hypostases -- that of the Father, that of the Son and that of the Holy Spirit. We do not
confuse the persons of the Most Holy Trinity.
We do not believe that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are, as it were, three
masks of a single person. None of the persons is alienated from the others, but each
has the fullness of the Three together.
2. GOD THE FATHER is the fountainhead of the Holy Trinity. Who is without
beginning, indescribable, incomprehensible, Who is beyond every created essence,
Whose essence is known only to Himself, to His Son and the Holy Spirit; as it says in
the Holy Scriptures, upon Him even the Seraphim dare not gaze.
We believe and confess that God the Father never became the likeness of any material
form nor was He ever incarnate. In the Theophanies (appearances of God) of the Old
Testament, as our Holy Fathers bear witness, it was not God the Father Who
appeared, but rather it was always our Savior, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity
(i.e., the Word or Logos, the Angel of the Lord, the Lord God of Sabbath, the Angel of
Great Counsel, the Ancient of Days) Who revealed Himself to the prophets and seers
of the Old Testament. Likewise, in the New Testament, God the Father never
appeared but bore witness to His Son on several occasions solely by a voice that was
heard from Heaven. It is for this reason that our Savior said, "No man hath seen God at
any time; the Only-begotten Son, Who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him,"
(John 1:18) and "Not that any man hath seen the Father, save He Who is of God, He hath seen
the Father" (John 6:46). In addition, Acts Four, Five and Six of the Seventh Ecumenical
Council state that the Holy Trinity cannot be portrayed iconographically since He is
without from and invisible. Therefore, God the Father is not depicted in the holy
From Him all visible and invisible creatures have their beginning and there was a
time when they did not exist. He created the universe out of absolutely nothing. The
earth too had a beginning and man was created by God's love. The creation of man
and of the universe was not out of necessity. Creation is the work of the free and
unconditional will of the Creator. If He had so wished, He need not have created us;
the absence of creation would not have been a privation for Him. The creature's love is
not one which gives Him satisfaction. God has no need to be satisfied. He needs
nothing. God's love cannot be compared to human love, even as His other attributes
such as paternity, justice, goodness cannot be compared to their human counterparts.
God's love is a love which constitutes a mystery unfathomable to man's reason or
intellect. God has no "emotions" which might create passion, suffering, need or
necessity in Him. Nevertheless, although the nature of divine love remains
incomprehensible and inexplicable to human reason, this love is real and genuine and
I confess, in agreement with Scripture, that God is love.
3. JESUS CHRIST is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, eternally born of the
Father. He became man, and thus He is at once fully God and fully man. His coming to
earth was foretold in the Old Testament by the prophets. Because Jesus Christ is at
Him than to anything or anyone else.
In reciting the Nicene Creed, Orthodox Christians regularly affirm the historic faith
concerning Jesus as they say, "I believe... in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only
begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages, Light of Light, true God of true God; begotten,
not made; of one essence with the Father; by Whom all things were made; Who for us men and
for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin
Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered 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."
4. THE HOLY SPIRIT is one of the Persons of the Holy Trinity and is one in
essence with the Father. Orthodox Christians repeatedly confess, "And I believe in
the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who
together with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified..." He is called the
"promise of the Father" (Acts 1:4), given by Christ as a gift to the Church, to empower
the Church for service to God (Acts 1:8), to place God's love in our hearts (Romans 5:5),
and to impart spiritual gifts (I Corinthians 12:7-13) and virtues (Galatians 5:22, 23) for
Christian life and witness. Orthodox Christians believe the biblical promise that the
Holy Spirit is given through Chrismation (anointing) at baptism (Acts 2:38). We are to
grow in our experience of the Holy Spirit for the rest of our lives.
For the rest of the Tenets please click on the following link.