Summary of Our Confession of Faith
A Summary of Our Confession of Faith
- WE BELIEVE that man’s supreme goal in life is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. We believe that God has given us his holy Word — the Bible — in order to teach us how we may achieve this purpose for which we were created and placed in this world. We believe the Bible to be infallible, having been produced by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in order that we may know with certainty what we are to believe concerning God and what duty he requires of us.
- WE BELIEVE that there is but one true and living God, and that he is a Spirit — infinite, eternal, and unsurpassed in all that he is. The Bible reveals that this one true God eternally exists in three Persons — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit — and that he is our Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier, and Judge. In the power and wisdom, righteousness, goodness, and truth of this glorious, sovereign God we may safely put our trust for this life and the next.
- WE BELIEVE that the heavens and the earth, and all that they contain, are the work of God’s creative Word in the space of six normal days; and that he directs and governs everything that happens in his creation, so that all things work together to fulfill his purpose.
- WE BELIEVE that God created man in his own image, in knowledge and righteousness, and entered into a special relationship of personal fellowship with him, which the Bible calls a “covenant.” In covenant with God man enjoyed the life-giving blessing of knowing, loving, and serving his Creator. We confess that it was by willfully sinning against God that our first parents, Adam and Eve, fell into the wicked and miserable condition into which each of us has subsequently been born.
- WE BELIEVE that, being identified in God’s eyes with Adam in his sin against God, we are by nature subject to the wrath and condemnation of God. Since our human nature is now corrupted in all parts and prone to evil, we confess that all men deserve eternal death. From this dreadful destiny we cannot be delivered, except through the gracious provision of God our Savior.
- WE BELIEVE that God has not left the world to its deserved judgment, but out of the great love wherewith he has loved it, he has from all eternity graciously chosen for himself a great multitude of men and women from every nation and people on earth. He has delivered them out of their sin and misery, through faith in Christ, and through the work of regeneration is bringing about a “new creation.”
- WE BELIEVE that God has purchased the salvation of his people through Jesus Christ our Lord who, though he was and ever continues to be the eternal Son of God, the second Person of the Trinity, yet took on a true and entire human nature, being born of a virgin named Mary. While remaining one Person, the God-Man, our Mediator, he came into our world to redeem sinful men. We believe that, though he was tempted to sin as we are, he never sinned, and was therefore perfectly righteous in thought, word, and deed. We believe that Jesus Christ fulfilled God’s redemptive plan by enduring the penalty due our sins in his own body on the cross as our substitute. We believe that we now belong to him because we were bought with the price of his blood, and have been presented by him to the Father to the praise of the glory of his grace forever.
- WE BELIEVE that God requires of us that, in response to hearing the good news that is proclaimed in Christ, out of a true sense of our sin and misery and appreciation of God’s mercy in Christ, we should turn with grief and hatred away from our sin and receive and rest upon Jesus Christ alone for salvation. In Christ we receive pardon for our sins, and are accepted as righteous in God’s sight, on the sole basis of the righteousness of Christ which is God’s gift to us, received by faith alone. We believe it is in this way alone that we may become, by adoption, children of God and share in the blessings of the family of God.
- WE BELIEVE that Jesus Christ our Redeemer, who died for our offenses, was raised again from the dead, and ascended into the heavens, where he sits at the right hand of the Father Almighty. There in glory he continually prays for his people as our High Priest, and governs the whole world as King for the sake of his Church. For this reason we need fear no evil, and may surely know that nothing can snatch us out of our heavenly Father’s hands, separate us from his love in Christ, or prevent his building of the Church on earth.
- WE BELIEVE that Christ’s gracious salvation is powerfully applied in the hearts and lives of all his people by the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity. As Christ’s agent the Holy Spirit sovereignly grants faith to us and thereby unites us to Christ, renews our whole nature after the image of God, and enables us more and more to turn away from sin and live holy lives. For those who belong to Christ by faith death has no more sting, but is our entry into glory, and on the last day, when Christ returns, we shall be raised from the dead and enter into the glory of eternal fellowship with God. As we continue to live in view of this great hope, we purify ourselves, just as he is pure.
- WE BELIEVE that, having been pardoned and accepted by God for Christ’s sake, it is further required of us that we live our lives in obedience to the will of God, which has been written for us in the Scriptures by the Holy Spirit, who is Christ’s gift to us. By the love of God with which the Spirit fills our hearts, we obey Christ our King, faithfully performing all the duties laid upon us by the holy Law of God, ever reflecting in our life and conduct the perfect example that has been set for us by Christ Jesus. It is now the delight of our renewed hearts, in gratitude to him who loved us and gave himself for us, to joyfully perform those good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.
- WE BELIEVE that God has established his Church in the world and endowed it with the preaching and teaching ministry of the Word for the building up of believers. He also gave the Church the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper to signify and strengthen the covenantal relationship that exists between God and his people. Finally, he called his Church to prayer as an ongoing expression of the personal fellowship which exists between the believer and God. We believe that it is through these means that the riches of God’s grace may be made known to the world, and the benefits of redemption enjoyed by those who receive them in faith. For this reason it is required of us that we join with the Church in its worship, fellowship, and discipline, and that we make full and faithful use of these means of grace so that through them we may be instructed and strengthened in faith, love, and holiness of life. We also acknowledge our responsibility to make our best efforts to carry this gospel and convey these means of grace to the whole world through the extension of the Church.
- WE BELIEVE that, as Jesus Christ has once come in grace, so also he will come a second time in glory, to pass judgment on every man and woman and assign to each person his eternal award. Our confident hope is that when we who trust in Christ die, our souls will become completely holy and enter the presence of the Lord until that day when he shall return in his majesty, at which time our bodies will be raised in glory and made perfectly blessed in the full enjoyment of God for all eternity in a new heavens and earth. Encouraged by this blessed hope it is required of us now, for a little while, willingly to take our part in suffering hardship as good soldiers of Christ Jesus, being assured that if we die with him, we shall also live with him, if we endure, we shall also reign with him.
Adapted by the Rev. Dr. Roger Wagner (Pastor, Bayview OPC, Chula Vista, CA) from B. B. Warfield, “A Brief and Untechnical Statement of the Reformed Faith,” in Collected Shorter Writings, Vol I, (1970 (1976), Nutley, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed), pp.407-410).