Our Church Identity
We are an "evangelical" church, even though this designation can create potential misunderstanding in 21st century America. To be evangelical means first and foremost that we believe the 66 books of the Holy Bible to be the Word of God written; fully authoritative for faith and living and without error in the original documents as God's Spirit spoke through chosen human vessels of his self-revelation. The Holy Scriptures are an infallible rock of divine authority upon which we can stand secure in our knowledge of God and his world. The Bible is the epitome of absolute truth, telling us "all we need for faith and godliness."
Being evangelical also means to be Christ-centered. Jesus of Nazareth was the unique revelation of God; the second Person of the Holy Trinity. Jesus is "the way, the truth and the life... no one comes to the Father except through Him." He lived a sinless life in perfect obedience to the plan of God for redemption of all people he eternally designed to save. Christ's shed blood on the Cross was our substitutionary atonement. He took our place as the Sinbearer before holy justice. Therefore, by faith in him alone we can be forever justified from sin. His resurrection is our restoration into the eternal life God intended us to have, which we lost in the fall into sin. His future coming will be bodily and glorious, immediately marking the grand event that rings down the curtain of this present world with a judgment of condemnation for the lost and begins eternal bliss for the saved, who will dwell in resurrection bodies, in the new heaven and new earth as the home of righteousness.
Being evangelical requires from us a consuming passion to make Jesus Christ known to all in the world as the Savior and Lord of all who will believe in him. In him is assured knowledge of eternal life in glory; apart from him is only woe and eternal doom. We have a great task to carry the good news of this gospel to our neighbors and the nations. Westminster desires to be a "sending church:" supplying the world missionary endeavor with funds, resources and lives committed to making Christ known to the lost.
Thinking about human nature, we realize that all of humanity is fallen into sin and we are separated from God by our basic nature. What Adam and Eve did in the historic Garden, we each do every day of our lives - suppressing the knowledge of God and choosing to go our own way. This road of rebellion leads to both physical and spiritual death, unless God should intervene by his grace. Every part of our human nature, even the most commendable acts we might do, is at least tainted by selfishness and sin.
We believe in the sovereignty of divine grace. In all matters of creation, salvation and providence, God Himself comes first! He is the divine Initiator of our salvation. So doctrines like "election" cannot be avoided; the Scriptures clearly teach that we are born anew by the mysterious plan and work of God's spirit in us, even before we consciously begin to believe.
Grace not only initiates our salvation, it sustains us every step of life's way. Just as God has worked in grace on our behalf without any merit or qualification being owed to us, our methods of ministry must be grace-based and gracious! We forgive as we have been forgiven; being grateful in all things for the mercies of God and seeking out the broken person to find wholeness from trusting in Jesus Christ. We seek to present a warm and winsome expression of the Reformed faith.
In the Christian life, once we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit who is in every true believer, we enter a great warfare with sin, knowing that "Christ in me" will ultimately triumph! We will finally be perfected after our death, despite the real struggles we must endure in temptation and grief today. So we endure in hope, enabled by the Spirit to live a new life.
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