The Orthodox Faith

 The Orthodox Church is founded on the mystery of God's Word. As the Father has sent me, I also send you (John 20: 21). It is a fundamental conviction of the Orthodox believer that the Church has been sent into the world to live and bear witness to the loving vocation, with which God enfolds humankind from the beginning of its existence, through the presence within herself of God's Word,. "For God so loved the word that he gave his only begotten Son... God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved" (John 3: 16-17).
 According to the Orthodox point of view, the vocation and responsibility of the Church is to hold to the truths, which are revealed by the historical appearance of Jesus Christ, and preserve them, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, as a living tradition within the ecclesial body. The Church is described in the Bible as the pillar and ground of the truth (I Tim. 3: 15). This means that every perfect gift and every truth revealed in Christ is kept intact in the Church and transmitted as a dynamic tradition and a life giving reality in every historic now» The very being of the Church is understood as Orthodox communion.

 The issue of tradition is of capital importance for the understanding of the faith, work and life of the Orthodox Church. Tradition is not simply the transmission of an abstract teaching, but rather the maintenance of the eternal truth of the Gospel. Tradition is lived in time and history. This means that the Church has received the faith of the Apostles, maintains it and lives this faith as a divine heritage and dynamic process. Thus, the Orthodox Faith, once delivered to the Apostles and the Saints, is preserved as a living inheritance in specific situations; it has, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, a historic continuity and actuality.
 Orthodox the Church of the Seven Ecumenical Councils. The life of the Orthodox Church is marked by the teaching of the Seven Ecumenical Councils. These Councils were formal gatherings of the bishops of the whole Church in order to regulate doctrinal issues and define the Orthodox teaching upon the basic themes of the Christian faith, mainly the Trinity and the Incarnatlon.4 For the Orthodox, the content of the Christian faith is expressed in the definitions and the regulation of the Ecumenical Councils. The work of the Ecumenical Councils was not abstract speculation. When the bishops of the Councils drew up definitions their intention was to protect the people of God and exclude false teachings and deviations leading to error and heresy, and consequently making salvation impossible. It is for precisely this reason that the definitions of the Ecumenical Councils are held to possess the highest authority which the Orthodox Church can exercise. Thus, with a deep consciousness of the perfect continuity with the preaching of the Apostles, the Orthodox Church acknowledges the following as Ecumenical Councils:
The Ist Ecumenical Council, held in Nicaea in 325, which formulated the First Part of the Creed defining the divinity of Christ, the Son of God
The 2nd Ecumenical Council, held in Constantinople in 381, which formulated the Second Part of the Creed defining the divinity of the Holy Spirit.
The 3rd Ecumenical Council, held in Ephesus in 431, which defined Christ as the Incarnate Word of God and His Mother as Theotokos.
The 4th Ecumenical Council, held in Chalcedon in 451, which defined Christ as perfect God and perfect Man in one Person. It stressed that the two natures were united in the hypostasis of the Word "without confusion, change, division or separation»
The 5th Ecumenical Council, held in Constantinople in 553, which reconfirmed the doctrines concerning the Holy Trinity and the Person of Christ.
The 6th Ecumenical Council held in Constantinople in 681, which affirmed the true humanity of Jesus Christ, by clarifying that Christ has two natures and consequently two wills and actions, the divine and the human.

The 7th Ecumenical Council, held in Nicaea in 787, which affirmed that Holy Icons are authentic expression of the Orthodox faith.

Δεν υπάρχουν σχόλια: