Doctrine and Practice
Core Doctrines and Practices
We hold to the early ecumenical Church creeds (Apostles, Nicene, Chalcedonian) and the Westminster Standards – the Westminster Confession of Faith, Shorter Catechism, and Larger Catechism. Our most fundamental identity and commitment is “Christian.” As “presbyterian” and Reformed Christians, we are confidently committed to the historic doctrines of Biblical Reformed Christian faith, including the five “solas” of the Reformation, the doctrines of grace (TULIP), covenant theology, and presbyterian church polity (i.e. shepherding and governance of local churches by a plurality of local elders in connected mutual service with and submission to our wider denominational presbytery of elders). In addition to this, we are also family/generationally-integrated in our congregational worship and life, we celebrate covenant baptism and weekly covenant communion, we hold to a literal six-day creation of all things, and we believe in God’s priority and promises of covenant succession (i.e. Christian parents laboring by faith and confident hope in our faithful God to raise children of faith for God). Lastly, as a local congregation of the one, holy, catholic (worldwide), and apostolic Church that Jesus is building (Matthew 16:18), we are committed to living as a chosen, consecrated, connected, confessional, confessing, covenanted, commissioned, conquering, compassionate, and charitable Christian assembly (ekklesia) and community (koinonia), in affections, words, and deeds.
Here are several vital foundational doctrinal truths we affirm:
The Inspiration, Inerrancy, and Infallibility of the Holy Scriptures
We believe the Bible is God’s Word, completely trustworthy and without error in every word, detail and affirmation. It is the ultimate and final authority for all that we believe and practice in life.
The Bible teaches that one living and personal God exists eternally in three persons: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Bible teaches that man is created gloriously in the image of their creator to enjoy God and honor Him in their entirety. The human race, however, is estranged from its creator through the overwhelming power of sin. Left to ourselves, we would not fulfill the magnificent purpose for which we were created, but instead perish forever.
The Person of Jesus Christ
God the Son took on human flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. He lived a sinless life, obeying God’s law completely, suffered and died on the cross of Calvary, and then was physically raised on the third day. He did all this to accomplish the salvation of his people.
Salvation is received by faith in Jesus Christ alone, not by good works (though good works are evidence of a transformed life). Through Jesus’ active and passive obedience, Christ has fulfilled all righteousness and merited salvation for His people, imputed to them freely by faith through the Holy Spirit. Further, we affirm the fundamental truth that a person’s justification in God’s sight comes by faith alone, which is itself, a gift from God, not of works lest any man should boast.
In obedience to the Holy Scriptures, all who profess faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, as well as their children, are to be baptized. While this baptism identifies the baptized as disciples of Christ, it does not guarantee that the baptized are regenerate. However, it is a sign and seal of God’s true love, mercy, and promised covenantal faithfulness to be the God of both Christian parents and their children. Parents of baptized children are encouraged to bring up their young ones in the tender nurture and disciplined training of the Lord, teaching them God’s character, His commandments, His testimonies, and His statutes, and by active faith expectantly trusting that they will indeed be born of the Spirit and appropriate for themselves, by faith, the reality of God’s baptismal promises, at a time appointed by God.
All who are baptized, including our baptized children, are encouraged to join in partaking of the Lord’s Supper to remember the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ and to proclaim, through His death, His certain victory over the world, flesh, and devil. Although the elements of this holy meal do not undergo any physical or spiritual transformation, we affirm that Jesus is truly present with us by His Spirit as we celebrate at His Table. Thus the Lord’s Table becomes a true means of spiritual grace and nourishment to all who partake in sincere childlike faith toward God. We find that weekly participation/partaking of the Lord’s Supper with consecration and joy, far from yielding passivity and presumption, actually strengthens and nurtures our and our children to persevere and grow in faith toward Christ. All who participate in the Lord’s Supper are encouraged to remember that through Christ’s work on our behalf we are brought into union with the Triune God, and also brought into communion with one another. The message of the Table is one of peace with God through Christ and peace/unity among the body of Christ through the Spirit, and through it we are strengthened to go into the world laboring in faith and hope.
