Our Beliefs

As a Presbyterian church, our thinking about God and the world is formed by Reformed theology and tradition. Central to the Reformed tradition is the affirmation of the majesty, holiness, and providence of God who creates and redeems the world in through his sovereign love and grace.

Theology is a way of thinking about God and the world. Reformed theology evolved during the 16th century religious movement known as the Protestant Reformation. The focus of the Reformation was to reform the church and the life of faith, through recognizing that only God’s sovereign grace draws us into faith and the Bible is the sole authority to guide our lives as followers of Jesus. Our Creeds and Confessions are considered reliable expositions of what Scripture leads us to believe and do but these historic statements of faith do not replace the sole authority of Scripture.

Presbyterians as Christians (Shared beliefs with other Christians)

  • Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit: One God who is our creator and redeemer.
  • Incarnation of Jesus Christ: God reached down to redeem humankind through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is fully human and fully divine.

Presbyterians as Protestants (Shared belief with other Protestants)

  • Justification by Grace through Faith: We are not able to fulfill God’s law and we are not righteous or just in God’s eyes. But through God’s love and the gift of irresistible grace through Jesus Christ, God draws us to faith and to accept our free gift of salvation.
  • Authority of Scripture: The Bible is the Holy Spirit inspired revelation of God’s good news of salvation and a reliable, truth-filled guide for believers who desire to live in gratitude and obedience to God.

Presbyterians as Reformed (Beliefs emphasized for Presbyterians)

  • God is Sovereign: God is the source of all power and good.
  • Election of God’s people for service and salvation: Obedience and service is a way of showing our gratitude to God for electing us to be his redeemed people. We don’t earn our gift of salvation through service.
  • God’s Covenant with chosen people: God calls people into relationship with him…”I will be your God and you will be my people.”
  • Faithful Stewardship: All things are created and belong to God and should be shared freely for God’s kingdom purposes.
  • Human depravity of sin, idolatry and tyranny. All people are captive to sin, broken and require a savior.
  • Transformation: The mission of God’s people is to respond to God’s love and grace in gratitude by seeking justice and living in obedience to the Bible to transform ourselves and the world.

Adopted from the First Presbyterian Church Evanston Our Reformed Beliefs website page.

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