Here is our statement of faith based on the Nicene Creed of Constantinople (381 A.D.), which itself evolved from the Apostles’ Creed and the first council of Nicaea. Some themes here are expanded on to better represent our understanding of the divine revelation given in Christianity:
God as Mystery and the necessity of revelation:
We believe that God is One, Who in Himself is Unknowable, Pure Being, Ineffable, Inconceivable, Infinite and The Absolute Subject, but that He reveals Himself perfectly in Jesus Christ.
None but God can know God. But that God reveals Himself- first to Himself, and then to humanity.
Mystery as to the nature of God is not that which is deus absconditus, the hidden god of Occultism and religion, but rather as Agnostos Theos, the Unknown God (Acts 17:23). This mystery is declarative in nature, God being fully revealed in Christ. Mankind in ignorance has an inability to peer into these divine mysteries as to the nature and workings of God, without divine revelation.
The nature of God revealed as Trinity or Tri-unity:
1) We believe in God, One in Essence, eternally and successively emanating (bullitio of Meister Eckhart) as three Persons- or as three ways or modes of being (Karl Barth): Father, Son, and Holy Spirit;
2) These ways or modes as concurrently manifest are consubstantial, co-inhering (Gk. perichoresis), co-eternal, identical and co-equal in their substratum of Being;
3) Hierarchical in manifestation, but only according to the order of their processions, offices and functions.
1. The Father:
1) We believe in The Father, the Source of the Son and of the Spirit;
2) He is Revealed as the Father through the Eternal Birth of the Son;
3) He is the Creator, Former, and Maker of all worlds visible, and invisible.
2. Christ and His Work:
1) We believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, born of the Father from all eternity;
2) The Son as God from God, Light from Light, Truth from Truth; the Logos by whom all things were spoken, the Revelation by Whom all are revealed, known and made;
3) The Son as begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father;
4) Who, being equal with God, for our salvation and deification, emptied Himself of the God-Form, and came down from heaven;
5) Who incarnated through the Holy Spirit and was born of the Virgin Mary, and was thus fully made man, He incarnated as humanity;
6) Who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, of His own will in obedience to the Father, suffered for our atonement, died and was buried, all of humanity died in Him;
7) The third day He bodily rose again from the dead according to the Scriptures, as a new humanity wherein all are born again;
8) He ascended bodily into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father;
9) Who shall come again to judge the living and the dead.
3. The Holy Spirit:
1) We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life;
2) Who rests upon Christ as the Seven Spirits of God, the Seven Eyes of the Lord;
3) The Breath of the Almighty by whom all the cosmos is perpetually renewed in manifestation;
4) Who proceeds from the Father through the Son eternally;
5) Bringing us with Him back into the Source in His eternal return: a divine exhalation and inhalation;
6) Who together with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified;
7) Who spoke by the prophets of old; and continues to speak today by the fivefold ministry through His outpouring and gifting, according to the scriptures;
8) By Whom all scripture is God-breathed, and inspired;
9) Who manifests nine gifts to edify the Church, and produces nine fruits to mature the believer.
Gospel of Grace and the Finished Work:
1. We believe in pure grace without any admixture with law; salvation by grace through faith and not of works;
2. That the entire Trinity was involved in the salvation of humanity, God being present in Christ as He died for us on the cross;
3. The finished work being the completion of all divine requirements for judgment and justice as fulfilled in the cross of Christ.
4. That all our sins were present in Christ on the cross, atoned for and forgiven- past, present and future.
5. That there is nothing toward our salvation or sanctification that we could do to earn or help the perfect work of the cross.
6. That all humanity was present and identified with Christ in His death, resurrection and ascension to the Father’s right hand.
7. That the finished work of Christ and His resurrection was inclusive toward all mankind, but that each individual must personally believe and turn to God in repentance and conversion in order to directly benefit from it.
1) That the righteousness of God is unto all, but upon all them that believe (Rom 3:22);
2) That all are reconciled to God, but must themselves be individually reconciled to Him (2Cor 5:19-20);
3) That God is the Savior of all men, but especially of them that believe (1Tim 4:10).
8. We thus have a hopeful expectation of the eventual salvation of all humanity, a hope and not a dogma: in terms of
1) the all-encompassing finished work of the cross;
2) in His mercy which allows for an implicit as well as explicit knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, answering for they who may not have heard of His name; and-
3) the drawing of all unto Himself from the cross of Christ, being an eternal event, reaching postmortem, even unto the Age of Ages.
9. That right now we are One with God, and are perfect, holy and sanctified through the perfect human life of Jesus, and our salvation in Him.
10. There is no such thing as a sin nature, as the flesh or old man was circumcised away by His crucifixion- all that remains to be done is for the mind to be renewed (repentance) in truth.
1. We believe in one holy, universal, apostolic, and mystical Church;
2. The Church is not an organization but an organism, not an institution but an incarnation;
3. The Church is Christ’s Body, of His flesh and of His bones: Christ identified as the whole as well as each member;
4. We confess one baptism in many baptisms, publicly declaring our forgiveness, a shared death and resurrection with Christ.
5. Visible and invisible, outward communities sharing an inward communion.
1. We look for the resurrection of the living at the return of Christ for His Church in the rapture (Gk. harpadzo) occurring prior to the seven-year tribulation;
2. We believe in the literal Millennial reign of Christ through the king/priests of the resurrected and glorified Church;
3. We believe in the resurrection of the dead as following the literal Millennial reign of Christ at the white throne judgment;
4. We believe that literal hells exist, sheol/hades for departed unbelieving spirits, Gehenna as the lake of fire, where death and sheol/hades shall be thrown into after the Millennium.
5. We believe in the Age of Ages (forever and ever) of a new heavens and a new earth, holding out hope for the eventual salvation of all, world without End.
Final Note: There is a serious difference between being orthodox and being dogmatic. I appreciate that saying:
In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity – St. Augustine.