What We Believe
Ordained men from throughout the United Kingdom met by act of Parliament between 1643 and 1653. By 1648 Parliament had approved the Westminster Confession of Faith with some minor amendments. The document was designed as a lowest common denominator that could be confessed by churches throughout the kingdom outlining the basic doctrines of historic and orthodox Christianity. The documents produced marked a high point in theological and pastoral reflection and beautifully outline the tenets of the faith.
Whilst not required for members, the ministers and elders of our denomination subscribe to the Westminster Confession of Faith together with the larger and shorter catechisms. We have sworn to promote, teach, and defend these summary statements as the subordinate standards of the church. Our sole authority in matters of life and doctrine is the Word of God. The Confession serves as an excellent summary of the basic system of truth revealed in the Scriptures.
You can view an online version of the Confession here.
Larger and Shorter Catechisms
The Larger and Shorter Catechisms serve as an excellent exposition of the Confession, further showing the mind of the original architects. They also contain an extremely helpful explanation of the law of God, the Gospel, the work of Christ, and the Lord’s Prayer.
We worship with our little ones every day in the home. God desires us be a worshipping people every day of the week, although Sunday is the highlight of our worship. The Shorter Catechism is an excellent aid alongside the Scriptures to me and my family as we seek to memorise key truths about God and His work of salvation. I hope it will be a blessing to your family too.
The Word of God is rich. As such we do not want to reduce down His system of theology to five points. That said, allow us to highlight several sections of our confession that may give an insight into the historic faith that we confess.
‘The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men’ WCF I.VI.
‘There is but one only, living, and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions; immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, most wise, most holy, most free, most absolute; working all things according to the counsel of His own immutable and most righteous will, for His own glory; most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him; and withal, most just, and terrible in His judgments, hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty’ WCF II.I.
‘In the unity of the Godhead there be three Persons of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. The Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son’ WCF II.III
‘Our first parents, being seduced by the subtilty and temptations of Satan, sinned, in eating the forbidden fruit. This their sin, God was pleased, according to His wise and holy counsel, to permit, having purposed to order it to His own glory’ WCF VI.I
‘They being the root of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed; and the same death in sin, and corrupted nature, conveyed to all their posterity descending from them by ordinary generation’ WCF VI.III
‘From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions’ WCF VI.IV
‘The Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, being very and eternal God, of one substance and equal with the Father, did, when the fullness of time was come, take upon Him man’s nature, with all the essential properties, and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin; being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the virgin Mary, of her substance. So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion. Which person is very God, and very man, yet one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man’ WCF VIII.II
‘All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, He is pleased, in His appointed time, effectually to call, by His Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature to grace and salvation, by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God, taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them an heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and, by His almighty power, determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ: yet so, as they come most freely, being made willing by His grace’ WCF X.I
‘Those whom God effectually calls, He also freely justifies; not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for any thing wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ’s sake alone; nor by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them, they receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness by faith; which faith they have not of themselves, it is the gift of God’ WCF XI.I
‘The light of nature shows that there is a God, who has lordship and sovereignty over all, is good, and does good unto all, and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and served, with all the heart, and with all the soul, and with all the might. But the acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by Himself, and so limited by His own revealed will, that He may not be worshipped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the holy Scripture’ WCF XXI.I
‘God has appointed a day, wherein He will judge the world, in righteousness, by Jesus Christ, to whom all power and judgment is given of the Father. In which day, not only the apostate angels shall be judged, but likewise all persons that have lived upon earth shall appear before the tribunal of Christ, to give an account of their thoughts, words, and deeds; and to receive according to what they have done in the body, whether good or evil’ WCF XXX.I
‘The end of God’s appointing this day is for the manifestation of the glory of His mercy, in the eternal salvation of the elect; and of His justice, in the damnation of the reprobate, who are wicked and disobedient. For then shall the righteous go into everlasting life, and receive that fulness of joy and refreshing, which shall come from the presence of the Lord; but the wicked who know not God, and obey not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast into eternal torments, and be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power’ WCF XXX.II