Beliefs of Ukrainian Christian Evangelical Church
Ukrainian Christian Evangelical Church is the successor of a special Christian tradition of renovated Christianity, which in the period of the Church found itself through activities of such prominent Christians like Apostle Paul, John Wycliffe, Jan Huss, Martin Luther, John Calvin and others. This tradition could not be transferred by one person to another like some relic, but it has always existed because of the human desire to develop a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. The essence of the historical heritage of Ukrainian Christian Evangelical Church is to continue and spread the spiritual aspirations that existed throughout Christian history: search for the knowledge of God through the renewal of biblical foundations of public services as well as the implementation of Christian principles in social life.
In the context of World Christianity Ukrainian Christian Evangelical Church professes such Creeds as the Apostles' Creed, the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed and the Athanasian Creed.
As a representative of the Evangelical Protestant branch of Christianity the Church professes baptism in water and baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Church also believes in the gifts of the Holy Spirit and public services with music, singing, dances as an expression of worship, respect, passion to God, submission of mind, body and soul to Him only. Similar Christian Churches exist in almost all countries.
Peculiarity of religious doctrine of Ukrainian Christian Evangelical Church is a belief in the salvation of the human soul in any of the Christian Churches (Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant) subject only to his belief in salvation through Jesus Christ. Rites and sacraments of the Ukrainian Christian Evangelical Church are confession and repentance, baptism, the Eucharist (communion), engagement, marriage, blessing of children, imposition, anointing and burial.
The activities of Ukrainian Christian Evangelical Church is in the active social and political orientation, an effort to meet the spiritual needs of its members and also to solve the pressing problems of society, in particular, such as homelessness, drug addiction, poverty and others. To do this, the church carries out missionary work, preaching the gospel, and has a number of social programs, collaborates with other Christian confessions, public organizations and other social institutions, whose activity corresponds to the direction of the Church.
Church considers expedient its presence in all areas of society that are not immoral and illegal. It promotes a healthy lifestyle, family values, encourages people for creative work, education, business and other socially useful activities.
The Church believes in its mission to give on the basis of Holy Scripture and the guidance of the Holy Spirit the answers to global and everyday problems of people, to solve problems of both the individual and society as a whole – to be "light" and "salt" according to the commandments of Christ.
1. Our attitude to the Bible
We believe that the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, the sole and sufficient for the knowledge of God and the salvation of man in every era and in every nation. All the books of the Bible are written by men moved by the Holy Ghost (2 Peter 1:21), are God-inspired and is useful for everyone (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
We believe that the Bible (Word of God) is the absolute truth, the only infallible source of Christian faith. The Bible reveals to us the truth about God the Father, the Son of God Jesus Christ – our Lord, the Holy Spirit, creation, God's creation of man, the Fall and the salvation of man, the angels and the devil, the judgment of God and eternal life.
God speaks today through the Bible and the Holy Spirit and acts in accordance with the Word He said. (Matthew 5:18, Isaiah 55:11).
We believe in one righteous God manifests Himself in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19, Genesis 1:26).
God the Father
God the Father is the Creator of all things visible and invisible (Acts 17:24, Genesis 1: 31), Who is in heaven (Matthew 6:9), Omnipresent (Psalm 139), Omniscient (Jeremiah 15:15), Almighty (Matthew 19:26), the Same (Exodus 1:17), Holy (John 17:11), Righteous (Psalm 119, 138-139) and Justice (Psalm 11:7). God is love (1 John 4:16). God is Spirit (John 4:24, 2 Corinthians 3:17).
God is the Healer (Exodus 15:26). God is the Shepherd (Psalm 23). God is merciful (Hebrews 8:12). God is the Righteous Judge (Genesis 18:25).
God the Son
Jesus Christ is God (Romans 9:5). He is One with the Father (John 14:9-10, Colossians 2:9). The Firstborn over all creation (Colossians 1:15). All things were created by Him (Colossians 1:16). Jesus Christ, being God by nature, was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, taking the human body. So God became Man, Who came in the flesh. The Man Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God the Father (John 1:18).
