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 Jesus 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.
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 written word of God. The Bible is the sole and final authority for faith and practice.
SOLUS CHRISTUS: Christ alone is the eternal Son of God who lived a sinless life and offered himself as a sacrifice to take away the guilt and punishment of sin. Man is unable to work or pay enough to reconcile with 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 just 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 instrument of our salvation. Faith is a gift bestowed upon us in Christ for our salvation. God justifies sinners (declares 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 and that are consistent with the principles of His word.
The Westminster Confession of Faith
The Westminster Confession of Faith was first published in 1647 and adopted by The First General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America in 1973, along with the Larger Catechism and the Shorter Catechism. Together, these are a thorough statement of the essential doctrinal standards of the church.
These statements of faith are not a relic of the past, but rather represent the timeless teachings of the Bible. The Bible is full of wisdom and truth and relevant to the real lives of real people today.
The Constitution of the Presbyterian Church in America, which is subject to and subordinate to the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, the inerrant Word Of God, consists of its doctrinal standards set forth in the Westminster Confession of Faith, together with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, and the Book of Church Order, comprising the Form of Government, the Rules of Discipline and the Directory for Worship; all as adopted by the Church.