What We Believe
We are Christian
We affirm the truths of the ecumenical creeds of the Christian Church, that there is One God who exists in Three Persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.
Our primary identity is that we are disciples of Jesus Christ. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who came to rescue sinners by His saving work. We affirm with the church across the ages that Jesus is fully God and fully Man in One Person. We believe that salvation is found only and fully in Christ alone, through faith in His name. By His perfect life of obedience, His sacrificial death on the Cross, and His resurrection from the dead on the third day, Jesus has done all things necessary to save us from our sins, and make us accepted and adopted as children in God's presence. Those whom God saves in Christ, He gathers together into the visible church - embodied in local congregations across the globe. As we profess faith in Christ before the world, therefore, we not only identify ourselves with the Risen Lord Jesus, but also with His church across the ages, and across the world. We are Christian.
We are Evangelical
We believe in the "Evangel," or the "Good News," that Jesus came to save sinners. We believe that God has revealed this Good News, along with all that He requires of us, in His Word, the Bible. We believe that the Scriptures are the inspired, infallible, inerrant, and authoritative word of God. This Good News, having been revealed in Scripture, is meant to be joyfully proclaimed among the nations. Therefore, we seek to be obedient to Jesus' Great Commission to make disciples of all the nations, proclaiming His Gospel, and calling for faith and repentance in all who hear. We are Evangelical.
We are Protestant
We are the heirs of the Protestant Reformation, a Spiritual renewal and revival of the church beginning roughly in the 1500's, but tracing its roots to the early church. As Protestants, we identify with the "Five Solas" of the Reformation, five Latin phrases that summarized the doctrinal beliefs of the Protestant churches (as distinct from the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches):
Sola Scriptura - "By Scripture Alone" We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the verbally inspired Word of God, the only rule of faith and practice. Therefore, all of life is meant to be governed and evaluated by the Word of God. We believe what we believe, not by developing our own ideas, but by what's been revealed both explicitly and implicitly in Scripture.
Sola Fide - "By Faith Alone" We believe that salvation is a gift, to be received through faith alone. We do not presume any claim on God, nor do we seek to build up merit through "being good" or, at least, "better than others." Rather, we trust, receive, rest, believe in God's promises in Jesus Christ. We are saved "through faith alone."
Sola Gratia - "By Grace Alone" God's gift of salvation is neither deserved nor earned. What we deserve for our sins is eternal death and condemnation. But, God in His mercies, graciously saves sinners in spite of our sin. This grace is received through trusting in Christ alone.
Solus Christus - "Christ Alone" Jesus is the "only name" by which we might be saved. He is the "only mediator" between God and man. Jesus, by His life, death, resurrection, ascension, and enthronement as King, has done all things needed for salvation.
Soli Deo Gloria - "To the Glory of God Alone" All of life is to be lived for the glory of God. Every area of life is meant to be lived under the Lordship of King Jesus, for the glory of His name. From child-rearing to missions work; from the bakery to the church - we live for the One who gave Himself for us.
We are Protestant
We are Confessional and Reformed
As part of the Presbyterian Church in America, we subscribe to the summary of Biblical teaching in the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms. We believe that the Westminster Confession and Catechisms faithfully explains and summarizes what the Bible teaches. As a church, we have bound ourselves to this statement of faith and seek to be faithful to it.
We identify with the branch of Protestantism known as the "Reformed" Church. In broad strokes, this simply means that we desire all of life and doctrine to be "reformed" according to the Word of God. More specifically, we believe that the theology commonly known as "Calvinism," which is maturely developed and summarized in the Westminster Confession of Faith, is the most Biblical expression of the "faith once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3).
We are Presbyterian
We are "Reformed in Doctrine" and "Presbyterian in Church Government." This means that we believe that the church is to be governed by the plurality of elders (or presbyters). We also believe that the church is to be connectional, not autonomous and independent of one another. Christ, through His apostles, established elders to spiritually govern and oversee the local churches. However, as we see in Acts 15, the local churches - while functioning somewhat independently - are connected with and accountable to one another. Our local church is governed by a group of elders, called the Session. We are also part of a larger regional group of PCA churches in Fellowship Presbytery. And our Presbytery is part of a larger denomination of churches, the PCA. With Christ as the only Head and King over the church, we seek to live in accountability and mutual ministry with one another, as we carry out the Great Commission of Christ.
We are PCA
Filbert Presbyterian Church is a member of the Presbyterian Church in America. The PCA is the largest conservative Presbyterian denomination in the US. It began in 1973, after leaving the "Southern Presbyterian Church" (PCUS) over issues of liberalism in the church. From the beginning, the PCA established itself as a denomination that would be "Faithful to the Scriptures, True to the Reformed Faith, and Obedient to the Great Commission." Though it began as a largely southeastern denomination, the PCA has grown substantially from its roots. PCA churches have been established across the US, and into Canada. For more about our history as a denomination, click HERE.