He was the Son of God and Son of Man (Colossians 2:9). He lived a totally sinless life (John 14:30). In order to save mankind from sin, He took upon himself the sins of all people and their diseases (Isaiah 53:1-11). He died on the cross and rose again on the third day to justify everyone who comes to God through Him (John 3:16). After His resurrection He ascended and sat at the right hand of God the Father, far above all the authority and power, and strength, and the name that is named not only in this age but also in the future, having all power in heaven and on earth (Ephesians 1:20-23, Matthew 28: 18).
God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the person of the Holy Trinity, Who has all the divine qualities.
The Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4). The Holy Spirit works on Earth since the creation (Genesis 1:2). The Holy Spirit lives in the born again man, believer (1 Corinthians 6:19). The Holy Spirit is the Comforter (John 16:7). The Holy Spirit testifies about Jesus Christ (John 15:26). The Holy Spirit teaches, convicts and leads to repentance, edifies, reveals the truth, speaks about the future, gives gifts to the born-again people (1 Corinthians 12).
We believe that man was created by God in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-27). Man was created as moral and free in the choice person (Deuteronomy 30:19). Man violated the commandments of God by the decision of his will and fell into sin, resulting in the destruction of his relationship with the Creator. He lost communication with God and inherited death (Romans 5:12). Through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, man was able to get rid of sin and spiritual death (John 3:16, Matthew 20:28).
4. New Birth
We believe that for the conversion of sinner to God he need apersonal belief in atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, appearing in his heart by hearing the Word of God and the Holy Spirit (John 16:8, Romans 10:17, Hebrews 11:6) . The Holy Spirit through faith leads man to repentance, conversion from dead works to salvation in Jesus Christ (Acts 26:18, Ephesians 2:8).
The blood of Jesus Christ washes away sins and iniquities, purifies evil conscience, re-establishes relations and communication with God and is the guarantor of eternal life (Hebrews 9:14, Romans 5:1).
Consequence of the conversion and personal acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior is a new birth from the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, as a necessary condition for the adoption and entry into the Church of God (John 1:12-13, 3:5, Hebrews 1:18).
True signs of new birth are:
• A public confession of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior;
• Internal testimony that the person has peace with God and is His child;
• Negative attitudes toward sin;
• Love for God and man;
• Willingness to internal changes;
• Desire to do the will of God, etc.
(Romans 9:10, 1 John 3:14, Psalm 97:10, Romans 12:2).
We believe that man is saved through sincere faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ regardless of confessional affiliation.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the founder of the Church (Matthew 16:18). According to the teachings of the Bible there is a Universal and local Churches. Universal Church accommodates all local Churches.
Universal, that is, Worldwide Church of Jesus Christ consists of all peoples, nations, and languages that are redeemed and washed by the blood of Jesus Christ (Revelation 5:9-10). We believe that all those who believe in Christ and are born again – baptized, that is, immersed by the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ and are members of the Church of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13, Galatians 3:27-28). We believe that at the end of the grace period, the Church of Jesus Christ will be raptured from the earth to meet the Lord, to be with Him forever (1 Thessalonians 4:17, Philippians 3:20-21). Belonging to the Universal Church does not exempt from the need to belong to the local Church (Acts 2: 41).
Local Church is a gathering of saved people, united by one faith, one teaching and a desire to serve the Lord together (Acts 2:42). Believer becomes a member of the local Church according to the rules and orders of the local communities he desired.
The objectives of the local Church are:
• Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation, driving out demons, praying in tongues and healing the sick (Mark 16:16-18);
• Baptism of all believers and teaching of Christ teachings (Matthew 28:19);
• Strengthening the unity of all Christians, according to the High-priestly prayer of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 17:20-21);
We believe that communion is a meal of the New Testament in the Blood of Jesus Christ (Matthew 26:26-28). Communion is the sacrament of the Christian faith, the communion with the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ through the bread and wine.
• Sacrament established by the Lord Jesus Christ;
• A reminder of the meaning and purpose of His death (verse 24);
• A statement of our faith (verse 26);
• Our spiritual union with the Lord as the Head of the Body – the Church;
• Our spiritual union with each other as members of His Body.
