The Orthodox Church traces its beginnings to the self-revelation of God on earth. God has revealed Himself through a particular people who He chose and taught through the prophets, teachers, evangelists and all those who have made His righteousness known throughout the ages. Most particularly He has revealed Himself to us through His Son, Jesus Christ (the anointed one of God) who became a man, suffered died rose again, ascended into heaven and will come again in glory for our deliverance and salvation; and through His Holy Spirit who was revealed to us on the day of Pentecost. From the time of Pentecost, it has been this Church (from the Greek ekklesia meaning the people set aside and gathered for the glorification of God) which has been spread throughout world. It is the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of which the Nicene Creed speaks. In the period from the eleventh to the thirteenth centuries a schism occurred between the Church in the East and the Church in the West (the Roman Catholic Church) over matters of doctrine and Church order, and since that time the Orthodox Church has been mainly found in eastern countries, though in this century it has spread to the west.
The Church is One just as Jesus Christ is one, and therefore admits of no division. The Church is Holy, that is She is set aside and consecrated, in the life of the Holy Spirit, to the work of God alone. The Church is Catholic (from the Greek words kath' holos meaning whole or complete) and therefore contains in each of Her parts the fullness of the life of Christ in the Holy Spirit. The Church is Apostolic. That is She has, through her bishops who are the successors of the Apostles, preserved the teaching and practice of the Apostles unbroken from the day of Pentecost to the present.
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