What We Believe

Our Beliefs

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." (1 Peter 3:15)

 

As members of the larger Christian family and the Reformed tradition, our beliefs are held in common with Christians worldwide.  As Presbyterians, we believe...

 

*The Bible is the authoritative Word of God and our only source for faith and life.  The 66 books that make up the Old and New Testaments were inspired by the Holy Spirit and teach us all that we must know for our salvation.  Therefore, it is the lifelong duty of all Christians to continue growing in their knowledge of God's Word. (2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Psalm 119)

 

*There is only one God, who created all things for Himself and for His glory.  God is sovereign over all of creation and is guiding all things toward His good and chosen end.  Not ceasing to be one, God nevertheless reveals Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Genesis 1:1; Psalm 115:3; Isaiah 43:6-7)

 

*Jesus Christ is the only Son of God, who was born into our world, and suffered, died and rose again for our salvation.  Having ascended into heaven, Jesus reigns as King over all creation until He comes again in glory. (John 1:1-14; Acts 2:29-39; Romans 5:10-11; 2 Timothy 4:1)

 

*The Holy Spirit is God at work within us.  Inspiring our faith, convicting us of sin and guiding us in holy living, the Spirit renews our hearts and molds us into Christ's image. (Exodus 31:1-6; John 14:16-17; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:13)

 

*Human beings have been made in God's image but have fallen into sin.  Though we were made to live for God, we have inherited an inclination toward sin and rebelliousness.  Left to our own devices, we would rebel against God all our days.  (Genesis 2-3; Psalm 51:5; Romans 3:10-12; Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:22)

 

*Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.  As God's free gift to us, Jesus Christ saves us from sin and reconciles us to God purely by His own work on our behalf.  We cannot save ourselves, but rather lay hold of this precious gift by believing the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ.  Only through Jesus can we have assurance of God's favor.  (Ephesians 2:8-10; Romans 5:8; Hebrews 4:14-16)

 

*The church is instituted by God to carry on the work of making disciples and proclaiming the good news about Jesus to the nations.  As believers gather together for worship, study, prayer and fellowship, we are formed and strengthened in order to be sent forth to serve and declare the good news of salvation through thought, word and deed.  Regular participation in the life of the church is necessary for a growing and saving faith. (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:42-47; Hebrews 10:25)

 

*The sacraments are gifts of God entusted to the Church for the sake of God's people, and we believe that there are two: Baptism and the Lord's Supper.  In these sacraments, an outward symbol illustrates a deeper, invisible transaction that takes place by the work of the Holy Spirit.

 

In Baptism, we are washed of our sins and united with Christ and brought into the greater fellowship of believers throughout the ages.  Like circumcision in the Old Testament, Baptism is the "sacrament of initiation," which acknowledges that it is only through God's prior grace that we are able to make a faithful response.  Therefore, we baptize individuals of all ages.  Additionally, Presbyterians believe that baptism need only happen once and recognize those baptisms which have occurred in other denominations. (Genesis 17:12; Matthew 28:19; Acts 22:16; Romans 6:3-11)

 

In the Lord's Supper (or Communion), we gather to remember our Lord's last meal as we are simultaneously nurtured and strengthened by the Spirit who is at work in the hearts of all who gather.  The Lord's Supper is celebrated regularly (once per month) and all baptized believers are invited to take part. (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)

 

*The Christian life is our faithful response to God's grace.  Recognizing that God is the giver of all good gifts and that Jesus Christ is the sovereign King over all creation, we strive to serve God in every arena of life by loving Him with our whole hearts and our neighbors as ourselves. (2 Corinthians 5:17; Philippians 4:8-9; Colossians 3:17)