The Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America is a visible Church of Jesus Christ. Our beliefs all stem from a full commitment to the authority of the Bible as the inerrant, infallible Word of God. This means that we believe in the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We acknowledge our total inability to save ourselves and, in faith, depend on Christ alone as our Savior. We acknowledge Him as Covenant Lord in every area of life, and we vow together to advance His Kingdom on earth.
We believe that God desires His Church to set forth clear statements of her system of doctrine that can be supported from Scripture. We therefore accept as our creed, or subordinate standards, The Westminster Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms. In addition to these doctrinal statements, we adhere to the Testimony of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, which is our continuing application of God’s written word to the world and the Church of today.
We believe that God’s Word clearly sets forth how He is to be worshiped. The reading and exposition of the Word of God are the central focus of our worship. Our musical praise employs God’s Word only, thus making use of divinely inspired Book of Psalms of the Bible. In keep with the New Testament Church’s directive for heart worship, we sing without the aid of musical instruments.
Reformed Presbyterians have also been referred to historically as Covenanters because of their identification with public covenanting in Scotland, beginning in the 16th century. This act was a protest for Christ’s crown rights over the state and the recognition of Christ as King over the Church without interference from the government. In 1743, the first Reformed Presbyterian congregation was organized in North America. In this continent, too, the Kingship of Christ has been maintained as a foundational principle of the Church of the RPCNA.
We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God and the only infallible rule of faith and life. We accept the Bible as the inerrant revelation of God given through holy men of differing skills whom He chose, inspired and infallibly guided by His Holy Spirit to write His Words. (II Tim. 3:16,17; II Peter 1:20,21) Though the Bible contains some things that are hard to understand (II Peter 3:16), we believe that all persons with the help of the Holy Spirit and a sincere desire to learn, can grasp every essential teaching of this Book, and therefore we urge everyone to read and study the Scriptures with diligence and a heart open to God. The faithful teaching of the Bible is a feature of our weekly worship services.
We believe in the one living and true God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as He is revealed in the Scriptures. We believe that the three Persons of the Godhead are the same in substance, equal in power and glory. (Matthew 28:19) We readily acknowledge the mystery involved in this profound doctrine, yet accept it as the revelation which God has given of Himself in Scripture, and believe that any alternative ideas of God are false and in the end idolatrous. For the purpose of working out a plan of redemption for His people, the Persons of the Godhead adopted role relationships, whereby the Son became subordinate to the Father, but will be exalted again when this plan comes to final completion. (Hebrews 2:9; Philippians 2:9-11; I Corinthians 15:24-27)
We believe that God is the One who saves lost and rebellious sinners such as we all are, and that it is by His grace alone that we can be reconciled to God. (II Corinthians 5:18,19) God’s grace was manifested in sending His own Son, Jesus Christ to this world, to offer Himself as an atoning sacrifice for our sins, (Ephesians 2:8,9; I John 2:1,2) and to provide us with His perfect righteousness to substitute for our failings. (Romans 3:21,22; II Corinthians 5:21) Sinners are commanded to repent of their sins, (Luke 13:3) acknowledge their need of a Savior, (Psalm 32:5) and call out to Jesus to save them, transferring their hope of acceptance before God from themselves and their efforts to Christ and His finished work. (Romans 10:13; Acts 16:31; John 3:16) God’s regeneration and the working of His Spirit enables us to do that, but the responsibility is ours nonetheless. We appeal to sinners to come to Christ!
We place a high priority on worship because of the first four of the Ten Commandments, and because Jesus said that the Father in heaven “seeks people” who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23,24) These requirements move us, when we worship, to seek to honor and please God above all else, rather than expecting to make worship some “experience” to boost and inspire ourselves. We don’t believe that God has left us to figure out, on our own, what worship should be, but rather believe that the Scriptures give directives to regulate God-pleasing worship. We are serious in our attempt to follow these Scriptural directives, and we find great blessing in doing so.
One somewhat unique feature of Scriptural worship is the singing of the Psalms of the Bible exclusively in praising God. These Biblical songs are an infallible offering to God as we use them week by week. (Colossians 3:16) They cover every aspect of Christian experience, and express the full range of the glory of God’s attributes. We also follow the pattern of the churches in the book of Acts in singing A Cappella, and endeavor always to make melody in our hearts to God. (Ephesians 5:19)
We believe that the Biblical form of church government is Presbyterian, which means rule by Elders. The Greek word for Elder is “presbyter” which explains the name. In the nation of Israel (Numbers 11:16,17,25) as well as in the New Testament Church (Acts 14:23; 15:2,6) elders were chosen to shepherd and oversee the spiritual welfare of God’s flock. (Acts 20:17,28) Qualifications for the office of Elder, and for the office of Deacon are specifically given in the New Testament to guide the selection of these church leaders. (I Timothy 3; Titus 1) God has preserved and protected His truth through the history of the church by means of the combined wisdom of qualified elders, meeting together in Sessions, Presbyteries, and Councils (Synods and General Assemblies).
We believe that following Jesus Christ involves all aspects of a person’s life, and that He is to be acknowledged and exalted as King not only in one’s personal life, but in our homes, on the job, in our schooling, in our government, in our social and leisure time, everywhere! (I Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:23,24) We believe every Christian should, with the help of the Holy Spirit, grow and develop toward the image and likeness of Christ, (Romans 8:29) and see his or her gifts increasingly used to the glory of God, the strengthening of the church, and the advancement of Christ’s Kingdom. (I Peter 4:10,11)