The "Word of Life" Church of Armenia
THE WORD OF LIFE CHURCH OF ARMENIA
The "Word of Life" Church of Armenia is a Christian Church.
In the case of the affiliation of the confession of faith it is attached to the Doctrines of Evangelical (Pentecostal) Christian Churches.
The doctrines of faith of the church are founded on the Bible, in the canonized books of the Old and New Testament.
The following creeds are of fundamental significance to the “Word of Life” church of Armenia: 1] The Nicene Creed.2] The Apostolic Creed.3] The Athanasius Creed.
The Word of Life Church of Armenia always prays for the Armenian authorities as instructed in 1 Timothy 2:1-3. The church has a respectful attitude towards the Armenian Apostolic Church and all churches that accept the Holy Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.
The Full Name and Legal Status of the Church
The “Word of Life” church Armenia was registered at the State Council of Religious Affairs of the Government of Armenia on 17/03/1993 according to the law of the “freedom of conscience and religious matters” which was accepted by the Supreme Council of Armenia on 17/06/1991.
It was re-registered on 16/07/2000 by the chairman of the State Council of the Government of Armenia with order No. 29.
Structure of the Church
The “Word of Life” church of Armenia covers a wide area of activities. All activities of the church are carried out through the thirty three (33) ministries or departments.
THE BASIS OF THE SOCIAL CONCEPTION
The basis of the social conception of “Word of life” church of the Christians of the Evangelistic Faith in Armenia
The main theological theses: The doctrine and the basis of the practice of the Christian life of the “Word of life” church of the Christians of the Evangelistic Faith in Armenia (henceforth-Church) is the Bible-the Holy Book. The doctrine of the church is based on the apostolic tradition and takes into consideration the church experience of the previous generation. According to the Bible under the guidance of the Holy Spirit the church explains the questions about the Christian life that arises in today’s society. However, regardless how wide is spread any doctrine and in what measure it reflects the traditions or modern thinking, the Bible is the only true criteria of the questions about faith according to which is checked all the doctrines of the church. We believe that the Holy Book will for ever remain fundamental truth and the uppermost criteria for the Christians through which a person’s behavior and morality are measured. The Christians should continually compare their faith and life with the Bible (Mat. 5:18, John 10:35):
“Word of life” church of the Evangelistic Faith in Armenia observes itself as a constituent part of the universal church joining all the believers together in Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior. The church unifies people regardless their race, nation, gender, age and social belonging.
The church is the body of Christ that consists of different members joined together and is led by Christ.The church does the will of God which is directed to the establishment of the Kingdom of God in this world, that is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17), to the salvation of the people and to the changes of their life through faith in Jesus Christ according to the Bible.
God: We believe that there is one true, living, everlasting, unchangeable, omnipotent, righteous, merciful and holy God who deserves respect, honor, love, worship and trust.God is the Trinity-Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Ex. 3:14, Hosea 12:5, Mat. 28:19, 20).
Creation of the world: We believe that God is the Creator of the Universe. He created the heavens and the earth and everything that is alive. He created man in the likeness and the image of God (Gen. 1:2; 5:1, 2; 2 King 19:15): Man was created to glorify God, communicate with Him and work with Him for him finding the greatest happiness.
Sin: We believe that after the Creation people didn’t obey God and it brought to sin and death. The sin divided man from God and they appeared in the bondage of sin. Sin is disobedience to God. Sin is lawlessness (1John 3:4).
Way of salvation: We believe that man’s salvation from the power of sin is only possible by grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:8), whom God sent to the world as a victim for all the people’s sin. Jesus Christ took on him man’s sinful nature and didn’t commit any sin. He suffered punishment for our sins dying on the cross. He justified us reconciling us with God. He resurrected from the dead and now lives as the Savior and the Lord. Salvation is an undeserved gift of God that man receives through faith (Eph. 2:5; 1Corin. 3:5-7; John 3:16; 1:14; Heb. 4:14).
Conversion to faith and life with God
We believe that conversion to faith happens with man’s repentance when he is reborn, obtains righteousness and reconciles with God. From that moment he starts to grow in the holy life through the communication with God (John 3:3; 2Cor 5:17). We believe that repentance is man’s personal decision-turn from his sins and receive Jesus Christ’s righteousness by faith. This decision is inspired by the Spirit of God (Acts 3:19).
We believe that faith is to accept the word of God as the truth. It is a person’s conscious decision that brings him to a living interrelation with God (Acts 16:31; Rom. 10:4):We believe that righteousness is the reunification with God as if we have never sinned (John 1:16; Acts 13:39; Rom. 8:1).
Life of the believer in church: We believe that the church is the body of Christ which consists of people who receive Jesus Christ as their only Savior, who believe His sacrifice and His blood as a means of salvation from all the sins who confess Him as their Lord (1Cor. 12:27; Gal. 3:28).
We believe that a baptism of water is an external act of symbolizing internal changes in man who dies for the sin and is raised in Christ for new life (Rom. 6:4; Acts 3: 8).
