What We Believe
Covenant ARP, a congregation of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, is a Bible-believing church which seeks to exalt and to glorify the name of Jesus Christ. We take seriously the historic Christian faith as it is summarized in various creeds such as the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed.
We especially subscribe to the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Westminster Larger Catechism, and the Westminster Shorter Catechism, commonly and collectively called the Westminster Standards. We believe that the Westminster Standards, though secondary to Scripture, are accurate and detailed summaries of what the Bible teaches.
What does our church’s name mean?
We are Covenantal, which refers to the covenantal promise that God makes to those who trust in Jesus Christ for salvation.
We are Reformed, which refers to our heritage from the Protestant Reformation of the 16th Century when the church was reformed according to Scripture. The main teachings of the Protestant Reformation can be summarized in what are called the 5 Solas: Sola Scriptura (Scripture is our only and final authority), Solus Christus (salvation is by Christ alone), Sola fide (salvation comes through faith alone in Christ alone), Sola gratia (salvation is by grace alone), and soli Deo Gloria (glory belongs to God alone).
We are Presbyterian, which means that our church is ruled by Elders (together with the Pastor). The word ‘presbyter’ stems from the New Testament Greek term presbuteros. A presbytery oversees our church, along with other churches in our region. We belong to what is called Grace Presbytery (which itself is part of our larger denomination: the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church).
Here is a summary of what we believe:
We believe that the Bible is the written Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit and is without error in the original manuscripts. The Bible is the unfolding of God’s redemptive plan for His people. It is the revelation of God’s truth and is infallible and authoritative in all matters of faith and practice.
We believe in the Holy Trinity. There is one God, who exists eternally in three distinct persons; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. All three are equal in power and authority.
We believe in original sin and the depravity of all mankind. We are all sinners and totally unable to save ourselves from God’s wrath.
We believe that salvation is the work of God alone as He sovereignly chooses those He calls to Himself. His choice is not based on the individual merits or foreseen faith of men but on His grace alone.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, who through His perfect life and sacrificial death atoned for the sins of all who will trust in Him alone for salvation. Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully Man.
We believe in God’s covenant promises that He has given to His people throughout the ages.
We believe in the Holy Spirit who dwells within God’s people and empowers them to trust and follow Him. Through this sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit we are renewed in the image of God.
We believe that Jesus will return one day to judge all mankind and receive His people to Himself.
We believe that because Jesus has made His people His own, we are to live to the glory of God in all aspects of our lives.