What We Believe
Presbyterian USA Philosophy
The beliefs and practices set forth by the Presbyterian Church have their roots in the teachings of John Calvin, a 16th-century French reformer. Calvin’s theology was similar to Martin Luther’s. He agreed with the father of the Protestant Reformation on the doctrines of original sin, justification by faith alone, the priesthood of all believers and the sole authority of the Scriptures. Where Calvin distinguishes himself theologically, is with his doctrines of predestination and eternal security.
The Presbyterian Constitution
The official creeds, confessions, and beliefs of the Presbyterian Church, including, the Nicene Creed, the Apostles’ Creed, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Westminster Confession of faith, are all contained within a document called the Book of Confessions. The end of this constitution is an article of faith, which outlines the major beliefs of this denomination, which is part of the Reformed tradition.
The Book of Confessions presents the following beliefs for the Presbyterian faithful to follow: The Trinity – We trust in the one triune God, the Holy One of Israel, whom alone we worship and serve.
Jesus Christ Is God – We trust in Jesus Christ, fully human, fully God. The Authority of Scripture – Our knowledge of God and God’s purpose for humanity comes from the Bible, particularly what is revealed in the New Testament through the life of Jesus Christ. Justification b Grace through Faith – Our salvation (justification) through Jesus is God’s generous gift to us and not the result of our own accomplishments.
Confessions of Faith
“I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; He descended into hell; on the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from there He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.”