Communion can be taken by the born-again believers who have peace with God and man (1 Corinthians 11:26-34)
7. Water baptism
We believe that baptism in water is a commandment of Jesus Christ, (Mark 16: 16, Matthew 28: 19) and the fulfilment of the whole truth of God (Matthew 3:13-16).
We also believe that water baptism should be performed in the conscious age, because it is not the washing of fleshly impurity, but good conscience toward God. It is an outward symbol of an internal dedication (1 Peter 3:21).
The meaning of the water baptism is a kind of death, burial (immersion) of the believer to sin, and resurrection (out of water) for a new, clean life in the righteousness of Jesus Christ (Romans 6:2-5).
Conditions of water baptism are repentance and faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38).
A person does not automatically become a member of the Church through baptism, as the choice of the local Church is a free will of baptized person.
8. Baptism of the Holy Spirit
We believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the sign of speaking in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:5). The baptism of the Holy Spirit gives power to every believer to be a witness of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8).
The purpose of prayer in tongues is to speak to God, not to people (1 Corinthians 14:2).
A person in prayer in tongues is aware of his actions and control them, i.e. decides himself to pray in tounges or in his language with understanding (1 Corinthians 14:14,15).
We believe that the Holy Spirit works with a man, not enslaves him (Romans 8:26). Praying in tongues has nothing to do with the state of trance or hypnosis, but an internal edification of the spirit of man.
Prayer is communication of man with God (Jeremiah 33:3). Prayers are different, personal and social (Matthew 6:6).
10. Spiritual Gifts
We believe that to build up the Church God has given believers the gifts of the Holy Spirit for the edification, exhortation, consolation, the revelation of the past, present and future, manifestation of God's power in healing, signs and wonders (Mark 16:17-20, 1 Corinthians 12:1-11).
11. Ministry gifts
We believe that God delivers in Church the ministry gifts of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, bishops, priests, deacons (Ephesians 4:11-13, 1 Timothy 3:1-6, Titus 1:5, 1 Timothy 3:8-13).
They are the priests who build up the Body of Christ, improve the saints, and prepare members of the Church for the ministry.
The order of ordaination of priests requires:
• Calling from God (Galatians 1:1, Romans 1:1);
• Availability of necessary qualities (1 Timothy 3:1-7);
• Education and training (1 Timothy 4:13-16);
• Ordination from senior clerics (Acts 13:2,3).
Angels are spiritual beings who excel men in strength and intelligence .
The Bible divides the angels into two categories:
1. The holy angels sent by God to serve the people (Hebrews 1:14, Mark 8:38, 1 Timothy 5:21).
2. The fallen angels – the devil, demons. Their goal is to destroy (Jude 1:6, Isaiah 14:12-15, John 10:10).
The devil has been defeated by Jesus Christ, devoid of power and authority (Hebrews 2:14). Believers are given the power to resist and cast him out (Mark 16:17, 1 Peter 5:8,9). He works in those who are opposed to God and His will (Ephesians 2:1-3). The ultimate fate of the devil, demons and impious people is the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10).
13. The rapture of the Church and the second coming of Jesus Christ
We believe that there will be the rapture of the Church and the second coming of Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). The date of the event can not know anyone except God the Father (Matthew 24:36).
We believe that Jesus Christ will come a second time on the earth in Jerusalem in great glory and strength (Matthew 25:31, Acts 1:11) to rule in His millennial kingdom (Revelation 20:6). Satan will be bound for a thousand years (Reveletion 20:1-3).
14. Resurrection of the dead and God's judgment
We believe in the resurrection of the dead and the judgment of God. The devil, death, hell, and all the sinners, whose names are not written in the Book of Life will be cast into the lake of fire forever (Matthew 25:41, Revelation 20:10,14-15).
This earth and the sky will be destroyed by God (2 Peter 2:10).
15. A new heaven and a new earth
This earth and heaven will be destroyed by God (Revelation 20:11).
