What We Believe
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20
To make disciples of Jesus Christ, who love God, love each other, and serve in the world.
A Pastoral Letter Concerning the Essential Tenets of Our Christian Faith
As elected elders serving on the Session of Covenant Presbyterian Church, we have been given the responsibility to lead and guide our particular fellowship as we seek to follow our Lord Jesus Christ. We want to be faithful disciples who love God, love one another, and serve in the world. We live in rapidly changing and exciting times. It is a good time to be a part of the Church, the body of Christ. However, we face many formidable challenges. One of the greatest is discerning what is essential to our faith as we find ourselves in an increasingly secular and pluralistic world.
There appears before us the danger of accepting anything and everything as equally valid truth. Believing in everything is, in our view, the same as believing in nothing. Both are a danger to faithfulness to Jesus Christ.
In an effort to provide pastoral guidance for our congregation, we are making clear what we understand to be the essential tenets of the Christian faith. While our teachings are not infallible, nor intended to be a full explication of the Christian faith, we hope and pray that they will edify, guide and build up the body of Christ at Covenant.* This endeavor is based on the conviction that it matters what we believe. As you read and reflect, we hope you will be edified and strengthened in your faith.
We believe that:
1. The crucified and risen Lord Jesus Christ is God incarnate, the unique Son of God, the head of the Church, the Lord of the world, and the only way of salvation. Christ was likewise fully human and shared with us in suffering, frailty, temptation, and discomfort. In spite of this he did not sin. John 1:14, 14:6; Col.1:18; 2 Cor. 5:19; Acts 10:9; Lk. 4:1-15; Mk. 15:21-41; Heb. 4:14-16
2. God is revealed mysteriously and awesomely as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which we commonly call the Trinity. John 1:14, 14:15-17, 17; Acts 1-2; 2 Cor.13:14
3. God is our Sovereign Creator, is over all and is accomplishing his plans and purpose for his creation at every moment. Ps. 8, 24:1, 139; Gen.1-2; Eph.1
4. We humans are sinful and in need of God for our salvation. Is. 53:6; Rom. 3:23
5. We are saved only by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, not by our works. Rom. 3:23-26; 5:8; Eph. 2:8-9
6. The Bible is the inspired and authoritative Word of God, our infallible rule of faith and life.
When we want to know who we are, who God is, what is important to God and what God wills for us, we turn to the Bible, our Holy Scriptures.
The Bible was written by human hands and as such a responsibility is laid upon serious readers to seek the Holy Spirit in understanding and interpreting it, taking into account its historical context. Gal. 1:1-2; Lk. 1:1-4; John 20:30-31, 21:24-25
It is God-inspired; in the Bible, God has given his objective revelation. 2 Tim. 3:14-17; Ps. 1, 119
7. When Jesus Christ lives in a believer, that person will bear fruit of the Spirit, giving evidence of Christ’s presence and power. Gal. 2:20, 5:22-23; John 15:1-8,13:34-35)
This same grace that saves us also empowers us to live holy lives. Just as we have been saved by grace, so we are called to live holy lives by the grace of God. Eph. 2:8-9; 1 Pt.1:13-16; John 13:34-35
It is the calling of all Christians to live holy lives that give honor and glory to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
This call to holiness involves every aspect of our lives, including but not limited to building up, encouraging, showing compassion and dignity for all people, caring for the poor and powerless, refraining from gossip and valuing truth, loving others even across barriers that often separate us, forgiving those who have wronged us, working for reconciliation among people, enjoying the gift of intimate sexual relations within the sanctity of marriage between a woman and a man. All of God’s precepts are for our protection and our enjoyment of God’s creation.
God calls leaders to an especially high standard in living the Christian life, so that we would not be a stumbling block to anyone, but rather draw people to Christ. James 3; 1 Tim. 3
8. God has chosen us for salvation and service in his unfolding kingdom. 1 Pt. 2:9-10; Eph.1; Mark 10:35-45; Phil. 2:1-11; 1 Cor. 12
We are a priesthood of believers, called to exercise our gifts in service of God’s kingdom.
Discipleship is a response to the gracious gift of God’s love in Jesus Christ, not an attempt to win God’s favor. It is an expression of gratitude to God for blessings we have received. We are blessed to be a blessing. Gen.12
9. We and everything we possess belong to God. We are stewards of our lives and possessions and have been called to use our gifts for the building of God’s kingdom. Ps. 24:1; Matt. 21:33-46, 25:14-46
10. God especially uses the church for the building up of God’s people, the extending of God’s kingdom, and God calls the Church to go forth and make disciples of Jesus Christ. 1 Cor.12-13; Matt. 16:13-16
11. We worship and serve God each day, trusting in God’s resurrection promise and in Jesus’ victorious return, in a time of God’s choosing. Mk. 13; Rev.
Finally, it is our hope that we will seek to grow in our knowledge and understanding of God’s Word in the Bible. Remembering Paul’s words to the Colossian Christians, “just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Col. 2:6-7
The Session – 2001
Covenant is a Confessing Church and an affiliate member of The Fellowship Community