Many people have asked what we at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church believe. What does it mean to be a Presbyterian Church? What does it mean to say we are Reformed?
We are evangelical
We take our stand with all those through the history of the Church who have affirmed the authority of the Word of God and the centrality of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Along with all Bible-believing Christians, we strongly affirm: the existence of the triune God, the deity of Jesus Christ, the virgin birth, sinless life, and substitutionary and vicarious atonement of Christ, the physical resurrection of Christ, the sure return of Christ, and the infallibility and divine authority of the Bible which is a faithful and true guide to what we are to believe and how we are to live. We joyfully affirm our unity with those from every tradition and denomination who hold to these fundamentals.
We are evangelistic
This means we take seriously the Great Commission, “Go and make disciples of all nations.” Without compromising the sovereignty of God, we affirm the responsibility of each person to repent and believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and our responsibility to extend the Gospel invitation as a call to salvation to everyone who hears its message. We invite all, without distinction, to drink freely of the Water of Life and to live eternally. In this way, we seek to extend the transforming presence of the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ to all peoples in all nations, starting right here in Castle Rock.
We are reformed
“Reformed” can be defined simply in two ways: 1) It is a reference to our historical link to the Reformation of the 16th century and intends to describe us as the heirs of that tradition which comes from Luther, Calvin, Knox and other reformers. 2) It is used most commonly to refer to theological distinctives which have marked reformation believers, particularly those in the Calvinist tradition.
Reformed distinctives include the sovereignty of God in His creation, providence and election of believers apart from any merit of their own; the irresistible grace of God provided for and preceding the faith of the individual; the sufficiency of God’s grace apart from which man is dead in sin and wholly defiled in all his faculties of soul and body; the efficacy of Christ’s death for all those who believe in Him by grace; the safe-guarding of all those for whom Christ died for eternal life.
We seek to hold to our reformed convictions joyfully, yet humbly, recognizing the sincerity and earnestness of Godly men and women who have other positions.
We are confessional
We have a written confession of faith which we believe to be a good and accurate summary of the Bible’s teaching. Our confession consists of the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms. These documents do not carry Biblical authority, yet they do contain carefully worded summaries of the Bible’s content. Every church has a confession, formal or informal, even though some claim they have “no confession but Christ” or “no creed but the Bible.” Every church summarizes its convictions in some form in order to distinguish its members from those who are not believers or those who do not believe in their church’s distinctives.
We are covenantal
To say we are covenantal means we believe that the unifying principle of the Scriptures is the one covenant of grace that God made with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and finally, and most importantly, in Jesus Christ. The covenant is a pledge or bond of loyalty which God made to His people through each of the above named persons. The covenant is a relationship of loving loyalty that God has graciously initiated with us as His people throughout human history. To speak of the unity of the covenants means that there is one way and one way only to salvation in both Old and New Testaments-that is, by faith alone in our Redeemer Jesus Christ.
We are Kingdom centered
We believe that the Kingdom of God is not only a future hope but is also a present reality. We believe that the ascension of Jesus Christ means that He is presently reigning from Heaven and, therefore, we are called upon to honor and obey Him in every area of our personal lives and to plant the banner of Christ’s Kingdom rule in every area of human endeavor. Christ’s present heavenly reign is at the heart of our worship and activity as a Church. Each Lord’s Day we gather together to worship God in Spirit and truth, as we celebrate the risen and ascended Christ. And all we do in service to God is enabled and empowered by the Spirit of God who is the gift of the ascended Christ to the Church.
We are Presbyterian
This word refers to our form of government. We are governed by presbyters (elders) who rule jointly in sessions (single church), presbyteries (collections of local churches) and the General Assembly (churches across our Nation).
Acceptance of all these distinctives is not required for membership in our church. One can join and be a participating member of our church without holding to any but the evangelical distinctive.