The Essentials: A Short Statement of Faith
All Scripture is self-attesting and being Truth, requires our unreserved submission in all areas of life. The infallible Word of God, the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, is a complete and unified witness to God's redemptive acts culminating in the incarnation of the Living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible, uniquely and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit, is the supreme and final authority on all matters on which it speaks. On this sure foundation we affirm these additional Essentials of our faith:
- We believe in one God, the sovereign Creator and Sustainer of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To Him be all honor, glory and praise forever!
- Jesus Christ, the living Word, became flesh through His miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit and His virgin birth. He who is true God became true man united in one Person forever. He died on the cross a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. On the third day He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, where, at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He now is our High Priest and Mediator.
- The Holy Spirit has come to glorify Christ and to apply the saving work of Christ to our hearts. He convicts us of sin and draws us to the Savior. Indwelling our hearts, He gives new life to us, empowers and imparts gifts to us for service. He instructs and guides us into all truth, and seals us for the day of redemption.
- Being estranged from God and condemned by our sinfulness, our salvation is wholly dependent upon the work of God's free grace. God credits His righteousness to those who put their faith in Christ alone for their salvation, thereby justifies them in His sight. Only such as are born of the Holy Spirit and receive Jesus Christ become children of God and heirs of eternal life.
- The true Church is composed of all persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit are united together in the body of Christ. The Church finds her visible, yet imperfect, expression in local congregations where the Word of God is preached in its purity and the sacraments are administered in their integrity; where scriptural discipline is practiced, and where loving fellowship is maintained. For her perfecting, she awaits the return of her Lord.
- Jesus Christ will come again to the earth-personally, visibly, and bodily-to judge the living and the dead, and to consummate history and the eternal plan of God. "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." (Rev. 22:20)
- The Lord Jesus Christ commands all believers to proclaim the Gospel throughout the world and to make disciples of all nations. Obedience to the Great Commission requires total commitment to "Him who loved us and gave Himself for us." He calls us to a life of self-denying love and service. "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." (Eph. 2:10)
The Westminster Confession of Faith in a printer-friendly pdf format can be downloaded here.
Statement on Marriage
Faith Church has also adopted the following statement on marriage:
Marriage is beautiful because God is glorious. God, in His infinite Trinitarian wisdom, created and ordained marriage to display the mysterious union of Christ and His Church (Ephesians 5:22-25). As the creator and author of marriage, God alone has the authority to define it. This He did in the second chapter of Genesis where God, having created both groom and bride, brought them together personally (2:22) and a benediction was pronounced over the couple; "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife and they shall become one flesh (2:24, ESV). For this reason, Christian believers do now hold”and have always held”that marriage is between one man and one woman; that it is sealed by the exchange of covenant vows; and that it is intended for the whole of natural life, until death.
On the Interpretation of Scripture
We Christian believers regard the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the inspired, inerrant, and infallible authority under which we live. We regard the clarity of Scripture to be sufficient for us to interpret the Bible accurately on matters of both faith and practice, using straightforward grammatical and historical principles. For this reason, we reject all attempts to obscure or "reread Biblical passages which abundantly state the parameters of human sexuality. Sexual relations are to be enjoyed as a gift, and exclusively, between a married man and his own wife alone (Exodus 20:14; Hebrews 13:4). Any alternate readings of Scripture that intentionally or unintentionally obscure this foundational Biblical presupposition are to be rejected.
On Sin and Grace
While it is true that Christians are called to hate transgression and iniquity, we find the sin within our own hearts”and not the sin of our neighbors”to be the most egregious of all. We lament and repent of our own sin first; be it in thought, word, or deed. We welcome those of all races, genders, ethnicities, and sexual inclinations to repent and believe in Jesus Christ and to worship in our churches. We sympathize with all who struggle in temptation, and exhort them to pursue "the obedience of faith and embrace the new life given to the Redeemed by the Holy Spirit. Accordingly, we continue to reject any and every sin that degrades God's glorious creation of marriage, including: adultery, fornication, rape, incest, homosexuality, polygamy, lust, pornography, coercive abstinence while in the state of marriage, and all forms of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. Christians are called to love”and not hate”our enemies and those who persecute us (Matt 5:44). Thus, we utterly disregard any attempt to mischaracterize our convictions on the above matters as "hate speech, for to tell the truth on these matters is indeed a most loving and gracious act.
On Human Laws and Ordinances
Moreover, mankind can pass no law that redefines marriage any more than mortal man can pass a law that declares the light of the sun to be dark, or the gravity of the earth to be ceased. Though various laws may be passed by the agency of human pen and ink; or judgments rendered from human courts (higher or lower); yet human beings have not the prerogative, now or ever, to alter, change, or redefine marriage.
On Civil Disobedience
Finally, then, Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church stands firm in our convictions on these matters and refuse to take any such actions as would compel us to violate either Scripture or conscience--even if so compelled by civil law--for "to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Amen.