What Do We Believe?

 
 
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The Holy Bible

We believe that the Bible is the Word of God.  After the Bible, the following things constitute the foundation of our doctrines and beliefs:


The Presbyterian Church in America

The PCA is one of the faster growing denominations in the United States, with over 1450 churches and missions throughout the United States and Canada. There were over 306,000 members as of December 2000.

 


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The Westminster Confession of Faith

The Westminster Confession of Faith, drawn up in the 1640s by an assembly of 151 theologians (mostly Presbyterians and Puritans) at Westminster Abbey, is the standard of doctrine for the Church of Scotland and many Presbyterian churches throughout the world. Several other denominations, including Baptists and Congregationalists, have used adaptations of the Westminster Confession of Faith as a basis for their own doctrinal statements. In each case, the Westminster Confession is considered subordinate to the Bible.

 

3 Basic Christian Beliefs

The Nature of God

Christians believe in one God, who exists in three persons, the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. There is only one God, and he will not share the glory of his essential nature with anyone.

know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.
— Deuteronomy 4:39
“You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. I am the Lord, and besides me there is no savior.
— Isaiah 43:10-11
Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god. Who is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and set it before me, since I appointed an ancient people. Let them declare what is to come, and what will happen. Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are my witnesses! Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any.”
— Isaiah 44:6-8
Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
— John 16:7-15
When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
— John 17:1-5

He is a holy God who will judge all wickedness

For behold, the Lord will come in fire, and his chariots like the whirlwind, to render his anger in fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire will the Lord enter into judgment, and by his sword, with all flesh; and those slain by the Lord shall be many. Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one in the midst, eating pig’s flesh and the abomination and mice, shall come to an end together, declares the Lord. For I know their works and their thoughts, and the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and shall see my glory, and I will set a sign among them. And from them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands far away, that have not heard my fame or seen my glory. And they shall declare my glory among the nations. And they shall bring all your brothers from all the nations as an offering to the Lord, on horses and in chariots and in litters and on mules and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the Lord, just as the Israelites bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord. And some of them also I will take for priests and for Levites, says the Lord. For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make
shall remain before me, says the Lord, so shall your offspring and your name remain. From new moon to new moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, declares the Lord. And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.
— Isaiah 66:15-24

Jesus is fully God in the same way that God the Father is God and should be worshiped as such

And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.
— Matthew 28:9
...that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not Honor the Father.
— John 5:23

The Nature of Salvation

 For biblical Christians, the whole point of salvation is union with God for HIS glory.

Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
— John 17:24

 Union with God and pardon of sin can only happen through justification by faith alone.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
— 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

This justification (being made right with God), and union with God, will then bring about a life of holiness and good works, as a response of obedience and gratitude, enabled by the power of the Holy Spirit

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.
— John 14:12

The Purpose of Man’s Life

The apostle Paul says:

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us
— Ephesians 1:4-8a

Furthermore, Revelation 19:6-10 depicts an eternal marriage at the end of world history between the “lamb” (Christ) and the church (followers of the lamb).

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure” for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said1 to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
— Revelation 19:6-10

Since marriage on this earth is only for this earth,

At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage, they will be like the angels in heaven
— Matthew 22:30

there must be something higher, something greater that we were created for.

They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God
— Ezekiel 37:23

To be with God as his gratefully redeemed people, and for him to be the Sovereign and sole delight of his redeemed is the best ending possible. It transcends temples made with human hands. It transcends all of our failing efforts to cleanse ourselves from sin. It transcends the man-centered religion that ends up worshiping the created, instead of the Creator. To know, to worship, to serve, and to love God forever, having been redeemed by his free grace, for his Glory alone — this is the ultimate purpose of the life of every human being.

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