What We Believe
In the Christian faith, there are essential beliefs which every Christian must hold in order to be considered a Christian. Then there arenon-essentialbeliefs which make us distinctive from one another, but which nonetheless do not divide us as the body of Christ:
- In essential beliefs – we have unity (Ephesians 4:4-6)
- In non-essential beliefs – we have liberty (Romans 14:1, 4, 12, 22)
- In all our beliefs – we show charity (1 Corinthians 13:2)
As a Reformed church in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), we distinctively hold to the historic doctrines birthed out of the Reformation: the absolute sovereignty of God, the inerrancy of the Scriptures as the revealed Word of God, and salvation by grace alone. These beliefs are summed up in the Five Solas (see image above). Yet these doctrinal distinctives do not separate us from other Christians who hold to the essential beliefs below.
The Essentials We Believe
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.
Genesis 1:1,26,27, 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again someday to earth to reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
Matthew 1:22,23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5; 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14,15; 1 Corinthians 15:3,4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14,15; Titus 2:13
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved. As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily.
2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13, 14:16,17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:18
The Bible is God’s Word to us. In it he reveals everything we need to know about himself and what he requires of us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for all Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without mixture of error.
2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20,21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:105,160, 12:6; Proverbs 30:52
People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. People are the supreme object of God’s creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin.” This attitude separates people from God and causes many problems in life.
Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1,2
Salvation is God’s free gift to us. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved form sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.
Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8,9; John 14:6; 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1
Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the true believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. If you have been genuinely saved, you cannot “lose” it. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives us this security.
John 10:29; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25, 10:10,14; 1 Peter 1:3-5
People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.
John 3:16; John 14:17; Romans 6:23; Romans 8:17-18; Revelation 20:15; 1 Corinthians 2:7-9
Below are links to other Statements of Faith that we would agree with, and some which give more detail about the distinctives of the Reformed faith: