Calvary Orthodox Presbyterian Church
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
To know Christ and to make Him known.
What We Believe
Calvary Orthodox Presbyterian Church (Cedar Grove) confesses the Bible to be the Word of God, and therefore has made it our first and final authority in faith and practice. We are steadfastly committed to the glory of God. We have seen His hand guide, protect, and even reprove us in the seventy-plus years of our existence. Our congregation was born out of persecution for the sake of the Gospel, nurtured in adversity, and strengthened as we sought (and continue to seek) to fulfill Christ’s commission. We strive to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, our Savior and Lord, and the Pioneer and Perfecter of our faith. By the strength of the Holy Spirit we endeavor to live righteously in full obedience to His holy Word.
Our system of doctrine is the Reformed Faith, sometimes popularly called Calvinism (because John Calvin was the most significant exponent of it during the Reformation). It brings together the most significant teachings of the Bible. These doctrines are set forth in our confessional standards: the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Larger Catechism and the Shorter Catechism (all with accompanying biblical references). Our system of doctrine is summarized in the following paragraphs:
· The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, having been inspired by God, are entirely trustworthy and without error. Therefore, we must believe and obey its teachings. The Bible is the only source of special revelation for the Church today.
· The one true and eternal God is personal, yet beyond our comprehension. He is an invisible spirit, completely self-sufficient and unbounded by space or time, perfectly holy and just, and loving and merciful. In the unity of the Godhead there are three “persons”: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
· God created the heavens and the earth, and all they contain. He upholds and governs them in accordance with His eternal will. God is sovereign (in complete control) yet this does not diminish human responsibility.
· Because of the sin of the first man, Adam, all mankind is corrupt by nature, dead in sin, and subject to the wrath of God. But God determined, by a covenant of grace, that sinners may receive full forgiveness and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. Faith in Christ has always been the only way of salvation, in both Old Testament and New Testament times.
· The Son of God took upon Himself a human nature in the womb of the virgin Mary, so that in her son Jesus the divine and human natures were united in one person. Jesus Christ lived a sinless life and died on a cross, bearing the sins of, and receiving God’s wrath for, all those who trust in Him for salvation (His chosen ones). He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, where he sits as Lord and rules over His kingdom (the church). He will return to judge the living and the dead, bringing His people (with glorious, resurrected bodies) into eternal life, and consigning the wicked to eternal punishment.
· Those whom God has predestined unto life are effectually drawn to Christ by the inner working of the Holy Spirit as they hear the Gospel. When they believe in Christ, God declares them righteous (justifies them), pardoning their sins and accepting them as holy, not because of any righteousness of their own, but by imputing Christ’s righteousness to them. They are adopted as the children of God and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, Who regenerates and sanctifies them, enabling them increasingly to stop sinning and act righteously. They repent of their sins (both at their conversion and thereafter), produce good works in love as the fruit of their faith, and persevere to the end in communion with Christ, with assurance of their salvation.
· Believers strive to keep God’s moral law – summarized in the Ten Commandments- not to earn salvation, but because they love their Savior and desire to obey Him. God is the Lord of the conscience, so that men are not required to believe or do anything contrary to , or in addition to, the Word of God in any matters of faith and worship.
· Christ has established his Church, and particular churches, to gather and perfect His people, by means of the Ministry of the Word, the Sacraments of Baptism (which is to be administered to the children of believers, as well as to believers) and the Lord’s Supper (in which the body and blood of Christ are spiritually present to the faith of believers) and the Discipline of Members found delinquent in doctrine or life. Christians assemble on the Lord’s Day to worship God by praying, hearing the Word of God read and preached, singing psalms and hymns, and receiving the Sacraments.
“To Him alone be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”