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Friday, October 31, 2014
Separated Unto The GospelPrinter-Friendly Version
Our Statement of Faith

Some well-meaning people insist that they have no human creed, no confession of faith, because the Bible itself is their statement of belief. That sounds very spiritual, but in fact those who most loudly state this position are usually the most dictatorial in forcing their adherents to accept their interpretation of what the Bible teaches. In other words, every group of professing Christians has a confession of faith, written or unwritten. When it is unwritten, it usually gives the leadership more power to direct the consciences of the adherents.

OUR SUB-STANDARDS

We have a written statement of faith. It is contained in The Westminster Standards (the Confession of Faith, the Larger Catechism, and the Shorter Catechism) and The Articles of Faith of the Free Presbyterian Church. The Confession is a detailed exposition of the Reformed theology which we believe the Bible teaches. The Articles are meant as summary points of particular emphasis. They also modify the Confession in that (1) they make room in the fellowship of the Free Presbyterian Church for those who hold both Baptist and paedo-Baptist views of baptism, and (2) they allow divergent views of eschatology.

The theology of the Free Presbyterian Church is the historic theology of the Protestant Reformation. Not that it commenced with the Reformers. It did not. Rather, it is the theology of Scripture. Some people call it Calvinism, but that is misleading. A great American theologian called it "Christianity come into its own."

It starts off with the belief that the Bible is the very Word of God, God's self-revelation. Therefore it proclaims God as He proclaims Himself in Scripture: "The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty" (Exod. 34:6, 7). "It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers" (Isa. 40:22). He "worketh all things after the counsel of his own will" (Eph. 1:11).

THE TRINITY

The cornerstone of our theology is what we may call the Godhood of God. We are happy to believe all He has said about Himself in His Word.That means we believe that God is a trinity, eternally existing as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19; II Cor.13:14). Hence we preach the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ and of the Holy Spirit. How God is one and undivided in His eternal essence and yet three in His personal subsistences we do not pretend to comprehend. "Canst thou by searching find out God?" (Job 11:7). No! But we can accept what He has revealed of Himself.

THE SOVEREIGN MAJESTY OF GOD

The Scriptures quoted above--a few of scores of such expressions in the Bible--present us with a God whose majesty surpasses all description. The glory of His absolute perfection blazes upon us as the sun in all its splendor. He is holy (Isa. 57:15) and reigns in absolute power over all His creation. Every angel, demon, and human, together with every other part of creation, is under His direct control. He is answerable to none but Himself. He can do what He wills, and what He wills is always right. We believe it is important for the pride of man to be humbled before the holy majesty and sovereignty of God. Until and unless this happens, a man or woman cannot begin to enter into life and a right relationship with God. No one will see his need of salvation until he sees that he is under the wrath of a sin-hating God.

THE MERCY OF GOD

We mention salvation because the Bible shows that the holy, majestic, sovereign God of all creation is a God of mercy and of love. People often say, "If God is a God of love, why does He allow such and such a thing to happen?" What blasphemy it is for a fallen creature to question the reality of the love of the all-wise God when He has given us the greatest possible proof of His love: "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). By nature we are "dead in trespasses and sins," and we live "according to the prince of the power of the air" (that is, the devil), and we are "by nature the children of wrath. . . . But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:1-7).

We preach the reality of the love of God in Christ. This is the message sin-cursed souls need to hear. To lead people to know God in truth is the burden of this ministry. Jesus said, "This is life eternal, that they might know thee [the Father] the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3). Paul yearned to "know him [Christ], and the power of his resurrection" (Phil. 3:10), and Peter instructed God's people to "grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (II Pet. 3:18).

Thus to hear a message that expounds what God is, so that the majesty of His glory and of His grace floods our souls, is the urgent need of all men, saved and unsaved. That is the chief burden of this ministry.


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