- Sola Scriptura: “Scripture alone” is authoritative for the faith and practice of the Christian. The Bible is God’s inspired, inerrant, infallible, all sufficient word. Scripture alone can utterly bind the conscience of believers (2 Timothy 3:16).
- Sola fide: “Faith alone” is important because it is one of the key points that separate the true biblical Gospel from false gospels. At the very core of this tenet is—on what basis does God declare man justified (man made right with God)? Scripture makes it very clear that, no human being is ever justified in God’s sight through his own attempt at law keeping (Romans 3:19-20).
- Solus Christus: “Christ alone” accomplished our salvation by his historical and mediatorial work (Hebrews 7:14; 7:24-25; 9:24). His sinless life and substitutionary atonement alone are sufficient for our justification and reconciliation to the Father.
- Sola gratia: “Grace alone” acknowledges that the Bible teaches that the totality of our salvation is a gift of God’s free grace. As it says in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” It is the acknowledgement that salvation from the wrath of God is based on God’s grace and mercy and not on anything good in us.
- Soli Deo Gloria: “To God alone be the glory” is the goal of life; moreover, all glory is to be given to God. Particularly, salvation, sanctification, and glorification are accomplished through God’s will and action not man’s effort, even including the good works of men (Ephesians 2:10). The idea of soli Deo gloria is found in 1 Corinthians 10:31.
- Total Depravity
- Unconditional Election
- Limited Atonement, or, better, Particular Redemption
- Irresistible Grace
- Perseverance and Preservation of the Saints
These five distinct points of doctrine derive from the decision of the Synod of Dordt (1618-19), popularly known as the Canons of Dordt, on the five main points of doctrine in dispute in the Netherlands .
Although this was a national synod of the Reformed churches of the Netherlands, it had an international character, since it was composed not only of Dutch delegates but also of twenty-six delegates from eight foreign countries.
The Synod of Dordt was held in order to settle a serious controversy in the Dutch churches initiated by the rise of Arminianism. Jacob Arminius, a theological professor at Leiden University, questioned the teaching of Calvin and his followers on a number of important points. After the death of Arminius, his own followers presented their views on five of these points in the Remonstrance of 1610. In this document and later in more explicit writings, the Arminians taught election based on foreseen faith, universal atonement, partial depravity, resistible grace, and the possibility of a lapse from grace. The Synod of Dordt rejected these views and articulated the Reformed doctrine on these points, namely, unconditional election, limited atonement, total depravity, irresistible grace, and the perseverance of saints. These points of doctrine are based entirely on the Bible, and refute Arminian theology which is, at the heart, synergistic, relying on a cooperative effort between man and God.
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Before God, all biblically lawful vocations are equal. Our standing before him is based solely on Jesus Christ, our sin-bearer, our redeemer, and our righteousness. But as we receive God’s grace in Christ, we are then sent into the world to live out our faith in the daily routines of ordinary life — that is, in our vocations. The purpose of every vocation is to love and serve our neighbor, and God is in it all.
Our foundational doctrinal statements are found in The Standards of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, which we hold to be “the system of doctrine which is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone” (Associate Reformed Synod, May 31, 1799). From time to time position statements are written to address specific topics of concern.
Our confessional standards consist of the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms. Acceptance of every confessional distinctive is not a requirement for membership at Faith Presbyterian. You may become a participating member by affirming the evangelical distinctive that salvation is accomplished by grace alone through faith in Christ alone. Officers of Faith Presbyterian must adhere to the doctrine taught by the Westminster Standards according to the Form of Government of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.
We also affirm and use the doctrines of historic Christian orthodoxy defined by the Apostles’ Creed, as well as the ecumenical councils of Christian history known as the Councils of Nicea, Chalcedon, Constantinople, and others. These historic council doctrines include affirmations of the Trinity, the deity of Christ, and the atonement of Christ.
Our foundational doctrinal statements, confessional standards, and historic orthodox Christian creeds allow our congregation the necessary framework to grow in a biblically sound knowledge of our Lord.