Know Your Faith
The Nicene Creed
The ancient Creed established at the Councils of Nicaea (325 A.D) and Constantinople (381 A.D.), known as the Nicene Creed, is the plumb line for the true, orthodox faith. It summarizes and preserves the 2,000-year-old core beliefs of Christianity, especially regarding the nature of Christ, the Trinity and the Church.
Believers Eastern Church acknowledges the Nicene Creed as the official statement of faith for our church. It is a regular part of our worship services.
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 only begotten Son of God,
begotten of the Father before all worlds;
God of God, Light of Light,
very God of very God;
begotten, not made;
being of one substance with the Father,
by whom all things were made.
Who, for us men and for our salvation,
came down from heaven,
and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit
of the Virgin Mary,
and was made man;
and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.
He suffered and died and was buried;
and the third day He rose again,
according to the Scriptures,
and ascended into heaven,
and sits 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 proceeds from the Father;
who with the Father and the Son together
is worshiped 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;
and we look for the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come.
This resource from Believers Eastern Church helps explain the depths of the Nicene Creed, its history and theology in an accessible language which will make this timeless text relevant.
THE AUTHORITY OF GOD’S
WORD AND ORTHODOXY
The faith of Believers Eastern Church is rooted in the Apostle’s doctrine and holy traditions of the ancient Church, as revealed in the 66 books of the Holy Bible, the inerrant and infallible Word of God. We are evangelical in nature and believe that the Church universal has only one faith, continued unbroken through the teachings of the ancient Church Fathers, as preserved in the Nicene and Apostle’s Creeds and affirmed by the seven Ecumenical Church Councils, especially Nicaea, Constantinople and Ephesus.
Adhering to the biblical faith of the ancient Church is orthodoxy; therefore, we do not claim any unique theology or worship practice but hold fast to that which has been the common, Scripturally-based faith from the beginning. However, each generation needs to practice and teach this orthodox faith in a way that is understood and applicable by its culture and era.
Becoming a Believer
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
To be a Christian means to follow Jesus Christ as revealed in the Holy Bible. Christians believe Jesus is God and have put their faith in His sacrificial death on the cross for our salvation. We actively follow Him as our Lord and Saviour. We believe in the Trinitarian worship as revealed in the Scriptures: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
To be a Christian also means to be part of the Holy Church. We then live out our faith as members of the Church rather than as individuals separate from each other. We also look forward to the time when Christ returns for His Bride, the Church.
As a natural response to God’s love and forgiveness of our sins, worshiping and obeying God becomes the center of a Christian’s life. Jesus’ primary commandment was to love God and people. Learning to love as Jesus intended us to and doing so are the ongoing pursuits of a Christian’s life. This includes living a life sharing Christ’s love with others and keeping ourselves free from sin.
Believers Eastern Church is profoundly committed to the evangelical faith that brings transformation into the image of Christ (2 Cor. 3:18) and partakes of the divine nature according to 2 Peter 1:4. This spiritual journey of theosis is best accomplished through embracing the sacramental life and worship where God alone is the audience. The more we gaze into His face in worship, the more we become like Him.
Love and Mission
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”
True faith is more than a set of doctrines or a theological framework, but a life lived with the Triune God at its center. Love for God is demonstrated first and foremost by a life of worship, both as individuals and as members of the Body of Christ.
However, love of God results in love for others. This love encompasses those within the Church and those without. We love our brothers and sisters as Jesus would and we lay down our lives for those who do not yet know Him as Jesus did. This includes those in our surrounding areas as well as the utter most parts of the world.
Demonstrating the love of Christ in word and deed is the hallmark of true faith.
Services and Sacraments
The center of “church life” for every parish and believer is Sunday worship. Here we gather for the express purpose of worshipping God through the ministry of the Word and through Holy Communion. Holy Communion has been the central focus of worship since the Apostles and remains so for Believers Eastern Church.
Prayer meetings and special services are also a regular part of Believers Eastern Church life.
We also believe and practice the sacraments as revealed in the Bible with Holy Communion as the most important. God ordained in his Word specific practices that the early Church referred to as ‘means of grace.’
Participating in the services and sacraments of the church are important because as we worship God according to the pattern that He gave us, He interacts with us and transforms us into the image of His Son. This is known as spiritual formation.
Christian Calendar and
Christmas and Easter are only two days of what is known as the Christian or Liturgical Calendar, which Believers Eastern Church follows and has been practiced since the early days of the Church.
The events of the Liturgical Year center on the life of Christ and help us orient our time and seasons around Christ Himself. Every Sunday is a day set aside for us to remember what Christ did for us through His death and resurrection and form the basic building block for the liturgical year.
Beginning in with the season of Advent, we prepare our hearts for Christ coming, which we celebrate at Christmas, followed by Epiphany, the Great Lent, Holy Week, Easter, Pentecost and the Ordinary Season.
We also follow the Revised Common Lectionary which arranges daily reading of Scripture according to the events in the liturgical calendar. Following the daily readings will enable you to read through most of the Bible in a year and the Sunday readings for worship services will do so in three years.
Personal, Family and Corporate
Living a holy life dedicated to worshipping and walking with God is a necessary part of every believer’s life. As we make God more and more the center of our life and allow His will to become our will, we experience what the Church Fathers referred to as theosis, Christ’s incarnate life being lived in and through us.
Our books, Guiding Principles of Believers Eastern Church and Theosis will explain how to walk with and experience Jesus Christ on a daily basis.
Part of living a holy life includes living with Christ as the center of our homes. The practice of family spiritual disciplines and the ‘family altar,’ a regular daily time dedicated to worship and prayer are foundational for having a Christ-centered home.
Also, it is impossible to walk with God and reject His Holy Church, which He gave His life for. Learning to walk with and worship with other believers as Christ’s Body is essential for knowing Christ.
Pursuing Holy Orders
Being ordained for ministry within Believers Eastern Church is reserved for members of the Church. BEC has two ordinations to the priesthood; the first is being ordained as a Deacon Father and the second as a Priest.