Our Beliefs

Section 1. The Triune God. We believe in one God, eternally existing in three equally divine

Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who know, love, and glorify one another. This

one true and living God is infinitely perfect both in his love and in his holiness. He is the Creator

of all things, visible and invisible, and is therefore worthy to receive all glory and adoration.

Immortal and eternal, he perfectly and exhaustively knows the end from the beginning, sustains

and sovereignly rules over all things, and providentially brings about his eternal good purposes to

redeem a people for himself and restore his fallen creation, to the praise of his glorious grace.

Section 2. Revelation. God has graciously disclosed his existence and power in the created order,

and has supremely revealed himself to fallen human beings in the person of his Son, the incarnate

Word. Moreover, this God is a speaking God who by his Spirit has graciously disclosed himself

in human words: we believe that God has inspired the words preserved in the Scriptures, the

sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, which are both record and means of his saving

work in the world. These writings alone constitute the verbally inspired Word of God, which is

utterly authoritative and without error in the original writings, complete in its revelation of his

will for salvation, sufficient for all that God requires us to believe and do, and final in its

authority over every domain of knowledge to which it speaks. We confess that both our finitude

and our sinfulness preclude the possibility of knowing God’s truth exhaustively, but we affirm

that, enlightened by the Spirit of God, we can know God’s revealed truth truly. The Bible is to be

believed, as God’s instruction, in all that it teaches; obeyed, as God’s command, in all that it

requires; and trusted, as God’s pledge, in all that it promises. As God’s people hear, believe, and

do the Word, they are equipped as disciples of Christ and witnesses to the gospel.

Section 3. Creation of Humanity. We believe that God created human beings, male and female,

in his own image. Adam and Eve belonged to the created order that God himself declared to be

very good, serving as God’s agents to care for, manage, and govern creation, living in holy and

devoted fellowship with their Maker. Men and women, equally made in the image of God, enjoy

equal access to God by faith in Christ Jesus and are both called to move beyond passive self-

indulgence to significant private and public engagement in family, church, and civic life. Adam

and Eve were made to complement each other in a one-flesh union that establishes the only

normative pattern of sexual relations for men and women, such that marriage ultimately serves as

a type of the union between Christ and his church. In God’s wise purposes, men and women are

not simply interchangeable, but rather they complement each other in mutually enriching ways.

God ordains that they assume distinctive roles which reflect the loving relationship between

Christ and the church, the husband exercising headship in a way that displays the caring,

sacrificial love of Christ, and the wife submitting to her husband in a way that models the love of

the church for her Lord. In the ministry of the church, both men and women are encouraged to

serve Christ and to be developed to their full potential in the manifold ministries of the people of

God. The distinctive leadership role within the church given to qualified men is grounded in

creation, fall, and redemption and must not be sidelined by appeals to cultural developments.

Section 4. The Fall. We believe that Adam, made in the image of God, distorted that image and

forfeited his original blessedness—for himself and all his progeny—by falling into sin through

Satan’s temptation. As a result, all human beings are alienated from God, corrupted in every

aspect of their being (e.g., physically, mentally, volitionally, emotionally, spiritually) and

condemned finally and irrevocably to death—apart from God’s own gracious intervention. The

supreme need of all human beings is to be reconciled to the God under whose just and holy wrath

we stand; the only hope of all human beings is the undeserved love of this same God, who alone

can rescue us and restore us to himself.

Section 5. The Plan of God. We believe that from all eternity God determined in grace to save a

great multitude of guilty sinners from every tribe and language and people and nation, and to this

end foreknew them and chose them. We believe that God justifies and sanctifies those who by

grace have faith in Jesus, and that he will one day glorify them—all to the praise of his glorious

grace. In love God commands and implores all people to repent and believe, having set his saving

love on those he has chosen and having ordained Christ to be their Redeemer.

