What We Believe
A Summary of the Beliefs of the Presbyterian Church in America
We believe the Bible is the written word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit and without error in the original manuscripts. The Bible is the revelation of God’s truth and is infallible and authoritative in all matters of faith and practice.
We believe in the Holy Trinity. There is one God, who exists eternally in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
We believe that all are sinners and totally unable to save themselves from God’s displeasure, except by His mercy.
We believe that salvation is by God alone as He sovereignly chooses those He will save.
We believe His choice is based on His grace, not on any human individual merit, or foreseen faith.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, who through His perfect life and sacrificial death atoned for the sins of all who will trust in Him, alone, for salvation.
We believe that God is gracious and faithful to His people not simply as individuals but as families in successive generations according to His Covenant promises.
We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells God’s people and gives them the strength and wisdom to trust Christ and follow Him.
We believe that Jesus will return, bodily and visibly, to judge all mankind and to receive His people to Himself.
We believe that all aspects of our lives are to be lived to the glory of God under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
While some denominations have turned away from historic, Biblical Christianity, it is our commitment to stand firmly for the truth of the gospel. In the Sixteenth century, the Protestant Reformers summarized these core convictions in five Latin phrases that are as relevant today as they were then:
SOLA SCRIPTURA: Scripture alone is the word of God. Only the Bible is the written revelation of God and of His will for us.
SOLUS CHRISTUS: Christ alone is the eternal Son of God whose sinless life and atoning death redeem us for God. Christ alone has accomplished all that is necessary for our salvation and eternal life is found in no one else but Christ.
SOLA GRATIA: God’s grace alone saves us from God’s wrath through the death of Jesus Christ. Salvation is not in any sense a human work or accomplishment but is totally and completely the gift of God.
SOLA FIDE: Faith alone—apart from all human work or merit—is the basis of our salvation. Faith is a gift bestowed upon us in Christ for our salvation. God justifies sinners (makes them right with Himself) by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone.
SOLI DEO GLORIA: God’s glory alone is to be the purpose for which we live and the aim of our worship. We believe worship should affect daily life. For this reason, we seek to focus on God in our worship rather than entertainment values or personal needs. The Church gathers on the Lord’s Day to rejoice in the mighty acts of God and to worship Him in ways He has commanded or that are consistent with the principles of His word.
The Westminster Confession of Faith
The Westminster Confession of Faith, first published in 1647, is a thorough statement of what we believe the Bible teaches and serves as our confession of faith, but our faith is not a relic of the past. It is full of wisdom and truth and relevant to the real lives of real people.