forbidden to kneel in repentance on the Lord’s Day, but we stand in jubilation! The resurrected Christ will come in glory and the books shall be opened, which means the conscience of every man, and another book shall be opened which is the book of life. According to the Book of Revelation, those whose name does not appear in the book of Life shall be cast into outer darkness and misery.
Concerning the joy of the Resurrection, on every Sunday or Lord's Day Orthos, we sing such resurrection hymns as these:
1. When the seal of the stone had been secured by the Jews, and the soldiers were guarding your undefiled body, you rose on the third day O Savior, granting life to the world . . .
2. When you did descend into death, you who are immortal, then Hades was put to death by the lightning of your divinity . . . Life giver Christ, glory to you!
3. Let the heavens rejoice and let the earth be glad, for the Lord has formed a dominion with his arm; He has trampled down death by death . . . and granted the world His great mercy.
4. Having heard the joyous proclamation of the resurrection, the women disciples of the Lord, cast aside the ancestral condemnation . . .
5. The Logos coeternal with Father and the Spirit, born for our salvation from the Virgin, let us the faithful bow down and worship Him . . . And to raise the dead by His glorious resurrection.
6. The angelic powers were at your sepulcher, and the guards became like dead men . . . O Lord our life and resurrection glory to you!
7. By your Cross you destroyed death; to the robber you have opened Paradise, the lamentation of the myrrrbearers you turned into joy . . . for you Christ our God have risen granting to the world your Great Mercy.
8. When you did descend into death, you who are immortal life; then Hades was put to death by the lightning of your divinity . . . O Lord our life and resurrection, glory to you!
Our sacred Creed is filled with glorious Orthodox truth But we must avoid communion with heresies such as the Papacy with its false claims to be the church headed by a single, so-called infallible bishop, who has never even been immersed in true Baptism. Protestants must also be avoided and relations with them, for they insult the Virgin Mary, the holy icons, the Priesthood and contradict Christ by denying the Eucharist as being truly the Body and Blood of Christ. Their hatred for the Papacy blinded the reformers to the truths of the Church. They are not our friends, for they preach against our holy beliefs, which were revealed to us from heaven. Nor should we accept any gifts or propaganda from them, for their unannounced agenda is to replace Orthodox beliefs, with Protestant deceptions. Both use deception, force, crusades, lies, or false claims to bring Christ to people. They send missionaries to Orthodox countries to deceive and plunder the sheep. Should we love these our enemies? Indeed we must, but there is only one way to show them true love. We must do all we can to cause them to abandon their soul-destroying errors and submit to the truth as preserved in the true Church. Then with great joy, we will welcome them as brothers and sisters in Christ..