- We believe in one God, immortal, invisible, creator of heaven and earth, and of all things, visible and invisible, who is identified in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit; who constitute nothing else but the same substance in essence, eternal and of the same will; the Father, source and beginning of all good; the Son, eternally generated by the Father, who, in the fullness of time, manifested Himself in the flesh to the world, being conceived by the Holy Spirit, was born of the Virgin Mary, made under the law to rescue those that were under it, in order that we would be received by adoption as God’s own sons; the Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father and the Son, teacher of all truth, speaking through the mouths of the prophets, bringing the things that were said by our Lord Jesus Christ to the apostles. He is the only comforter in affliction, imparting steadfastness and perseverance in all good.
- Worshiping our Lord Jesus Christ, we are not separating one nature from the other, but confess both natures, namely: the inseparable divine and human natures.
- We believe, concerning the Son of God and concerning the Holy Spirit, that which the Word of God and apostolic doctrine and the symbol teach us.
- We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ will come to judge the living and the dead, in a visible and human form, as He ascended to heaven, executing such judgment in the form which has been predicted in the 25th chapter of Matthew; and that the Father has given Him, being man, all power to judge.
- We believe in the holy sacrament of the Supper, as corporal figures of bread and wine, and that faithful souls are actually fed with the very substance of our Lord Jesus, as our bodies are fed by food; thus, we do not understand the saying that the bread and wine are actually transformed or transubstantiated in their body, because the bread continues with its nature and substance; likewise the wine, there is no change or alteration.
- We believe that if it was necessary to add water to the wine, the gospel writers and Saint Paul would not have omitted such an important matter.
- We believe that there is no other consecration except that which is performed by the minister, when he celebrates communion, when he speaks to the people, in a known tongue, the literal institution of this Supper, as per the form prescribed by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, admonishing the people as to the death and passion of our Lord. Even as it is taught by St. Augustine, consecration is the word of faith that is preached and received in faith. Therefore, it follows that the words secretly pronounced about the signs cannot be their consecration, as it appears from the institution that our Lord left to His apostles, speaking His words to His disciples who were there, present, whom He ordered to take and eat.
- The Holy Sacrament of the Supper is not food for the body as it is for the souls (for we cannot conceive anything fleshly about them, as we declared in the fifth article) which receives them by faith, which is not carnal.
- We believe that baptism is a sacrament of repentance, and is an entry into the Church of God, so that we can be incorporated in Jesus Christ. It represents to us the remission of all our sins, past and future, which is fully acquired only through the death of our Lord Jesus.
- As to free will, we believe that the first man, created in the image of God, had freedom and will, both to do good as well as evil. Only he knew what was free will, for he was possessed of full abilities. Nevertheless, he did not even keep this gift of God, for it was taken away from him on account of his sin, and from all that descend from him, such that no one from the seed of Adam has a spark of good.
- We believe that forgiveness of sins belongs only to the Word of God, of which, says St. Ambrose, man is just the minister; therefore, if he condemns or absolves, it is not him, but that which is announced by the Word of God.
- As to imposition of hands, this has served its time, and there is no need of preserving it now, for through the imposition of hands one cannot bestow the Holy Spirit, for this belongs only to God.
- The separation between a man and a woman legitimately united by marriage cannot be done, except on account of adultery, as is taught by our Lord (Mathew 19:5). And not only is this cause for separation, but also, with the cause properly examined by authorities, the non-guilty party, if cannot contain himself, should marry, as it is taught by St. Ambrose, on the seventh chapter of the first letter of Corinth. The authority, however, must proceed in this matter with mature counsel. [NB. Remarriage while one's spouse is living is forbidden (Rom. 7:2-3; I Cor. 7:39). Click here for the biblical doctrine of marriage and remarriage.]
- St. Paul, when teaching that the overseer must be the husband of one wife, is not saying that another marriage is not proper, but he is condemning bigamy, which attracted many in those days; nevertheless, we will leave the concluding judgment on this matter to ones more knowledgeable in the Holy Scriptures, and we will not base our opinion in this matter solely on our faith.
- It is not right to vow a promise to God, unless it is that which He approves. In this way the monastic vows tend to corrupt the true service to God. It is also a fearful thing for a man in presumption to vow something beyond the measure of his calling, seeing that Scripture teaches us that continence is a special gift (Matthew 19 and I Corinthians 7). Therefore, it follows that those who impose on themselves this necessity, renouncing matrimony throughout all their lives, cannot be excused of extreme temerity and excessive and insolent confidence in themselves.
- We believe that Jesus Christ is our only mediator, intercessor and advocate, by whom we have access to the Father, and that, justified by His blood, we will be free from death; and reconciled by Him we will have full victory against death.
- As to the dead, St. Paul, in the first letter to the Thessalonians, in its fourth chapter, forbids us to mourn for them [excessively], for this is a pagan custom, who have no hope of a resurrection. The Apostle does not command nor teach us to pray for them, something which he would not have forgotten, if it would be convenient. St. Augustine, speaking about Psalm 48, says that the spirits of the dead receive according to what they have done in life; and that if they have not done anything, and are still living, they will receive nothing, when dead.
Published: Moody Press
Year of Publication: 1976