Beliefs of Westminster Presbyterian Church
- Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior and the Head of the Church.
- God is the One God, Sovereign God of the universe.
- The Holy Spirit is God's helper, God's Spirit in the present day.
- We believe the Scripture is the unique and authoritative witness of what God is saying to humanity.
- We believe that humans sin and and that all creation is laced with sin.
- This tragic fact separates us from knowing fully the love, peace, and justice of God our Creator.
- We are saved from our sin and ultimately from death by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- This is not our own accomplishment, but God's.
- We celebrate two sacraments as signs of God's grace: Baptism and the Lord's Supper .
- We baptize with water.
- We practice both infant and adult baptism, and believe that you only need to be baptized once. Baptism is a public sign of belonging to Christ.
- We celebrate the Lord's Supper as sign of His presence with us and a foretaste of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Excerpts of the Study Catechism. The full version may be accessed at PC USA's site. [approved by the 210th General Assembly (1998)] [Biblical citations added for reference]
Question 1. What is God's purpose for your life?
God wills that I should live by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, for the love of God, and in the communion of the Holy Spirit. 2 Cor. 13:13 "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you."
Question 2. How do you live by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ?
I am not my own. I have been bought with a price. The Lord Jesus Christ loved me and gave himself for me. I entrust myself completely to his care, giving thanks each day for his wonderful goodness. 1 Cor. 6:19-20 "You are not your own for you were bought with a price" Gal. 2:20 "And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Ps. 136:1 "O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever."
Question 3. How do you live for the love of God?
I love because God first loved me. God loves me in Christ with a love that never ends. Amazed by grace, I no longer live for myself. I live for the Lord who died and rose again, triumphant over death, for my sake. Therefore, I take those around me to heart, especially those in particular need, knowing that Christ died for them no less than for me. 1 John 4:19 "We love because he first loved us." 2 Cor. 5:15 "And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them." Rom. 12:15-16 "Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are."
Question 4. How do you live in the communion of the Holy Spirit?
By the Holy Spirit, I am made one with the Lord Jesus Christ. I am baptized into Christ's body, the church, along with all others who confess him by faith. As a member of this community, I trust in God's Word, share in the Lord's Supper, and turn to God constantly in prayer. As I grow in grace and knowledge, I am led to do the good works that God intends for my life. 1 Cor. 12:27 "Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it." Gal. 3:27 "As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ." 1 Cor. 6:17, 19 "But anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God?" 2 Pet. 3:18 "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." Eph. 2:10 "For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life." I. The Apostles' Creed
Question 5. What does a Christian believe?
All that is promised in the gospel. A summary is found in the Apostles' Creed, which affirms the main content of the Christian faith. John 20:31 "But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name."
Question 6. What is the first article of the Apostles' Creed?
"I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth."
Question 7. What do you believe when you confess your faith in "God the Father Almighty"?
That God is a God of love, and that God's love is powerful beyond measure. Lam. 3:22 "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end." Song 8:7 "Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If one offered for love all the wealth of one's house, it would be utterly scorned." 1 John 4:8 "Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love."
Question 8. How do you understand the love and power of God?
Through Jesus Christ. In his life of compassion, his death on the cross, and his resurrection from the dead, I see how vast is God's love for the world -- a love that is ready to suffer for our sakes, yet so strong that nothing will prevail against it. John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life." Heb. 1:3 "He is the reflection of God's glory and the exact imprint of God's very being." 1 John 4:9 "God's love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him." Matt. 9:36 "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Ps. 106:8 "Yet he saved them for his name's sake, so that he might make known his mighty power."
Question 9. What comfort do you receive from this truth?
This powerful and loving God is the one whose promises I may trust in all the circumstances of my life, and to whom I belong in life and in death. Ps. 12:6 "The promises of the Lord are promises that are pure, silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times." Rom. 8:38-39 "For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Question 10. Do you make this confession only as an individual?
No. With the apostles, prophets and martyrs, with all those through the ages who have loved the Lord Jesus Christ, and with all who strive to serve him on earth here and now, I confess my faith in the God of loving power and powerful love. Heb. 12:1 "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us." Rom. 1:12 "So that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine."