Biblical and Confessional
We believe that the Bible, contained in the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, is the inspired, inerrant, infallible, living, and all-sufficient Word of God. By the sovereign power of the Holy Spirit, God’s Word is the primary means by which the elect are united to the risen Christ and thereafter, in Him, nourished unto eternal life. The Bible alone is the sole rule for our faith and practice. What we believe about the Bible, however, is contained in the subordinate standards of the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms (1646). These documents, though not infallible, are a sound interpretation of biblical doctrine and a faithful expression of the historic Christian faith. In addition, we believe, and publicly confess each Lord’s Day, the words of the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds.
We believe that the Bible teaches a Presbyterian form of church government. The word Presbyterian is derived from the Greek word for elder (presbuteros). The Apostle Paul, in the pastoral epistles, not only gave explicit direction for the appointment of a plurality of elders in every church (i.e., Titus 1:5; Acts 20:17), but, in addition, provided clear qualifications for the office of elder (I Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9). We understand the office of elder to be divided into two distinctive roles, that of ruling elder and teaching elder or pastor (I Timothy 5:17). Both ruling and teaching elders are responsible to provide loving and encouraging spiritual oversight for every member of the flock (I Peter 5:1-3). However, the teaching elder or pastor is called, in particular, to “work hard at preaching and teaching” (I Timothy 5:17).
Under a Presbyterian or representative form of government, members of the local church are accountable to their session of elders, sessions are accountable to their local presbytery, and presbyteries are accountable to the General Assembly (c.f. Acts 15). In a day when moral and doctrinal oversight and accountability is rare in the church, God’s prescribed form of shepherding His people exalts His divine wisdom and care. The Apostle Paul charged the Ephesian elders to “pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood” (Acts 20:28).
We refer to ourselves as Reformed because our church and denomination (PCA) are confessionally and historically rooted in the sixteenth century Protestant Reformation. Under the spiritual leadership of men such as Martin Luther, John Knox, Ulrich Zwingli, and John Calvin, who sought to reform the church by bringing it back to the foundations of biblical Christianity, hundreds of thousands of people from all across Europe broke away from the doctrinal errors and moral corruptions of the Roman Catholic Church. Out of the teaching of the Reformers five slogans emerged that provide a summary of the “protest” against Rome. The five slogans teach that: 1. Salvation is by grace alone (sola gratia); 2. Salvation is through faith alone (sola fide); 3. Salvation is in Christ alone (solus Christus); 4. The Bible alone is the Word of God (sola Scriptura); and finally, 5. To God alone be the glory (soli Deo gloria).
Furthermore, we are Reformed because we hold a high view of the work of called, trained, and ordained leadership in the life of the local church. As the ordained leadership shepherd and feed the flock through spiritual oversight, discipline, doctrine, preaching, prayer, and the right administration of the sacraments (baptism and the Lord’s Supper), God promises to bless His redeemed children with growth in grace.
Our Biblical, Confessional, Presbyterian, and Reformed beliefs are meant to unite, not divide, Christians under the banner of a robust, loving, humble, warm-hearted, pious, repentant, Christ-centered, Spirit-filled, God-exalting, kingdom-advancing body of believers. We believe in a warm and positive expression of the Reformed Faith, that is, one that promotes and defends sound doctrine while at the same time exhibits sincere love, joy, humility, patience, and kindness.