We believe that the Bible is the inspired and inerrant Word of God. As such, it is our final authority in all matters of faith and practice. However, not all have come to the same conclusion as to what the Bible actually teaches, so we think that it is helpful to summarize what we believe in written form.
In the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, we hold to the system of doctrine expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith, as well as the Larger and Shorter Catechisms. These documents, originally written in the 1600s, are the fullest and clearest statement of what our church believes.
In brief, as a church in the Reformed tradition, our doctrine is:
- Biblical: We believe that the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments are the inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God, written down by men “as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:21). Through this Word, God has revealed himself and his holy will. Therefore, we look to the Scriptures to guide us in all matters pertaining to doctrine and life.
- God-centered: We believe in one God who eternally and unchangingly exists in three Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This God powerfully created the world and everything in it, providentially sustains it in accordance with his eternal decree, and compassionately redeems a sinful people through the work of Christ. This is the sovereign God whom we worship and serve.
- Christ-exalting: We believe that in the incarnation, the eternally begotten Son of God took on human flesh and dwelt among us. He did this in love, because Adam’s sin in the Garden brought death and destruction into the world. Since that time, every man, woman, and child has been born into that judgment-deserving state of sin… Except for Christ! Jesus Christ was born sinless and remained perfectly obedient to his Father throughout his life. Then, in his death, he offered himself up to die on a cross in order to make atonement for sin, as a shepherd laying down his life for his sheep. Consequently, the only way to come to the Father is through faith in the risen and exalted Christ, as the Spirit applies the benefits of his atonement to us.
- Covenantal: We believe that our relationship to God is covenantal in nature. This is why, even though “covenant” is an unfamiliar term to many today, the Bible does not shy away from the concept. The first such expression of this formalized, covenantal relationship is found in the Garden, as God establishes a covenant with Adam, promising life upon the condition of obedience and death upon the condition of disobedience. However, as Genesis makes clear, Adam became a covenant-breaker and came under the sentence of death. Nevertheless, in order to bring about the salvation of sinful men, the Lord also instituted a covenant of grace. This covenant, given in seed form in Genesis 3:15, includes the various covenantal administrations described throughout history of redemption (the Abrahamic, Noahic, Mosaic, Davidic, and New Covenants). As those saved by Christ, the Mediator of this covenant of grace, we are constituted as the Church, his covenant people. The centrality of this covenant concept has implications for our doctrine, practice, and worship.
- Expectant: We believe that the same Christ who took on flesh is coming again to consummate all things on the Last Day. On that day, the Kingdom which was inaugurated by Christ during his earthly ministry will reach its final, perfected state. On that day, Christ will judge his enemies and usher his bride into the new heavens and new earth where she will dwell in God’s presence forevermore. Therefore, we eagerly await his return, seeking to proclaim the gospel and live obediently until he comes.