Section 6. The Gospel. We believe that the gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ—God’s very

wisdom. Utter folly to the world, even though it is the power of God to those who are being

saved, this good news is christological, centering on the cross and resurrection: the gospel is not

proclaimed if Christ is not proclaimed, and the authentic Christ has not been proclaimed if his

death and resurrection are not central (the message is that Christ died for our sins . . . [and] was

raised”). This good news is biblical (his death and resurrection are according to the Scriptures),

theological and salvific (Christ died for our sins, to reconcile us to God), historical (if the saving

events did not happen, our faith is worthless, we are still in our sins, and we are to be pitied more

than all others), apostolic (the message was entrusted to and transmitted by the apostles, who

were witnesses of these saving events), and intensely personal (where it is received, believed, and

held firmly, individual persons are saved).

Section 7. The Redemption of Christ. We believe that, moved by love and in obedience to his

Father, the eternal Son became human: the Word became flesh, fully God and fully human being,

one Person in two natures. The man Jesus, the promised Messiah of Israel, was conceived through

the miraculous agency of the Holy Spirit, and was born of the virgin Mary. He perfectly obeyed

his heavenly Father, lived a sinless life, performed miraculous signs, was crucified under Pontius

Pilate, arose bodily from the dead on the third day, and ascended into heaven. As the mediatorial

King, he is seated at the right hand of God the Father, exercising in heaven and on earth all of

God’s sovereignty, and is our High Priest and righteous Advocate. We believe that by his

incarnation, life, death, resurrection, and ascension, Jesus Christ acted as our representative and

substitute. He did this so that in him we might become the righteousness of God: on the cross he

canceled sin, propitiated God, and, by bearing the full penalty of our sins, reconciled to God all

those who believe. By his resurrection Christ Jesus was vindicated by his Father, broke the power

of death and defeated Satan who once had power over it, and brought everlasting life to all his

people; by his ascension he has been forever exalted as Lord and has prepared a place for us to be

with him. We believe that salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name given

under heaven by which we must be saved. Because God chose the lowly things of this world, the

despised things, the things that are not, to nullify the things that are, no human being can ever

boast before him—Christ Jesus has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness,

holiness, and redemption.

Section 8. The Justification of Sinners. We believe that Christ, by his obedience and death, fully

discharged the debt of all those who are justified. By his sacrifice, he bore in our stead the

punishment due us for our sins, making a proper, real, and full satisfaction to God’s justice on our

behalf. By his perfect obedience he satisfied the just demands of God on our behalf, since by faith

alone that perfect obedience is credited to all who trust in Christ alone for their acceptance with

God. Inasmuch as Christ was given by the Father for us, and his obedience and punishment were

accepted in place of our own, freely and not for anything in us, this justification is solely of free

grace, in order that both the exact justice and the rich grace of God might be glorified in the

justification of sinners. We believe that a zeal for personal and public obedience flows from this

free justification.

Section 9. The Power of the Holy Spirit. We believe that this salvation, attested in all Scripture

and secured by Jesus Christ, is applied to his people by the Holy Spirit. Sent by the Father and the

Son, the Holy Spirit glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ, and, as the “other” Paraclete (i.e., “One who

comes alongside to help”), is present with and in believers. He convicts the world of sin,

righteousness, and judgment, and by his powerful and mysterious work regenerates spiritually

dead sinners, awakening them to repentance and faith, baptizing them into union with the Lord

Jesus, such that they are justified before God by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ

alone. By the Spirit’s agency, believers are renewed, sanctified, and adopted into God’s family;

they participate in the divine nature and receive his sovereignly distributed gifts. The Holy Spirit

is himself the down payment of the promised inheritance, and in this age indwells, guides,

instructs, equips, revives, and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service.

Section 10. The Kingdom of God. We believe that those who have been saved by the grace of

God through union with Christ by faith and through regeneration by the Holy Spirit enter the

kingdom of God and delight in the blessings of the new covenant: the forgiveness of sins, the

inward transformation that awakens a desire to glorify, trust, and obey God, and the prospect of

the glory yet to be revealed. Good works constitute indispensable evidence of saving grace.

Living as salt in a world that is decaying and light in a world that is dark, believers should neither

withdraw into seclusion from the world, nor become indistinguishable from it: rather, we are to

do good to the city, for all the glory and honor of the nations is to be offered up to the living God.