We expect God's new heaven and a new earth (2 Peter 3:13, Revelation 21:1-2). The Church and saved nations will live forever with Christ in the new earth and a new heaven, where God is light, there will be no evil and sin, no tears, sickness and death (Revelation 21:3-4).
16. Family and marriage
We believe that the family institution was established by God between a man and a woman before the fall of man (Genesis 2:18-24).
Men and women are equal in their rights before God and man.
In the family, the husband is the head of the wife (1 Corinthians 11:3). Wife is the assistant of her husband (Genesis 2:18) and heirs of the grace of life (1 Peter 3:7). Children obey their parents (Ephesians 6:1-3).
Marriage is a voluntary union between a man and woman for life together, love, mutual assistance and continuation of the human race, until death (1 Corinthians 7:39).
Divorce is impermissible (Matthew 19:6,9). In the case of adultery or actual desertion of one spouse, the innocent party has a right to a divorce (1 Corinthians 7:15, 1 Timothy 5:8, Matthew 5:32).
Church blesses and combines that voluntary union between a man and a woman, which is registered in the relevant state authorities (1 Peter 2:13).
We believe that children are God's blessing and the parents are responsible for their all-round education before God and the laws of their country (Ephesians 6:1-4, Psalm 78:3-7).
We believe that children have a right to life from the moment of conception, so abortion is a sin before God (Exodus 20:13).
Based on the Bible (Romans 1:27-32, Leviticus 20:13), common sense and family traditions of our nation, we condemn the sinful practice of same-sex sexual relations and "gay marriages", as well as any sexual relations outside of marriage.
17. Attitude to education, work and creativity
We recognize that every person must obtain a complete secondary education and also inspire believers to receive the further higher education (Proverbs 4:7). We recognize that every should work (Ephesians 4:28). Work evasion of an able-bodied believer is the sin of outrage that is condemned by God's word (2 Thessalonians 3:6-8).
We believe that man, created in the image and likeness of God the Creator, has the ability to create and implement this ability through creative, work and research activities, by the creation of works of art and culture, folk art and other ways that do not contradict the Christian morals and ethics, as well as rules of law.
18. Service in the army and security agencies
We believe that the service in the Armed Forces is the duty of every Christian, as a citizen of Ukraine (Romans 13:1,4,7).
Also we consider that according to the Bible citizens who are called by God to be priests, dedicating their life to serving the Lord Jesus Christ and His people (Ephesians 4:11-13), have a deferment of military service according to the law of Ukraine "On military duty and military service".
If the performance of military duty contradicts personal religious beliefs of a citizen, the performance of this duty should be replaced by the alternative (non-military) service.
19. Church, state and society
We admit that the Church is separated from the state and not an institution of the government, does not implement the state functions, and is an institution of the spiritual power of God (Matthew 16:18,19, John 18:36) and performs the tasks assigned to it by Jesus Christ (see Section 5. Church).
We recognize that the system of government is established by the will of God (Romans 13:1) and civil servants are also servants of God to encourage to do good and to punish the criminals (Romans 13:3,4).
We believe that the Church is not separated from society and has calling to be the "light" to the world and have an active social position on morality and ethics in society, has the right to implement it in the form of peaceful assemblies, rallies, demonstrations and other lawful means and to publish its position in the media.
We admit that believers must be socially active and participate in all spheres of society, to exercise their rights and execute their duties as citizens of Ukraine.
In carrying out its task the Church is governed by the commandment of Jesus towards state: "Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s" (Matthew 22:21).
The preaching of the Gospel accompanied by the charity matters is an integral part of the life of the Church. According to Scripture, we are called to be with the needy and the sick, to serve the oppressed (Matthew 25:34-41, Galatians 2:10), to help orphans and widows (James 1:27).
We are called to peace and we consider inadmissible any hostility on gender, racial, ethnic, social, political, religious and economic grounds.
We are called to create, disseminate and maintain peace by all available legal means and ways (Romans 14:19, Matthew 5:9).
These "BASIC PROVISIONS OF BELIEFS OF UKRAINIAN CHRISTIAN EVANGELICAL CHURCH" in the new edition were approved by the Board of Bishops of the Ukrainian Christian Evangelical Church.