As an “evangelical” and “presbyterian” church, we embrace the teachings that are summarized in the Apostles’ Creed and the Westminster Confession of Faith. But for the purpose of providing a brief summary, the following are the most essential of our beliefs.
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.
About Jesus Christ
The Bible unfolds the wonderful story of salvation – that God has sent His own Son to die on the cross to redeem sinners, raising Him from death to become the Lord of all creation (Matt. 28:18, I Cor. 15). Jesus is the eternal Son of God – fully God and fully man, and He lived in our place – satisfying the requirements of God’s Law where we have failed to do so, and then died in our place – satisfying God’s just condemnation of our sin. Not only has Jesus paid our just debt; He has also granted us grace to live in the blessing and abundance of fellowship with Him as Savior, Lord, and King (2 Cor. 5:17-21).
About the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with God the Father and God the Son. By the power of the Holy Spirit, God now calls sinners to Himself through repentance and faith to become the body of Christ, the Church. The Spirit regenerates our dead hearts – enabling us to respond in faith (John 3:5-8), testifies with our hearts that we are children of God (Rom. 8:15-16), and produces fruit that leads to changed lives (Gal. 5:16-23). The Spirit also comforts and leads us into all truth (John 16:5-15) and gives gifts to every believer, that we may use our gifts to build up the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12). We do not believe that any particular Spiritual Gifts prove our salvation.
About the Bible
The Bible is God’s Word. It was written by human authors, under supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error.
About Human Beings
Adam and Eve were created by God to glorify Him and fellowship with Him. They possessed the ability to please God and abstain from sin. But upon their sinning in the Garden of Eden, fellowship with God was broken and their nature was polluted in such a way as to touch every aspect of their being so that they were inclined toward evil and condemned to both physical and spiritual death. Because Adam was our representative Head, all subsequent human beings have inherited this same “fallen nature” and too are born “objects of wrath” separated from God. While we are all inclined toward evil and unable to please God, we are not as wicked as we possibly could be. We still bear the image of God and thus, have value above all other of God’s creatures.
Salvation is God’s free gift to us. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Salvation may only be received by trusting in Jesus Christ as the One who has received in His body God’s just punishment for sin; and in His resurrection from the dead to overcome sin and death on our behalf. Just as Adam was our representative Head with regard to sin and the Fall, Jesus Christ is our representative Head with regard to God’s justice and reconciliation. 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 their life by faith.
When Jesus Christ returns in glory to fulfill His Father’s plan, He will complete the judgment and redemption of the world and bring His people into perfect fellowship with God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – forever. The Bible teaches that every human being will be resurrected – those who are in Christ will be raised to eternal life in the presence of God and His love in the context of a New Heaven and New Earth. Those who are not in Christ will be raised to eternal condemnation poured out for their sin, separated from God’s favor, in the context of what the Scriptures call Hell.
About Eternal Security and Assurance
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 effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives us this security.
Many Christians tend to use the phrases “eternal security” and “assurance of salvation” synonymously. But these are not synonyms. Eternal security refers to the certainty of the salvation of God’s people. Assurance of salvation refers to the personal confidence that one may have that they are, indeed, among those who are being saved. This assurance comes from three sources: the truthfulness of God’s promises in His Word, the fruit (evidence) of God’s Sprit showing forth “good works” in our life, and the testimony of God’s Spirit in our heart that we are His child. The truth of both of these ideas taken together leads to the conclusion that not only is authentic salvation “secure”, it will demonstrate itself by a perseverance of faith in the life of God’s children. Since the Holy Spirit is the One who brings us into a right relationship with God—while we were sinners, there is then nothing that will separate us from the love of God, so that we need not fear that true salvation may be lost (John 6:35-40; John 10: 1-18).