Our Statement of Faith

Statement of Faith of the Evangelical Brethren Church (Cirkev bratská)

Preamble

With the conviction that the Church can realize her mission in the world only when she continues by faith in her Head – Jesus Christ, who is her foundation and who preserves her and leads her through unto the end – as members of the Church of the Brethren, we profess this statement of faith.

Revelation

We believe that God was revealed to man in many ways through His creation, His Law, His messengers and prophets, but in these last days and with final authority He was revealed in His Son, Jesus Christ (Heb.1:1) who is God incarnate, the personal revelation of the true and living God (John 1:1, 18).

The Holy Scriptures

We believe that the infallible testimony about his revelation is the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments which were inspired by God’s Spirit. Jesus Christ is the Lord and Center of Scripture. Holy Scripture has two aspects: divine and human. The divine aspect is infallible truth; the human aspect is human language and expression, which includes how the language and expression were preserved. The Holy Scriptures, as God’s Word, are the sole measure and authority for our faith and life (2 Tim. 3:16, 2 Pet. 1:21). Beyond them, we do not recognize any other sources that would have the same authority, respect or honor. In the interpretation of Holy Scripture we profess the ancient Christian creeds (Apostles’ Creed, Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creeed, Athanasian Creed), the Reformed confessions (esp, Second Helvetic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism and Small Westminster Catechism), the heritage of the Unitas Fratrum (esp, the Unity of the Bohemian Brethren Confession according to the 1662 Comeniu edition) ant the principles of the evangelical movement expressed for example in the confessions of the 1974 Lausanne Congress for World Evangelization.

The Trinity

We believe in one God (Dt 6:4) who was revealed in salvation history as Father, Son and Holy Spirit (1 Kings. 8:6; Acts 5:3f). These three persons form a prefect unity of substance. It is not possible to separate them from each other nor to deny their persons (Matt. 28:19; 3:16-17).

Creation and Election

We believe that God created everything by His Word, visible and invisible (Ps 33:6; Col. 1:16) and that He governs the whole world by His inscrutable wisdom (Rom. 11:33). We believe that He chose us in Christ before the creation of the world to be His people; but He did not relieve anyone from the consequences of their own decisions (Ps. 81:12; John 5:40).

Sin

We believe that man by his disobedience to God lost fellowship with Him and the uncorrupted state in which he was originally created (Rom. 5:12). Therefore all are born as sinful people with their lives already breaking God’s Law; by their own willfulness and rebellion they confirm this condition (Rom. 3:23). Therefore they are given over to God’s judgment and to death as the wages of their sin (Rom. 5.18-19; 6:23).

Jesus Christ

We believe that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, became true man at His birth (John 1:14; Heb. 2:14). By His substitutionary death on the cross He took upon Himself our sins and so reconciled us to God (Col. 1:20-22). By His resurrection and Ascension he conquered over all forces of evil and became Lord of the whole world and Head of the Church (Eph. 1:20,22; Mark 16:19; Phil. 2:9-11).

The Holy Spirit

We believe that at Pentecost God, through Jesus Christ, sent the Holy Spirit (Act 2:33), who convicts people of sin (John 16:8), leads them to repentance and faith in Christ, and so transforms them into new creations (2 Cor . 5:17; Rom 8:2). Regeneration expresses itself in the bearing of the fruit of the Spirit, first of all in love towards God and man (Gal. 5:22). After the new birth (John 3:5, Titus 3:5) believers are empowered and filled by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:19); and they receive gifts (1 Cor. 12:4-11) for efficacious ministry in the Church and the world (2 Tim. 1:6-7, 2:1).

Justification

We believe that all who confess and forsake their sins and believe in Christ receive justification from God and a secure salvation (Rom. 5:1). Thus, justification is solely by faith in Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:26), devoid of personal merits (Gal. 2:16). It is impossible to attain salvation by any other means (Acts 4:12).

The Church

We believe that God, in history, called Israel and assembled together His people. Jesus Christ established on earth a people of the new covenant (1Cor. 11:25) and He builds them up among all nations as His Church (Matt. 16:18). Therefore, it is the prerogative of all believers to express their membership in the Church by entering into a bond with one of its branches (Acts 2:41). In so doing, they publicly confess their faith (Rom. 10:9f), receive Holy Baptism and Holy Communion (Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:16), and participate in the gift of brotherly fellowship in which they are mutually encouraged and admonished (Acts 2:42; Heb. 10:24f), serve one another (Eph. 4:15-16) and submit themselves to the appointed leaders (Heb. 13:17) and one another (Eph. 5:21f).

Mission

We believe that the Church is called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matt. 5:13). By her service, she helps people in material and moral poverty and announces to them the salvation in our Savior Jesus Christ. Those who receive the Gospel are disciples of Jesus Christ, being baptized and taught to obey all that the Lord Jesus commanded (Matt. 28:19f).

The Second Coming

We believe that Jesus Christ will come in His glory (1 Thess. 1:10; Phil. 3:20; 1Pet. 4:13) in order to establish the eternal kingdom of god, where God will be all in all (1 Cor. 15:28; Rev. 19:6). We believe that all the righteous will be resurrected unto everlasting life and the ungodly unto judgment and everlasting punishment (John 5:28-29; Matt. 25:34, 41, 46).