About UCECLG • WHAT WE BELIEVE IN |
The doctrine of Christian Evangelic Church of the Living God
The Church of the Living God teaches that:
1. There is the One Truthful God, the Creator of heaven and earth. (Dt. 6:4; Is. 45:5, 18, 20-22) God is perfect. He exists in three Godly persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
• Father is God (Jn. 6:27; Jd. 1:1)
• Son is God (1 Jn. 5:20; He. 1:8)
• Holy Spirit is God (Ac. 5:3-4; 1 Co. 3:16)
God is Eternal, Wise, Almighty, Omnipresent, Holy, Just, Love, Savior. These qualities are characteristic of Father as well as of Son and Holy Spirit.
2. Bible is the Word of God, the only revelation of God about Himself; books of Old and New Testaments, which consist of 66 received books. (2 Ti. 3:16, 2 P. 1:21) Apocrypha and elders' legends are not inspired by God and are not used in preaching and beliefs.
3. Salvation is given by grace through the reception of the Word of Truth, repentance and faith, i.e. personal turn to Jesus Christ, reception of forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation. (Ac. 2:37,38; Eph. 2:13-14; Titus 2:1) A person becomes a member of Universal Church by being born again. (Jn.3:5)
4. Water baptism can be performed after the repentance. It expresses the obedience to the words of Jesus Christ. (Mk. 16:16) This is the public confession of one's faith in Jesus Christ, visible expression of one's inner decision to follow Christ and serve Him. (Mt. 10:32, Ro. 10:9) This is the demonstration in the physical world of what had happened in spiritual word, i.e. death and resurrection. (Ro. 6:3-5)
According to the Bible the Church does not baptize in water babies and little children. The Church baptizes in water only those who consciously believed in Jesus Christ and was taught the fundamentals of Christianity and the essence of water baptism. (Mt. 28:19)
What concerns the age of a person desiring to be baptized in water the decision is to be made by the administration of a local Church.
The water baptism is to be performed by means of complete dip of the body of a person who is baptized into the water. (Mt. 3:16)
Everyone who desires to become a member of the church is to be baptized in water by faith.
5. Church is the believers called by God. In the New Testament the Church is described as: a temple (Eph. 2:21-22), a building (1 Co. 3:9), a chaste virgin (2 Co. 11:2), the flock (Ac. 20:28), brethren (He. 2:10-13).
There are two aspects of the Church: universal Church that comprises all the believers of all the times and denominations; and a local Church, which is a part of the universal Church and comprises a certain part of believers in any one locality.
The Head of the Church is the Christ. (Eph. 1:22-23; 5:23)
6. Local Church is the congregation of believers who gather regularly for conducting services. There are a lot of local Churches (1 Co. 4:17), the universal Church is the one. (Mt. 16:18)
• In the local Church believers find teachings, exhortation, admonishments, consolation, fellowship, support for living a regular, well-balanced Christian life.
• A local Church is a voluntary community of Christians of Evangelic confession, structurally it is a component of the United Christian Evangelic Church of the Living God, it is administratively independent of any religious organizations but can cooperate with them.
• The congregation of believers is to be considered a local Church if there is an appointed minister and the administration of the Church has been formed.
• The Church may gather in the house of one of the believers, in the rented building, in the air or in a specially constructed building. Church services are held on Sundays, but also may be held on other days of week. To equip the saints for the work of ministry in the Church there are ministries of Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor, Teacher. (Eph. 4:11,12)
• Goals of the Church are the preaching of the Gospel of salvation and liberty to all the people; bringing up and exhortation of believers until their complete mature spiritual growth; bringing up and teaching children and youth the Lord's orders and commandments; development and strengthening of the unity between members of a local Church and friendship with other Churches, diligent ministry by works of mercy and charity; organization of new Churches in Ukraine and abroad. The management of the Church is executed by the pastor and Church Council.
• Membership in the Church is to be documented by filling in the application.
• A Christian may be a member of the Church if he agrees the doctrines of the Church; has been baptized in water by faith (Ac. 2:41); admits authority of the pastor, Church Council and ministers (He. 13:17), (Ro. 13:1-2); agrees to give the tithe to the local Church as a part belonging to God (Ml. 3:8-12) and voluntary offerings (2 Co. 9:6-11); to take an active part in this or that ministry of the Church and spread of God's Kingdom. For the committed sin there is a disciplinary punishment – note and exclusion. Members of the Church who cooled in their ministry to God, stay away from services without good cause, after the exhortation and warning may be excluded. A person who repented and converted may be renewed as a member of the Church by the decision of the Church Council. Separation from a Church is free. For more effective functioning, the Church holds meetings in home groups that gather at believers' homes where the believers have closer fellowship. Every home group is managed by a minister of the group and his assistant who, in their turn, are subordinate to the superior minister and the latter – to the pastor.
