What Presbyterians Believe
The strength of Presbyterianism lies in its central loyalty to the Scriptures...that only in the Bible may we find what we must believe about God, His works and His ways.
Every Presbyterian belief is measured by one basic truth about God: He is sovereign in all things. The doctrine of sovereignty teaches that God governs His creation, His creatures ad all their actions.
Presbyterians believe that everything happens according to God's will. Nothing can come to anyone that God does not allow for his own purposes and glory.
Life's highest privilege and meaning comes in serving the sovereign God who created us and sustains us.
Presbyterians believe that all people are sinners as a the result of Adam's sin, and we are so stained by inborn sin that, if left to our natural inclinations, we would inevitably turn to evil. Presbyterians call this view of human nature "original sin" because human imperfection-sin-taints every facet of our personalities. The Presbyterian doctrine of total depravity teaches that humanity is inevitably (originally) and altogether (totally) marked by sin on account of Adam's fall. The doctrine of total depravity also describes humanity's helplessness.
Presbyterians believe that God provides the knowledge of and acceptance of Jesus Christ, which leads to salvation.
Presbyterians believe that God provides the knowledge of acceptance of Jesus Christ, which leads to salvation.
Presbyterians do not pretend to understand God's election of some to salvation. We cannot fathom the mysteries of His will, but w know that without Him, we would not be where we are. This is the doctrine of election. This doctrine is dear to Presbyterians because it honors Gods sovereignty in all human affairs and because it assures those who trust the Lord Jesus Christ in that no dependence on themselves can do.
The Holy Spirit not only makes a child of sin to become a child of God; He also leads the new believer into a new way of life which is in conformity to the will of God into holiness of life in Sanctification.
Presbyterians believe in the holy catholic church; the universal unity of Christ's Body in time and eternity; as a vine and its branches comprise a single Body, the church universal.
Presbyterians believe in two sacraments or sacred rituals: baptism and the Lord's Supper. As the Holy Spirit does not dwell in the pages of a book. so grace does not reside intrinsically in the sacraments but comes to the believer who receives them in faith.
Presbyterians believe the Sacrament of Baptism signifies and seal's God's covenant promise to be a Father to His own and to their children.
Presbyterians believe as God's Word conveys graces by providing opportunities for the Holy Spirit to speak to human hearts, the Lord's Supper conveys benefits of the death and resurrection of Christ to believers who receive the sacrament in faith.
Presbyterians believe that the Lord's Supper is not owned or controlled by any person, congregations, sect or denomination. It is the Lord's. We come as guests of Him who issues the invitation and who distributes His benefits according to His will, so we do not believe that we can grant or withhold the dispensation of grace. We have no authority to bar any believing Christian from being fed by Christ at His table, so we practice open Communion.
Presbyterians believe in the literal return of Jesus Christ to "judge mean and angels and the end of the world"
The Presbyterians Church is a confessing church. While Scriptures remain our final authority in matters of faith and practice, we affirm that the church of Jesus Christ has produced powerful, abbreviated statement so of faith to guide and instruct the faithful over the past 2,000 years.
Presbyterians believe that in life and death, we belong to God. We trust in Jesus Christ, fully human, fully God.
Presbyterians believe we deserve God's condemnation. Yet God acts with justice and mercy to redeem creation.
Presbyterians affirm that Jesus Christ alone is head of the church. In all things, it is Christ's will that we seek to guide and govern the church.
Presbyterians are distinctive in two major ways: we adhere to a pattern of religious thought known as Reformed Theology and a form of government that stresses the active, representational leadership of both ministers and church members.
Theology is a way of thinking about God and God's relation to the world. Presbyterians believe that God elects His people for service as well as for salvation, and, we believe a faithful stewardship that shuns ostentation and seeks proper use of the Gift of God's creation.
Reformed theologian John Calvin developed the Presbyterian pattern of church government, which vests authority primarily in elected laypersons known as elders. The word Presbyterian comes from "presbyteros" the Greek word for elder.
The body of elders elected to govern a particular congregation is called a session. These elders are elected by the congregation, and their primary charge is to seek to discover and represent the will of Christ as they govern. Presbyterian elders are both elected and ordained. Through ordination they are officially set apart for service; they retain their ordination beyond their term in office.
The sessions is the smallest, most local governing body. Other governing bodies are Presbyteries, which are composed of several churches; Synods, which are composed of several Presbyteries, and the General Assembly, which represents the entire denomination.
Quite simply, a Presbyterian person is a Christian who is a member of a Presbyterian church as described above. That person has publicly professed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, and they become a vital part of a local church where they join regularly for worship, fellowship and service. All Presbyterian church members are Christians who demonstrate sincere faith and place themselves under the accountability of church elders so that they can worship, grow and serve the church.