I’m the pastor of a Presbyterian Church and I want to answer the question: what do Presbyterians believe? People ask that question a lot. Many people aren’t familiar with the beliefs of Presbyterians and I want to give you a little snapshot of what we actually believe. The first thing I should say is that Presbyterians are not all the same so it’s not a monolithic denomination, but our church is a member of the PCA or the Presbyterian Church in America, which is a conservative Bible believing Presbyterian Church. Please don’t confuse us with the PC USA which is the main line denomination which is progressive and liberal. If you’ve seen reports on the news about the Presbyterian church ordaining homosexuals then that’s the PC USA not PCA and so we’re a Bible believing Presbyterian church and that’s really the first thing I should say about Presbyterians. We believe that the Bible alone is the word of God. We believe the Bible is the sufficient source of revelation for the Christian church and so it’s our absolute final authority and everything we believe and practice. Now the word
Presbyterian like many other denominations does communicate something about what Presbyterians believe. The word Presbyterian refers to our church government and that is we are ruled by a plurality of elders. There’s not just one autocratic pastor, but there’s a session of elders that govern the local church and they’re connected in presbyteries and in a General Assembly, which is the national court of the church. But as Presbyterians we believe in the sovereignty of God and salvation. We are not saved by any good things that we have done. We’re not even saved by our own will, but we are saved by God’s will who chooses to show mercy upon us. God saw us in our sin and he opened our blind eyes and opened our deaf ears and he enabled us to come effectively to Christ. He gave us the gift of faith and repentance so we’re saved by God’s sovereign grace. Presbyterians also believe that creation is good that all of life can be lived to the glory of God. God cares not only about a small sphere of your life, but he cares about everything, there’s no sacred secular dualism in our understanding of the world because Jesus is the Lord not only of the church but of all creation.
Presbyterians have confessions and creeds I’ll leave it here to the historical confessions and creeds of the Christian church we affirm the apostle’s creed in the Nicene creed which really affirm our belief in the Trinity that there is one God who eternally exists in three divine persons, the father, the son, and the Holy Spirit. Presbyterians also believe in the Westminster confession of faith and the larger and shorter catechisms and these are the subordinate standards of our church that means they’re subordinate to the word of God, the Bible alone is the word of God. This is what we believe the Bible teaches and you could study our confession of faith in our catechisms to see what we believe the Bible teaches about the scripture about God and about man and about sin all salvation about Jesus about the church. This confession of faith will answer those questions for you. You can find a free copy online just Google it and you’ll be able to find information about what Presbyterians believe. Presbyterians are evangelicals, at least our church is an evangelical Presbyterian church. We affirm all the evangelical essentials. We believe the Bible is the word of God, we believe every person must be born again, we believe the gospel should be proclaimed to everybody, we believe in missions. I love the motto of the Presbyterian church in America. it goes like this, we are a denomination seeking to be faithful to the holy scriptures, true to the reformed faith and obedient to the great commission and so that really summarizes what our denomination is all about. really the best way to learn what Presbyterians believe is to attend a Presbyterian church and meet some other Presbyterians. I’d love to answer any questions you have about what we believe. First and foremost Presbyterians are Christians. We belong to Jesus Christ and our identity is found in him and not in our denomination, but we are secondarily Presbyterians and people often want to know. I would love to answer any questions that you might have, thank you and may God bless you.