The Purpose of God
The Authority and Power of the Bible
The Uniqueness and Universality of Christ
The following statements of faith summarize the commonly held beliefs of First Presbyterian Church of Marietta:
1. We believe in one God, who exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In his loving kindness he created the world and rules over it.
2. We believe in the sovereignty of God, who created us in his own image out of love, but because of our sin, we have alienated and separated ourselves from him.
3. We believe that the Son of God, Jesus Christ, was fully human, born of Mary, yet fully God.
4. We believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose again because he loves and forgives us, and through his act of reconciliation reconnects believers to God.
5. We believe Jesus Christ is the way to a renewed relationship with God the Father and that salvation from sin and death is found in no one other than Jesus Christ. We are saved by grace, through faith, not by works.
6. We believe the Holy Spirit lives within those who have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
7. We believe the Bible, God’s Holy Word, is the revelation that God has given us to guide us in faith and life and that the scripture cannot be ignored.
8. We believe that God calls us to live out our Christianity within the community called the Church, and that God loves the Church so much that he has established Jesus Christ as its head and that we should model our own lives in accordance with his teaching.
9. We believe that as God’s people, we’re called to love God and to love others, and to be disciples who point others to God through our words and actions.
References from the Bible, The Book of Order, and the Book of Confessions
1. God, the creator and ruler of the universe, has revealed himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit; our Triune God. (Genesis 1:1; Psalm 24:1-2, 118:1, 145:1-9; Isaiah 40:25-26, 55:9; Job 28:24; Matthew 28:19; John 5:20; 1 Corinthians 10:26; 2 Corinthians 13:14. Book of Confessions 3.01, 5.015-17, 6.011-13).
2. God created us in his own image, but we, of our own volition in sin, have departed from God’s ideal for us, and are responsible for all the consequences of our sin. Our personal responsibility for our sin separates us from God and we must humbly repent to regain God’s favor. (Genesis 1:27,31; 3:17-19; Romans 3:23; Colossians 1:21. Book of Confessions 3.02-03. Book of Order W-6.3009).
3. Jesus Christ, as the Son of God is God, was born of a virgin and became a human being. Jesus became fully human and fully divine. (Matthew 1:23, 25; Luke 1:27. Book of Confessions 4.035; 5.062; 6.044).
4. Jesus Christ suffered human rejection and hatred, dying on the cross. His death was an act of atonement for the sins of the whole human race. This act of grace freed us to be reconnected to God. He rose from the dead, thus demonstrating his power over sin and death. He ascended to heaven’s glory and will return again to earth to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. By his resurrection, we who believe are given assurance and gift of our own resurrection to be lived eternally in the presence of God. We claim Jesus as our Lord. (John 14:6, 17:1; Acts 3:19; Romans 8:2; 1Timothy 2:5-6; Hebrews 10:10. Book of Confessions 3.08; 7.021).
5. Salvation from sin and death is found in no one other than Jesus Christ because of his grace. There is no other name, system or power—natural or supernatural—under heaven given to humankind by which we can be saved. (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Ephesians 2:8-9; 2:13; Philippians 2:5-11; 1Timothy 2:5-6. Book of Confessions 4.029).
6. The Holy Spirit both compels us and empowers us to serve each other, our community, and the world in the manner of Christ. (Luke 24:49; John 14:17-26; Acts 1:8; Romans 8:26; Galatians 3:14; Ephesians 1:13-14. Book of Confessions 4.025; 9.05; 3.12; 6.051-054).
7. The Holy Scriptures, the Bible, is the infallible Word of God; God’s self-revelation that came into being through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit upon the biblical writers. We believe the Bible is the Word of Truth, and has authority over our lives, requiring our obedience to it. (Exodus 20:2-17; 2 Timothy 3:16. Book of Order W-5.3000. Book of Confessions 3.12, 5.090; 6.051-054).
8. God has called us to organize ourselves as the Church with Christ as our head. Within this spiritual body we are brought into the Kingdom by the Trinitarian God through baptism, and renewed in Christ in the Lord’s Supper, remembering his death until he comes again. The life of Jesus was one of close relationships. As Christians, we view relationships and family as a priority in our lives, recognizing that human relationships are a blessing and gift from God. We respect and honor the sanctity of Christian marriage between a man and a woman, as compared biblically to the relationship of Christ with his Church. We rely on the greatest of the commandments, as given by Jesus, to love God with our whole being, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. We trust in God’s love, and in his sovereign rule. We strive always to offer our lives as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, not conforming to the patterns of this world, but being transformed by the renewal of our hearts and minds. (Matthew12:8; Mark 14:22; John 3:3-8; Romans 6:3-4; Ephesians 3:21, 4:15; Colossians 2:19; Genesis 2:24; Leviticus 20:13; Matthew 19:4-6; Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 6:9; Jude 1:7. Book of Confessions 3.16; 4.108-109; 108-109; 5.246; 5:6.140; 6.131. Book of Order W-1.3033, W-3.3600; W-4.9000).
9. We believe that we as the Body of Christ are called to live out the Great Commandments, of loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind; and to love our neighbor as ourselves and to be in community, while carrying out the Great Commission of making disciples of all nations and baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. (Deuteronomy 10:12-13; Joshua 22:5; Matthew 28:19).