As a church, our doctrinal beliefs are published in the Westminster Confession of Faith, Westminster Larger Catechism, and Westminster Shorter Catechism. These documents were produced by the Westminster Assembly from 1643-1647. They are an excellent summary of biblical truth, and along with our PCA Book of Church Order they serve as our church’s constitution. This constitution is the system of fundamental beliefs we share in common, the outline of basic principles that govern our church, and a valuable aid to unity. The Standards summarize those truths and articulate those principles that we as a people cherish together. They also serve as a useful tool in the religious and theological training of disciples. Moreover, they serve as a guardian to help protect God’s people from error, tyranny, and sin because all church officers must sincerely receive and adopt them as containing the system of doctrine taught in the Bible. The officers are accountable to maintain nothing in belief or practice that contradicts them.
Briefly stated, we believe the Bible is the very Word of God. The Scriptures are holy and God-breathed. Everything we believe and do as a church is derived in one way or another from this sacred book. Most importantly, it is in those divinely-inspired pages that one can become acquainted with Jesus Christ, whom to know is eternal life (John 17:3).
The Bible teaches that God is one God in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is all-knowing, all-powerful, and everywhere present, as well as holy, loving, merciful, gracious, and abounding in goodness and truth. Everything came into being by His power, and He preserves and maintains the whole world. He has even numbered all the hairs on our heads! (Mt 10:30).
In the beginning He created man, both male and female, Adam and Eve, after His own image, i.e., holy and righteous. However Adam disobeyed God, and his sin brought the curse of death upon mankind (Rom 5:12). As a result, not a day goes by without a funeral. Death is all around us, and we will die too. After this comes the final judgment, and no one can be rescued from wrath apart from God’s grace.
Thankfully, He doesn’t leave everyone to perish in sin. Out of His mere love and mercy He delivers from everlasting wrath and death all who believe in Jesus Christ. He is the eternal Son of God who was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary, and was born in Bethlehem roughly 2000 years ago. He voluntarily took the place of every believer in suffering the curse of death on the cross. Whoever believes in Him and trusts Him as both Lord and Savior may die in peace and never suffer under God’s eternal punishment (Jn 3:16; 8:24). Believers receive forgiveness of sins and acceptance with God.
It is comforting to know that God the Holy Spirit is at work in the world convicting people of sin (Jn 16:8), changing hearts, enabling many to believe in Christ (Jn 3:8), and building up believers in faith (Acts 20:32; 1Cor 6:11). Neither Christians nor non-Christians are perfect. We all sin every day. But the Holy Spirit helps believers grow more and more in faith and holiness so that by His power they become increasingly more loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled.
The Spirit does this primarily through the ministry of the Church. Through this ministry He makes known the message of Jesus and gives grace to His people. This is one reason why believers should join themselves to a local church, where they can receive spiritual nourishment, be instructed in the faith, and enjoy the encouragement of other Christians.
History will conclude when Jesus comes again at that last day in power and glory. On that day both believers and unbelievers will be resurrected. The very same bodies that were laid in the grave will then be raised up by Christ, and He will judge all people according to what they have thought, said, and done while living on this earth (Rom 2:6). That judgment will be so specific that we will have to give an account of every careless word we have spoken! (Mt 12:36). Believers will be received into heaven. Unbelievers will be sent to hell where “there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Mt 8:12).
This is a brief overview of what we believe, but it is enough to give an idea of what guides, governs, and undergirds our church. We invite you to visit us for worship and give us an opportunity to meet you!