What We Believe
What We Believe About God
We believe that God is One and the fullness of perfection; we believe that He is a perfect spirit, timeless, without beginning, all-powerful and all-wise. God is everywhere, sees all, and knows all beforehand. He is good beyond measure, just, and all-holy. He needs nothing and is the reason for everything that exists. We believe the one true God has appeared to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is the Trinity, one in Essence and indivisible. We believe that all the Persons of the Holy Trinity are equal in divine perfection, greatness, power, and glory. That is, we believe that the Father is true and perfect God, the Son is true and perfect God, and, the Holy Spirit is true and perfect God. Therefore, in prayers, we simultaneously glorify the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as one God.
What We Believe About God and the World
We believe that the entire visible and invisible world was created by God. In the beginning God created the invisible, great angelic world, otherwise known as Heaven. As stated in the Bible, God created our material or physical world from nothing. This was done gradually during periods of time the Bible are calls “days.” God created the world not out of necessity or need but out of His all-good desire in order that His other creations might enjoy life. Being Himself endlessly good, God created all things good. Evil appeared in the world from the misuse of free will, with which God has endowed both angels and people. Although the Devil (Satan) and his demons were at one time angels of God, they rebelled against their Creator and became demons. In turn, they were cast out of Heaven forever. From that moment on, they became our enemies and the enemies of our salvation. With that, we believe that God is in full control of His creation, He works all things together for good to each person who loves Him and trusts in Him.
What We Believe About Jesus Christ
We believe that the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, came down from heaven for our salvation. He came to earth and took on our flesh through the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary. Being God from all eternity, He in the time of King Herod took on our human nature, both soul and body, and is therefore truly God and truly man, or the God-man. In one divine Person He combined two natures, divine and human. We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ enlightened the world by His teaching, His example, and miracles. He taught us what we should believe and how we should live so that we may inherit eternal life. By His complete obedience to the Father’s Will, His sufferings and death, He defeated the devil and redeemed the world from sin. By His Resurrection from the dead, He defeated death and laid the foundation for our resurrection. After His ascension our Lord Jesus Christ sat at the right hand of God the Father; and together with Him governs the face of the world.
What We Believe About the Church
We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ founded the Church on earth for the salvation of all who believe in Him. He sent the Holy Spirit to the Apostles on Pentecost. The Holy Spirit abides in the Church, that grace-filled community or union of believing Christians, and preserves her in the purity of Christ’s teaching. The Holy Spirit cleanses those who repent of sins, helps the believers grow in good deeds, and sanctifies them. We believe that the Church is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic The oneness of the Church depends on oneness of Faith and Grace. The Church is Holy because her faithful children are sanctified by the word of God, prayer, and the Sacraments. The Church is the Body of Christ in the world today. Through this Body, Christ continues to be present and active in the world. We believe the Orthodox Church is the one, holy, catholic and apostolic is the true Church of God on earth because it has kept the fullness of Christ’s truth, the complete deposit of faith, in continuity with the early apostolic Church that was founded by Jesus. The Church is not to be identified with a building, but with God’s people in whom He dwells and through whom He is active in the world by His Spirit.
What We Believe About the Sacraments
We believe that the sacraments are physical symbols of a mysterious act of grace through the presence of the Holy Spirit. The Orthodox Church practices 7 sacraments: Baptism, Chrismation, Holy Eucharist, Marriage, Priesthood, Unction of the Sick, and Confession. Each of these sacraments represents an unseen Grace that is performed by the Holy Spirit through the Priest or Bishop. We believe that these sacraments are life-giving and sacred.
What We Believe About The Last Times
We believe that before the end of the world Jesus Christ, accompanied by angels, will again come to the earth in glory. Every person, according to His Word, will resurrect from the dead. A miracle will occur in which the souls of people who have died will return into the bodies which they possessed during their earthly life. All the dead will come to life. During the General Resurrection, the bodies of the saints, both those resurrecting and those still living will be renewed and become spiritualized in the image of the Resurrected Body of Christ. After the resurrection, everyone will appear before the Judgment of Christ, to receive what he is due, according to what he has done when he lived in his body, good or evil. After the Judgment, unrepentant sinners will enter into eternal torments and the righteous into eternal life. This will begin the Kingdom of Christ, which will have no end.
Article taken from St. Timothy and St. Athanasius Church DC website website with permission. Thanks to Fr. Anthony Messeh
References Alfeyev, Fr. Hilarion, “The Mystery of Faith: An Introduction to Orthodox Dogma and Spirituality.” Coniaris, Fr. Anthony M., Introducing the Orthodox Church. Light and Life Publishing (1982). Mileant, Bishop Alexander (Editor), Missionary Leaflet 2E (“The Principles of the Orthodox Faith”) The Holy Trinity Orthodox Mission, 2001.