Statement of Belief
God is spirit; infinite, eternal, and unchangeable; all-powerful, holy, wise, good, true, and just, hating all sin. He is merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth; not willing that any should perish; but that all should come to repentance. This truth is summed up in the Bible statement, “God is love.” He exists in three Persons — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — Who are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, written by men inspired by the Holy Spirit, are the Word of God. They are the revelation of God's will for men and of man's duty to God, and are the only infallible and authoritative rule of faith and life.
The eternal purpose of God includes all events; it is holy and wise and does not deprive man of freedom nor make God the author of sin.
For the manifestation of His own glory, God created the world and all things therein, whether visible or invisible, and all very good. He made man after His own image, male and female created He them, with immortal souls, endowed with knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, having the law of God in their hearts and power to fulfill it, and yet under a possibility of transgression, being left to the freedom of their own will.
Sin and the Fall
Sin is the violation of God's law, either by omission or commission. Our first parents, being tempted by Satan, disobeyed God's command, and so by their own choice fell from their original state of innocence and communion with God, and came under the power of sin, the penalty of which is eternal death. All men, by reason of their relationship to Adam as their representative head and common ancestor, are born with a sinful nature, from which all actual transgressions proceed, and out of this condition no one is able to deliver himself.
God, Who is rich in mercy, so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son to be the Savior of sinners. The salvation thus provided is freely offered to all men, and is sufficient for all, but becomes efficacious only in those who believe in Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
Before the foundation of the world, God the Fother chose unto Himself in Christ, a people whom He gave to His Son, that they should be holy and without blame before Him in love. Those who come to years of discretion receive this salvation only through faith in Christ, being regenerated by the Holy Spirit. Those who die in infancy, and others incapable of exercising choice, are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit, who works when and where and how He pleases. We thus declare that God's electing grace has peopled heaven with a multitude that no man can number, and has never sent one soul to hell.
Christ the Redeemer
The Lord Jesus Christ, being the eternal Son of God, became truly man, being conceived by the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary, yet without sin; so that He is both God and man, and the only perfect mediator between God and man, by Whom alone we can come unto the Father. By a life of perfect obedience and by His sacrificial death, He satisfied divine justice, made a perfect atonement for sin, and reconciles us to God. He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, where He makes continual intercession for us, and He sits at the right hand of God, clothed with honor and power, subduing His people unto Himself, ruling and defending them, and restraining and conquering all His and their enemies. He will come again to receive and reward His people and to judge the world.
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Godhead, applies the redemption purchased by Christ. He persuades and enables men to obey the call of the gospel, and dwells continually in every believer as the spirit of truth, of holiness, of power, and of comfort, and is thereby the author of all Christian experience.
Justification by Faith
Everyone who humbly relies upon Christ alone for salvation and in repentance confesses and forsakes his sin, is pardoned and accepted as righteous in God's sight, soley on the ground of the perfect obedience and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Everyone thus pardoned and accepted is adopted into God's family, and becomes an heir of God and a joint-heir with Jesus Christ.
The Christian Life
The Holy Spirit imparts spiritual life by the direct operation of His power, so that, being born from above, we are the children of God, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which are not the ground, but the fruits of salvation. Dwelling in Christ's people, He purifies them more and more from sin, enables them to render a cheerful and loving obedience to God's commandments, and preserves by His sanctifying work in their hearts, until at last they stand perfect in the presence of Christ in glory. Believers may at times backslide, growing indifferent and cold, and even falling into grievous sins; yet God does not cast them off, but chastens them and restores them through repentance to fellowship with Him.
We acknowledge one universal church, the same in all ages, of which Christ is the head. The church invisible consists of all the redeemed. The church visible is composed of all those throughout the world who profess faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, together with their children, and it is the duty of all believers openly to profess their faith by uniting with the church. The church exists to bring to Christ those whom the Father has given Him and to establish the Redeemer's kingdom. The mission of the church is spiritual, and its work is to witness to the truth of God to the ends of the earth and preach the gospel to all men in every generation. We recognize the validity of the ministry and sacraments of all evangelical churches, and seek the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace.
There are two sacraments — baptism, which symbolizes the work of the Holy Spirit, and the Lord's Supper, which symbolizes the sacraficial death of Christ.
Death and Resurrection
The souls of believers are at their death made perfect in holiness, and do immediately pass into glory, and their bodies, being still united to Christ, do rest in the grave till the resurrection. At the resurrection, believers, being raised up into glory, shall be openly acknowledged and acquitted in the day of judgment and made perfectly blessed in the full enjoyment of God to all eternity; but the wicked shall go away into everlasting punishment.
The Final State
There are but two states of future existence — heaven, the home of the redeemed, and hell, the abode of the finally impenitent; there is no purgatory, nor is there any probation after death. Man retains his identity after death, and there will be recognition in the future life. We believe in the ultimate and complete triumph of the Savior's kingdom, and with all His followers in all ages we toil and pray for the speedy coming of the day when our glorious Lord shall see the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied.
Source: The Westminster Confession