What We Believe
What do Presbyterians believe?
Presbyterians believe in God. We trust in God, the majestic, holy God who creates, sustains, rules, and redeems the world, made known to us in Scripture as the Creator, Christ, and Holy Spirit.
Presbyterians believe in Scripture. Scripture is the sacred story of God and God’s people. The Bible is a unique and authoritative guide for how to live and what to believe. Scripture is at the center of our worship service, and the sermon is meant to help us understand what Scripture says to us today. Scripture is open to all, not just to preachers and scholars, all are given the gift of Scripture and invited to read and interpret its meaning.
Presbyterians believe in community. We believe that people cannot follow Christ apart from community. We need each other—one another’s support, correction and encouragement—in order to fully live into the people God calls us to be. We are committed to one another, even in the face of conflict, and we practice forgiveness. The community of faith is a gift from God, sustained by the power of the Holy Spirit to follow Christ in the world.
Presbyterians believe in reformation. Ecclesia reformata, simper reformanda. That is, the church reformed, always being reformed. The church is open to change, aware that God’s truth reveals itself in new ways and that the church of the future won’t necessarily look like the church of the past. At the same time, we honor the history from which we come and believe there is value in tradition. In reforming, we look always to Scripture as we take the best of what tradition has to offer and imagine what church looks like in our particular time and place.
Presbyterians believe in evangelism. We tell the story of God made known in Jesus Christ, we share it with joy and we believe the good news has the power to transform our lives and the whole world over. We follow the Great Commission,” to go therefore and make disciples of all the nations in every time and place.” We give thanks for the truth made known to us, and we celebrate that we are not the exclusive holders of God’s truth.
Presbyterians believe in justice. Our faith compels us to go out into the world and work for the Kingdom of Heaven made known here on earth. We follow Christ in his mission and ministry: preaching good news to the poor, release to the captives, teaching by word and deed and blessing the children, healing the sick and binding up the brokenhearted, eating with outcasts, forgiving sinners, and calling all to repent and believe the gospel.
Presbyterians believe in church. We believe the church is meant to be the people of God who serve God in this world through Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. The purposes of the church are to proclaim the gospel (that is, the “good news”), to shelter and nurture the children of God, to worship God, to preserve the truth, to promote social justice, and to model the Kingdom of God for the world.