In essential beliefs – we have unity.
“There is one Body and one Spirit… there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of us all…” – Ephesians 4: 4-6
In non-essential beliefs – we have liberty.
” Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters…Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls… So then each of us will give account of himself to God…So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God.” – Romans 14:1, 4, 12, 22
In all our beliefs – we show charity.
” …If I hold in my mind not only all human knowledge but also the very secrets of God, and if I have faith that can move mountains – but have no love, I amount to nothing at all. ” – I Corinthians 13:2 (Phillips’ Version)
THE ESSENTIALS WE BELIEVE:
1. ABOUT GOD
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.
Genesis 1:1, 26, 27, 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; I Peter 1:2; II Corinthians 13:14
2. ABOUT JESUS CHRIST
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people bydying on the cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again someday to earth to reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
Matthew 1:22, 23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5, 14: 10-30; Hebrews 4:14, 15; I Corinthians 15:3, 4; Romans 1:3, 4; Acts 1:9-11; I Timothy 6:14, 15; Titus 2:13.
3. ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make humanity aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved. As Christians we seek to live under His control daily.
II Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7 – 13, 14:16, 17; Acts 1:8; I Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:18.
4. ABOUT THE BIBLE
The Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error.
II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:20, 21; II Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:105, 160, 12:6; Proverbs 30:5.
5. ABOUT HUMAN BEINGS
People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. People are the supreme object of God’s creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin.” This attitude separates people from God and causes many problems in life.
Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3 – 6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1,2.
6. ABOUT SALVATION
Salvation is God’s free gift to us but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.
Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8,9; John 14: 6, 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1
7. ABOUT ETERNAL SECURITY
Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the Christian is secure in that salvation for eternity. If you have been genuinely saved, you cannot “lose” it. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives us this security.John 10:29; II Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25; 10:10, 14; I Peter 1:3 – 5
8. ABOUT ETERNITY
People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separate from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.
John 3:16; I John 2:25; I John 5: 11-13; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:15; Matthew 18:8; Matthew 25:44,46
WHAT WE PRACTICE
Beliefs are not worth much unless they are translated into actions. Based on what the Bible teaches, we feel very strongly about the following seven practices:
The Bible as our Sole Authority
Since God’s Word is the only completely reliable and truthful authority, we accept the Bible as our manual for living. Our first question when faced with a decision is “What does the Bible say? ” We practice daily Bible reading, Bible study, and Bible memorization. The Bible is the basis for all we believe.
“The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us to do what is right.” II Timothy 3:16
Priesthood of Every Believer
The Bible teaches that every Christian is called to “full time” Christian service, regardless of his or her vocation. We practice the truth that every believer is a minister by encouraging every member to find a place of service and ministry. Every believer has direct access to God through prayer Bible reading.
“Christ loves us, and by his death he has freed us from sins and made us a kingdom of priests to serve God…” Revelation 1:6 (Good News Bible)
“You are …the King’s priests… God’s own people, chosen to proclaim the wonderful acts of God.” I Peter 2: 9 (Good News Bible)
The commitment of our time, talent and treasures to the Lord. We recognize that service in ministry and financial support of the ministry here at SCC is our Biblical calling and responsibility.
“They gave according to their means.. beyond their means, of their own free will… but first they gave themselves.” – II Corinthians 8:3-5
We believe the only way possible to live the Christian life is by God’s power within us. So we seek to practice daily dependence on God’s Spirit to enable us to do what is right. (Philippians 2:13, Ephesians 5:18)
(Jesus said) ” I am the Vine, you are the branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; but apart from me you can do nothing. ” John 15:5
Telling others about Christ
It is the responsibility of every Christian to L.I.N.K. with others to share the Good News with those God brings us into contact with.
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” I Peter 3:15
This Sacrament unites us with Jesus Christ and makes us members of God’s family, the church.
- Baptism is an INVITATION into the church community as ordered by Christ.
- Baptism is a PUBLIC CONFESSION not a private one – it’s a statement of faith made in the presence of others.
- Baptism does not GUARANTEE ACCESS TO HEAVEN…unbaptized people are not denied salvation.
- Baptism can be PERFORMED IN ANOTHER CHURCH — there is no need to be re-baptized in a Presbyterian church.
Every person who has belief in Christ should be baptized.
“Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.” – Acts 8:13 (New International Version)
“Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.“ Acts 2:41 (New International Version)
We believe the “way” one is baptized (sprinkling, immersion) is inclusive and determined by tradition. We believe in infant baptism because God’s covenant is extended to a child who has been born to a Christian family. A child doesn’t receive salvation at this time. They too must choose Christ for themselves and confess their personal acceptance of Him.
A Sacrament that renews our faith and empowers us for ministry. Communion is also called…
- The Lord’s Supper
- Holy Communion
- The Eucharist
In Communion, the bread and wine represent the sacrificial body and blood of Christ and recall the last meal shared with the Apostles. Together they symbolized the new relationship that we have with God and each other because of Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
The Lord’s Table is open to anyone who has confessed Jesus as Lord. (Romans 10:9-10)
Each of us should prepare ourselves before we celebrate the Lord’s Supper. (I Corinthians 11: 27 -28)
- Confessing my sins (I Corinthians 11:27 I John 1:9)
- Restoring Relationships