Recognizing whose created order this is, and because we are citizens of God’s kingdom, we are to

love our neighbors as ourselves, doing good to all, especially to those who belong to the

household of God. The kingdom of God, already present but not fully realized, is the exercise of

God’s sovereignty in the world toward the eventual redemption of all creation. The kingdom of

God is an invasive power that plunders Satan’s dark kingdom and regenerates and renovates

through repentance and faith the lives of individuals rescued from that kingdom. It therefore

inevitably establishes a new community of human life together under God.

Section 11. God’s New People. We believe that God’s new covenant people have already come

to the heavenly Jerusalem; they are already seated with Christ in the heavenlies. This universal

church is manifest in local churches of which Christ is the only Head; thus each “local church” is,

in fact, the church, the household of God, the assembly of the living God, and the pillar and

foundation of the truth. The church is the body of Christ, the apple of his eye, graven on his

hands, and he has pledged himself to her forever. The church is distinguished by her gospel

message, her sacred ordinances, her discipline, her great mission, and, above all, by her love for

God, and by her members’ love for one another and for the world. Crucially, this gospel we

cherish has both personal and corporate dimensions, neither of which may properly be

overlooked. Christ Jesus is our peace: he has not only brought about peace with God, but also

peace between alienated peoples. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity, thus

making peace, and in one body to reconcile both Jew and Gentile to God through the cross, by

which he put to death their hostility. The church serves as a sign of God’s future new world when

its members live for the service of one another and their neighbors, rather than for self-focus. The

church is the corporate dwelling place of God’s Spirit, and the continuing witness to God in the

world.

Section 12. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We believe that baptism and the Lord’s Supper are

ordained by the Lord Jesus himself. The former is connected with entrance into the new covenant

community, the latter with ongoing covenant renewal. Together they are simultaneously God’s

pledge to us, divinely ordained means of grace, our public vows of submission to the once

crucified and now resurrected Christ, and anticipations of his return and of the consummation of

all things.

Section 13. The Restoration of All Things. We believe in the personal, glorious, and bodily

return of our Lord Jesus Christ with his holy angels, when he will exercise his role as final Judge,

and his kingdom will be consummated. We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the just and

the unjust—the unjust to judgment and eternal conscious punishment in hell, as our Lord himself

taught, and the just to eternal blessedness in the presence of him who sits on the throne and of the

Lamb, in the new heaven and the new earth, the home of righteousness. On that day the church

will be presented faultless before God by the obedience, suffering and triumph of Christ, all sin

purged and its wretched effects forever banished. God will be all in all and his people will be

enthralled by the immediacy of his ineffable holiness, and everything will be to the praise of his

glorious grace.

*Special thanks to The Gospel Coalition [link to www.thegospelcoalition.org] for their

development of this Confessional Statement. [link to

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/about/foundation-documents/confessional-statement]

The doctrinal stance of St. Patrick regarding the Family and Marriage is spelled out in our Section

3 of the St. Patrick Doctrinal Statement. In order to further clarify our church’s position on the

nature of marriage, we submit a portion of an excellent adaptation of The Westminster Confession

of Faith by Second Presbyterian Church [link to 2pc.org] in Memphis, Tennessee:

It is the divine intention that persons entering the marriage covenant become inseparably

united, thus allowing for no dissolution except that caused by the death of husband or wife.

However, in the case of adultery or other gross sexual immorality or of willful, irremediable, and

prolonged desertion, which cannot be remedied in any way by the Church, it is allowable for the

offended party to sue for divorce. In considering the possibility of separation or divorce, the

persons involved must not rely solely upon their own desires but should seek counsel from the

Church because the corrupt nature of humankind is inclined to create and support arguments for

the wrong separation of those whom God has joined together in marriage.

The remarriage of divorced persons may be sanctioned by the Church, in keeping with

the Word of God, and after proper deliberation concerning each person’s eligibility and

suitability for marriage. Clearly, in the case of adultery or other gross sexual immorality or of

willful, irremediable, and prolonged desertion which cannot be remedied in any way by the

Church, the offended party may divorce and after the divorce may marry someone else, as if the

offending party were dead.

If you would like more information on our church, vision, beliefs, or Sunday night Bible study, contact us at info@stpatrickchurch.net