Affirmation of Faith
We confess our adherence to the following foundational truths expressed in Scripture and in the confessions of the Presbyterian Church (USA)[i].
1. WE CONFESS SALVATION ONLY THROUGH JESUS CHRIST.
We believe in Jesus Christ, "who for us and for our salvation came down from heaven,”[ii] and "is the way, the truth, and the life."[iii] We believe Jesus "is the only Savior of the world,”[iv] and that His life, death, and resurrection are the sole means of intimacy with God.[v] Our salvation is completely dependent upon the work of God's free grace by which God credits Christ's righteousness to those who trust in Him. We believe that salvation is the will of the Father for us, [vi] and that the Holy Spirit opens us to receive this salvation that is offered through Jesus Christ.[vii] Consequently, we acknowledge that "there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved."[viii]
2. WE CONFESS THE AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE.
We believe the Scriptures were "given by the inspiration of God, to be the rule of faith and life,”[ix] and consequently, are the authoritative witness for the church to teach, rebuke, correct, and train us in all areas of life.[x] We believe the "canonical Scriptures of the holy prophets and apostles of both Testaments to be the true Word of God and have sufficient authority of themselves."[xi] Hence, we do not correct the Bible, but through study, prayer and reflection allow God's word, by the work of the Holy Spirit, to correct and instruct us.[xii] These Scriptures are a complete and unified testimony of God's saving activity culminating in the Incarnate Word of God, Jesus Christ. As the ages pass, the Bible continues to be the standard by which we judge all other revelations and understandings of God.[xiii]
3. WE CONFESS GOD'S CALL TO HOLINESS.
We believe "that truth.. .promote[s] holiness, according to our Savior's rule, 'By their fruits ye shall know them.’”[xiv] The church is called to be a "holy nation"[xv] and "to be holy" as God is holy.[xvi] The standard of holiness is God revealed in Jesus Christ. The source of our knowledge of sin is God’s revealed and written Word. We are called to "set our hearts on things above" and to "put to death whatever belongs to our earthly nature."[xvii] Consequently, we dedicate ourselves and urge others to identify the sin that we find in our lives, and to repent of it. We profess that we cannot overcome sin except by the power of the Holy Spirit[xviii] and that, through the Spirit, we must endeavor to do so. In particular, we affirm that "anarchy in sexual relationships is a symptom of [our] alienation from God, neighbor, and self” and that "the church. ..is called to lead [people] out of this alienation and into the responsible freedom of the new life in Christ."[xix] We believe that God has provided for sexual intimacy only within the marriage relationship between one man and one woman.[xx] Called to speak the truth in love, [xxi] the church must always be mindful that it must show "the compassion of Christ to those caught in the moral confusion of our time."[xxii]
(Adopted by the Beaver-Butler Presbytery January 26, 2002)
(Adopted by our Session)
[i] Confession of 1967 9.02.
[ii] Nicene Creed.
[iii] John 14:6
[iv] Second Helvetic Confession 5.077. See Romans 5: 12-21 and Hebrews 9: 15-28.
[v] See John 10: 7-18
[vi] 1 Timothy 2: 3-6
[vii] Romans 8: 9-11
[viii] Acts 4: 12, see also Heidelberg Catechism 4.029.
[ix] Westminster Confession of Faith 6.002.
[x] 2 Timothy 3: 16.
[xi] Second Helvetic Confession 5.001. See also Scots Confession 3.19.
[xii] See Psalm 19: 7-11, Psalm 119: 105, Hebrews 4: 12, and James 1: 22-25.
[xiii] Confession of 1967, 9.27. See also Theological Declaration of Barmen, 8.04.
[xv] 1 Peter 2: 9
[xvi] 1 Peter 1: 15. See also Matthew 5: 48
[xvii] Colossians 3: 1-10. See also Romans 6: 1-2, 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11, Galatians 5: 16-26, Ephesians 5: 8-10, and 1 Thessalonians 4: 3-8.
[xviii] 1 Corinthians 3: 16, Galatians 5: 16-21, 1 John 4:4.
[xix] Confession of 1967 9.47. See also 1 Corinthians 6: 18-20, Heidelberg Catechism 4.087 and Shorter and Larger Catechisms 7.070-072, 7.248-249.
[xx] Genesis 2: 18-25, Proverbs 5: 15-20, Matthew 19: 4-6, 1 Corinthians 7: 1-5. See also Heidelberg Catechism 4.108 and Second Helvetic Confession 5.246.
[xxi] Ephesians 4: 15.
[xxii] Confession of 1967 9.47.