The following six terms help to summarize our beliefs at Holy Trinity Presbyterian Church.
We believe that God inspired (lit. ‘breathed-out’) the Bible of the Old and New Testament and that it is therefore God’s Word (2 Tim. 3:16; 1 Pet. 1:20-21). We believe that God has revealed Himself and the way of salvation in the Bible, showing us what we are to believe about God and what duty God requires of us (2 Tim. 3:14-17). We believe that the Bible is unlike every other book, because as God’s Word it is infallible and authoritative in all matters of faith and conduct. In all that we do and believe at Holy Trinity Presbyterian Church, we seek by God’s grace to be biblical.
We believe that the teaching of God’s Word is accurately summarized in the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms. Therefore, our teaching reflects the tenets expressed in these writings, and all of our officers (i.e. pastor, elders, deacons) subscribe to them. While believing these documents to be in accord with the Bible’s teaching, we still firmly believe that they are subordinate to and are to be evaluated by the infallible Word of God. Nevertheless, we are convinced that the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms are beneficial for preserving and upholding the Christian faith and for promoting Christian unity and fellowship.
We believe and affirm the foundational doctrines of historic Christian orthodoxy that were affirmed by the Apostles’ Creed and the noteworthy ecumenical Councils of Nicea, Chalcedon, and Constantinople in the first millennium. These universal or catholic doctrines of the Christian church include fundamental beliefs such as the virgin birth, the deity of Christ, the atonement by Christ, and the Trinity. Even though these beliefs are reaffirmed in our confession and catechisms written at a later date (17th century), we believe it is important to recognize our connection with the early church.
We believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ and in the importance of spreading the gospel to all people. The word ‘evangelical’ finds its roots in the Greek word for ‘gospel’ or ‘good news’ and was originally applied to Protestant believers. We affirm the five phrases characteristic of historic Protestantism, namely that salvation is Sola Scriptura (‘by Scripture alone’), Solus Christus (in ‘Christ alone’), Sola Gratia (‘by grace alone’), Sola Fide (‘by faith alone’), Soli Deo Gloria (‘glory to God alone’). Although we believe that good works necessarily accompany saving faith, they are not the meritorious grounds for our justification. It is this gospel contained in the Scriptures which we embrace and declare.
We believe in the distinctive biblical truths defended during the Reformation that distinguishes the Reformed tradition from other Protestant and Evangelical traditions. These beliefs have sometimes been called ‘the doctrines of grace,’ and they emphasize God’s sovereignty and power over all things, including our salvation (Eph. 1:3-6; Dan. 4:34-35). We believe that it is “by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Eph. 2:8-9). This saving grace that God alone gives in Jesus Christ characterizes the covenant of grace in both the Old and New Testament and is at the heart of what it means to be “Reformed.”
We believe that God has structured the church to be governed by a plurality of elders called ‘presbyters’ who have been gifted and called by God (1 Tim. 3:1-7; Tit. 1:5-16). These men who are elected by the congregation of Holy Trinity Presbyterian Church are called the ‘Session’ and are responsible for instructing the congregation in God’s Word (1 Tim. 3:2; Heb. 13:7), for exercising spiritual oversight and care of the congregation (Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet 5:2), and for being godly examples to the congregation (1 Pet. 5:3). These church officers together with all of the other elders in a given region form what is called ‘Presbytery’ (which simply means ‘the elders’) and has biblical precedent in Acts 15.