7. Lord's Supper is the remembrance of Christ's sacrifice (1 Co. 11:24-25), remembrance of Lord's death (1 Co. 11:24-26), a sign of New Testament (Mt. 26:27-29). Bread and fruit of the vine (wine or grape juice) are the communion of the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Co. 10:16) Members of a local Church and members of other Churches who were baptized in water by faith, being adult, and are not noted or excluded may take part in the supper. (1 Co. 11:27-29)
8. Baptism by Holy Spirit is the privilege of every Christian and is accompanied by a sign of other tongues and demonstration of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. (Ac. 2:4; 10:45-46)
• In the ministry of the Church nine gifts of the Holy Spirit are exercised. (1 Co. 12:7-11)
9. Prayer is the talk with God. We can come to God only through Jesus Christ. (Jn. 14:6) Prayers to the Virgin Mary or the saints have no grounds in the Holy Scripture and therefore are not practiced. (Ac. 4:12) Prayers to images are worship of idols and therefore are not practiced. Any kind of the worship of idols and also the occult practice are sins and therefore are prohibited by the Church. (Ro. 1:22-23; Ex. 20:4-5)
• Feasts established by nominal Churches have no grounds in the Holy Scripture, therefore the days of religious feasts are not special. (Col. 2:16; 20-23)
• Members of the Church of the Living God do not partake in idolatry, consecrations of nominal Churches («pasch», water, palms etc.), and also do not wear amulets and talismans (1 Co. 10:14-29)
• Members of the Church of the Living God abstain from blood and things strangled. (Ac. 15:29)
10. Praise and worship of God is one of the goals why God created people. (Jn. 4:23) God returns Biblical praise and worship into the Church. (Ac. 15:16) Praise and worship are performed by singing songs to God (Ps. 7:17; 13:6), with musical accompaniment (Ps. 33:3; 150:5-6), clapping hands (Ps. 47:1), with the dance (Ps. 149:3; 150:4; 2 Ch. 30:21, Mt. 26:30), with shouts of praise (Ps. 47:1; 1 S. 4:5; Lk. 2:8), with lifting up of the hands (Ps. 134; 1 Ti. 2:8) or without it.
11. Marriage is God's institution. (Gn. 1:27-28) Members of the Church, who reached the lawful age, seriously treating the matter, having made certain that this is the will of God, may marry other members of the Church of the opposite sex, who reached the lawful age, or members of other Churches who confess the birth again and baptism in water by faith.
• The procedure of making a marriage is the following. It is desirable that a couple would get the blessing of the parents on either side, then they inform the pastor and the fact is announced in the Church; after what a couple applies to the Agency of registration of civil status acts. After the registration at the Agency the wedding service takes place in the Church, where a bride and a bridegroom are declared to be a wife and a husband. Sexual relations before the wedding are the sin. (He. 13:4) The Church does not bless marriages with unbelievers, parishioners of nominal Churches, or persons, who confess other religions.
• Members of the Church who registered such a marriage are excluded from the Church.
• Marriage is contracted for life and cannot be dissolved in any case (Mk. 10:7-12, 1 Co. 7:10-11),
except the case of sexual immorality (Mt. 5:32)
• After the death of one of the mates the other side is free to remarry. A person, who came to Church married, should not leave his/her mate but to continue living in wedlock except the case of divorce on the initiative of the unbelieving party. (1 Co. 7:12-16) Then the injured party arranges his/her life according to his/her faith (Ro. 14:23) and the testimony of the Spirit. (1 Jn. 3:21)
• Persons, who were divorced and having come to God have no possibility or do not see it good to restore the previous marriage, are free to remarry.
• Persons, who came to God being in repeated marriage, should remain in the marriage, not dissolving it and not returning to the previous marriage. (2 Co. 5:17; 1 Co. 6:9-11; 7:23-24)
• The couple should love each other, to bring up their children in Christ's love.
• A woman is a helper of her husband and ought to be obedient to him in everything. A husband does not offend his wife and does not derogate her dignity, but this is him, who guides the family. (Eph. 5:22-23; 6:1-4)
Obligations of a believer concerning the family are above the obligations concerning the ministry in the Church but are not above the relationship with God. The priorities of a Christian are the following: God, then the family, and only then the Church.
• Women do not have right for abortion because this is a murder.
12. Water baptism, marriage, burial services, breaking of bread are performed by the appointed ministers or by ministries to whom the authority has been delegated.
13. Members of the Church of the Living God do not smoke and use drugs except the cases when a doctor prescribed the medicaments containing narcotics. Members of the Church of the Living God abstain from alcohol. The Bible warns against drunkenness, because the very nature is not consistent with the use of alcohol, therefore we consider it good to abstain from alcohol at feasts and ceremonies.
14. Members of the Church are taught to love their country, to respect the authority and the laws of the country. (Ro. 13:1-7)
• At the services the Church prays for the representatives of all levels of the authority. (1 Ti. 2:1-4)
Members of the Church partake in the elections and vote at their disposal for the conscience candidates, the program of which do not contradict the biblical principles.
15. What concerns military service: the Church respects the conscience of those, who serve in the army, as well as of those, who use the right for alternative military service.
16. The Church of the Living God tries to be always guided by the Holy Spirit and follows Him, but not the tradition, form and religion. God and Church are never changeable in their principles, but the form of service practice always needs freshness, renewal and changes.