Statement of Belief and Practice Lakeside Community Presbyterian Church

 

Trinity

We believe in GOD, the Creator and Sustainer of all that is. God is Spirit (John 4:24; Matthew 16:17); all-knowing (Psalm 139), all-powerful (Psalm 93:1; Romans 1:20) and present everywhere (Psalm 139:5-10). God is without beginning or ending (Genesis 21:23; 1 Timothy 1:17); eternally existing in three persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Note: While the word “Trinity” does not occur in Scripture, it is the name that is given to a doctrine that is clearly taught, in that the Father = the Son; the Spirit = the Father, etc.)

Jesus Christ

We believe the greatest expression of God’s love is found in JESUS CHRIST (Romans 5:8), who, in His incarnation, was fully God (Colossians 2:9) and fully man, yet lived a sinless life (Hebrews 2:17; 4:15). Jesus was the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6, etc.), and born of the Virgin Mary. According to God’s eternal plan (Acts 3:18), He willingly suffered and died on the cross (Philippians 2:8), and overcame death for our salvation (Colossians 1:19-22). That Christ rose bodily from the dead is clear in the Scriptures and a cornerstone of our faith (Luke 24:39;1 Peter 1:3; 1 Corinthians 15:14, 17). Jesus will come again at the end of the age in a personal and visible way (Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8), is worthy of worship (Philippians 2:10-11).

Holy Spirit

We believe that the HOLY SPIRIT indwells (John 14:16; Ezekiel 26:27), guides (John 16:13) and teaches all believers (John 14:26). The Holy Spirit is God’s agent of creation (Genesis 1:2), new birth (John 3:1-8; 1 Corinthians 12:3) and the inspiration of Scripture (2 Peter 2:20-21). The Spirit is our ever-present advocate and help in weakness and strength (Ephesians 2:18). All human beings are sinful by nature (Romans 3:23).

Salvation

As we respond to God’s call (John 6:44), we receive SALVATION by faith (Romans 10:8-9). Salvation is through Jesus alone (John 14:6; Acts 4:12), which is not earned through anything we do, but rather it is God’s free gift (Ephesians 2:8-9). Our good works are a response of thanksgiving for our salvation (Ephesians 2:10). Through the reception of Jesus Christ into our hearts as Savior and Lord, we can be assured that we have eternal life (1 John 5:11-13).

Bible,Church,Prayer

We believe the BIBLE is the only inspired, infallible Word of God in written form (2 Timothy 3:16-17); and our only ultimate source of authority for faith and life (Galatians 1:8). Relevant for all time, it is our guide and guardian from sin (Hebrews 4:12). The head of the one true CHURCH is Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:23), who established it (Matthew 16:18) and remains ever present with all the believers (Matthew 28:20). The church is strengthened and encouraged by the Holy Spirit (John 14:16) for evangelism and mission, and the uplifting and serving of one another with the gifts the Spirit provides (1 Corinthians 12:7). Our Lord calls us as believers to lead a holy life according to the Scriptures (Romans 12:1; 2 Timothy 1:9) in which we will show our faith by bearing the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). We believe in the power of PRAYER and that “the prayer of the righteous has great power in its effects.” (James 5:16b) God bids us to seek Him in prayer, both individually and corporately, that we might fellowship with Him and be conformed to His will.

Baptism

We recognize the two Sacraments established and participated in by our Lord while on earth: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Baptism is the outward sign of the inward reality of belonging to the body of Christ. While it is neither necessary for, nor guaranteeing salvation, it is an act of obedience of the believer to the command of Christ. Also, Christian parents, in the legacy of the covenants of Israel, may present their children for baptism, therein promising, along with the assistance of the whole church, to raise the child in knowledge of God, setting before the child a Christian example and nurturing them toward that day when they confirm the baptismal vows and receive Jesus Christ personally as their Savior and Lord. We recognize baptism in the name of the Triune God properly administered by other denominations.

Grace

Since it is by the grace of God that He places His mark of ownership upon us, baptism is only administered once. THE LORD’S SUPPER (Communion) reminds us of the New Covenant of God’s love for us in the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross. As He promised, Jesus Christ Himself is present with us as we remember the breaking of His body in the broken bread and the shedding of His blood in the cup poured out. The Communion table is not a “Presbyterian table.” It is the Lord’s table, and so all who acknowledge Jesus as their personal savior and Lord are invited to partake with us. (1 Corinthians 11:23-28)
 
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Statement on Marriage

Lakeside Community Presbyterian Church

 

Definition

God, in His infinite wisdom, created and ordained marriage to display the mysterious union of Christ and His Church (Ephesians 5:22-25). As the creator and author of marriage, God alone has the authority to define it. This He did in the second chapter of Genesis where God, having created both man and woman, brought them together personally as husband and wife (2:22) and

a benediction was pronounced over the couple; “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife and they shall become one flesh”(2:24, ESV). For this reason, Christian believers now hold – and have always held – that marriage is between one man and one woman; that it is sealed by the exchange of covenant vows; and that it is intended for the whole of natural life, until death.

 

On the Interpretation of Scripture

We, as Christian believers, regard the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the inspired Word of God and infallible authority under which we live. We regard the clarity of Scripture to be sufficient for us to interpret the Bible accurately on matters of both faith and practice, using straight forward grammatical and historical principles. For this reason, we reject all attempts to obscure or “re-read” Biblical passages which clearly state the parameters of human sexuality. Sexual relations are to be enjoyed as a gift, and exclusively between a married man and his own wife alone (Exodus 20:14; Hebrews 13:4). Any alternate readings of Scripture that intentionally or unintentionally obscure this foundational Biblical presupposition are to be rejected.

 

On Sin and Grace

Christians are called to love – and not hate – our enemies and those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44). Thus, we reject any attempt to miss-characterize our convictions on these matters as “hate speech,” because to tell the truth on these matters is indeed a most loving and gracious act. However, Christians are called to hate transgression and iniquity, wherever it is found, including within ourselves, and so we repent of our own sin first; be it in thought, word, or deed. We welcome those of all races, genders, ethnicities, and sexual inclinations to repent and believe in Jesus Christ and to worship in our churches. We sympathize with all who struggle with temptation, and exhort them to pursue “the obedience of faith” and embrace the new life given to the redeemed by the Holy Spirit. Accordingly, we continue to reject any and every sin that degrades God’s glorious creation of marriage, including: adultery, fornication, rape, incest, homosexuality, polygamy, lust, pornography, coercive abstinence while in the state of marriage, and all forms of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse.

 

On Human Laws and Ordinances

Moreover, human beings can pass no law that redefines marriage any more than mortals can pass a law that declares the light of the sun to be dark, or to suspend the law of gravity. Though various laws may be passed by the agency of human pen and ink; or judgments rendered from human courts (higher or lower); yet human beings do not have the prerogative, now or ever, to alter, change, or redefine marriage as instituted by our Creator.

 

On Civil Disobedience

Finally, then, we stand firm in our convictions on these matters and refuse to take any such actions as would compel us to violate either Scripture or conscience – even if so compelled by civil law – for “to go against conscience is neither right nor safe.” Amen.

 

(Adopted by the Session on September 25, 2012; Reaffirmed June 24, 2014)