We believe that the sign of baptizing with the Holy Spirit that the apostles experienced in the day of Pentecost, when they began to speak in other tongues is actual nowadays too. The proof of baptism is also to fill believers with spiritual power for preaching the Gospel.
We believe that Jesus Christ sent all the believers to preach all the people the good news that he died for their sins, resurrected to justify them and lives as their only Savior and the Lord. To fulfill this mission effectively he endowed his successors with the power of the Holy Spirit (Mark 16: 15).
We believe that the spiritual gifts are expressed for the establishment of the Word of God, the edification of the church and the preachment of the Gospel in the life of believers (Mark 16:17,18; 1Cor. 12-13). We believe that communion or the Eucharist consists of bread and wine that symbolize Jesus Christ’s body and blood. Taking communion believers remember and proclaim the Lord Jesus Christ’s sacrifice. In such a way the Christians show their faith to the love of Christ, to his redemption of our life, to taking our punishment on him that we truly deserved because of our sins and to the eternal life through his resurrection (Luke 22:19,20; 1Cor. 10:16; 11:26-30).
We believe that it is the will of God that our soul, spirit and flesh are healthy. Christ’s service described in the Gospels was always accompanied by the healings. Today the service of healing is actual for the church as well (Mark 6:56; Is. 53:5; 1Pet. 2:24).
We believe that donation is the sign of our thanksgiving to God for his generosity and grace as well as it is the expression of our faith to the care of God in future. Donation is tithe and offering that go to evangelism and support of church services (Prove. 3:9, 10; Mal. 3:10; Luke 6: 38). Christ’s Second Advent and eternal lifeWe believe that Jesus Christ will come to the world for the second time to raise the dead in Christ and take living believers to heaven.
We believe that believers are expected eternal life in the presence of God and sinners – eternal punishment (Rom. 6:22; 2Thes. 1:8, 9).
THE BIRTH OF THE MINISTRY
The “Go and see” Mercy Ministry of the “Word of Life” Armenia Church was born in 1992. For Armenia it was the period of crushing the Communistic regime, and the period of the formation of the new independent Republic of Armenia, and the war in Karabach was still going on, because of which Armenia was in blockade. All the factories weren’t working, because of the absence of electricity the republic was in dark. Yerevan and the surrounding towns were full of Armenian emigrants from Azerbaijan, and the ones who suffered the earthquake in Spitak (because of which 3 cities and numerous villages were completely destroyed). All over the country there were famine, joblessness, and breadlines around the clock.
At the 1st day of the birth of the Ministry the Pastor of the Church Arthur Simonyan stook before the Church and preached people to believe in God, to go and see what they had got and what they can give trusting in God, that He would respond to their faith, and so in those shortage conditions not only they, but also many others would be fed.
The givers were the Armenians, who lived in need.
The Formation of the Ministry
The first director of the “Go and See” Ministry was the Pastor of the “Word of Life” Church Arthur Simonyan. The Ministry must have been founded and directed by a person with virtual mentality, as unlike the charitable foundations functioning in Armenia, which received support from abroad, the financing of this Ministry must have been realized by the offerings of Armenians in blockade and in shortage.
THE MINISTRIES THAT HAVE GIVEN GLORY TO GOD
- 1993 - 1996 – “Feed the Hungry” Program fed 10.000 people.
- 1996 - 1998 – “Movable Canteen” Program fed 400 socially unprovided-for persons 3 times a week.
- 1998 - 2001 – “The 3rd Way of God for the Homeless” Program with the help of various specialists (psychologists, pedagogues, sociologists) carried out work with families, which for various reasons landed on the street level to help them out of the stress and to return them to their former life. The Mercy Ministry of the “Word of Life” Church provided the families included in the Program with jobs, household appliances and other necessities, with apartments built in Yerevan.
- 2001 - 2003 – “The Help for Frontier Villages” Program provided the villages of Zedea, Njuvadi, Vardan and other frontier villages with food and clothing. Knowing God as the Sovereign over the Universe and the Loving Father, they prayed for the region, and the draught which had lasted for 12 years was gone, the villages started to flourish, the roads were repared and conditions for new working places were created.
- 2001 - 2007 – “The Kingdom of Heaven to the Children” Program is composed of 3 branches: prevention, identification, guardianship.
The aim of the program is:
- to make the voice of children audible;
- to prevent children from going to orphanages;
- to bring the guardianship program into the Republic of Armenia constitutionally, due to which every child will have opportunity to live in warm family atmosphere.
The year of 2005 was victorious for the Ministry, as the Constitution of the RA adopted the law on care and guardianship.
In the period of 2001 - 2007 around 500 children were under Church care.
- 2008 – “Support-Restoration-Development” Program is for the socially unsupported-for families inside the Church.
- 2008 – Support for lonely old people and invalids. 600 socially unsupported-for lonely old people and invalids are under the everyday care of the Ministry.