The people of God from all ages, saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, the head of the church, also called “the body of Christ.” Christians join together in local communities or churches to glorify God by worshiping Him in spirit and truth, growing together in his love and likeness, and serving Him together.
These and other truths are affirmed in various statements of faith from the early church, such as the Apostle’s Creed and Nicene Creed. We also stand within the rich tradition of the Reformation of the sixteenth century, which is anchored in the gospel of grace. The Westminster Confession of Faith, is a beautiful expression of the central teachings of the Bible, and has served as the doctrinal standard for Presbyterians since the seventeenth century.
A faithful church will be family-supportive. This means the church will neither fragment nor undermine the family. Rather, the local church will work to turn the hearts of the fathers toward their children by equipping fathers to lead, mothers to support, and families to serve/bless together, which results in the raising up of godly generations after us and the fruitful advance of God’s kingdom and gospel. We join together for the worship of God as families – children seeing their parents worship God and joining with them in that worship. We also seek to build spiritual leaders and strong families by encouraging the heads of households to pursue simple Christian practices in the home like regular Bible reading, prayer, scripture memory, and family worship. That being said, it’s also vitally important to understand that being family-supportive does mean that we are family-exclusive. We eagerly embrace our single brothers and sisters in Christ as co-heirs of the grace of life and equally valued members of Christ’s body. As Christians, our fundamental identity is found in being part of God’s family, regardless of whether we are presently single or married.
The Conquest of the World, Coming of Christ, and Consummation of the Age
We believe “the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9). We believe that the government is now presently on Jesus’ shoulders (Isaiah 9:6; cf Psalm 2, 110) and “of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time (of His resurrection and ascension) forward, even forever”, because “the zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:7; cf Daniel 7:9-14) This is the promise of God to Christ and His church, and it is to this goal toward which we strive in Christ by living, working faith in God. We do not believe this promise will be accomplished through political manipulation or Christian activism, but through the faith-fueled and love-compelled proclamation of the Word/truth of God, in word and deed, in season and out of season, in the church and in the world, in the power of the Holy Spirit, for the glory of God in Jesus Christ. God is at work in our day, in our lives, and in/through Jesus’ worldwide faithful Church, to bring about the fulfillment of His Great Commission and reign of His Kingdom on earth. The march of the Church and the triumph of the Gospel may seem to be slow at times, but we do lose heart (2 Corinthians 4:16-18) because God’s promise is sure. King Jesus promised to build His Church, and the gates of hades would by no means prevail against it (Matthew 16:18-19). Jesus right now has the keys of death and hades (Revelation 1:18) and has entrusted the earthly administration of those kingdom keys to His faithful Church, to bind and loose in His name (Matthew 16:19, 18:18-20). Jesus kingdom reign through His chosen people on earth is a present reality (Revelation 11:15, 12:10-11; 1 Corinthians 15:22-28). Jesus presently possesses all authority and power in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18), and he is the head of His Church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all (Ephesians 1:20-22), through which He promises to effectually work to disciple and baptize all nations in this age (Matthew 28:19-20), prior to His final coming in glory/judgment and the consummation of the age in the perfectly redeemed and renewed heavens and earth (Revelation 20-22).
We believe in the historicity and catholicity (i.e. universality; not Roman Catholic) of Jesus’ Church, of which we are a part. We stand on the shoulders of the prophets and apostles, missionaries and martyrs, Christian fathers and mothers throughout the centuries (Hebrews 11). As they impacted their generations, so must we. We are equipped to do this as we walk with one another in unity and truth, worshipping together as the Bible requires, edifying and teaching each other to walk in the ways of the Lord. You are invited to join us in this great mission!
Feel free to contact us for more information about Resurrection Presbyterian Church!