Bible Presbyterian Distinctives

The Scriptures
We believe that the Holy Scripture or the Bible is the Word of God. It is verbally and fully inspired by Him and is therefore inerrant; infallible and authoritative.

It is verbally inspired so that every word, and in fact every jot and tittle is inspired by God (Matthew 5:18). The Holy Spirit inspired the human authors in their writing, and while their style is not diminished, the result is the holy infallible Word of God.

It is fully inspired in that it is all inspired of God. One part of the Bible is not more inspired than another part, but all of it (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16). We believe that there are only 66 books in the Bible as spelt out in the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF 1.II). The books commonly called Apocrypha are not divinely inspired, and therefore are not part of Holy Scripture.

The Bible is inerrant in that there is no error in it because God Himself is the Divine Author. Hence scripture is used to interpret other portions of scripture (WCF 1.IX). If the scriptures give an interpretation to a particular text, then we must not seek any other interpretation.

The Bible is infallible and is correct in all matters, not only of matters pertaining to salvation, but also of history, science and geography.

The Bible, being the Word of God, is absolutely authoritative and so demands our absolute belief and obedience. Every believer can and must rest on its teachings, trust it, and depend on it fully and sufficiently for all that we need to know concerning how we may live our Christian lives (2 Tim 3:16-17; See WCF l.IV).

The Christian Gospel
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
1 Corinthians 15:3-4

The Apostle Paul declared that according to God’s eternal plan, Christ died for our sins. The Bible clearly states that we are by nature and conduct sinners before God (Romans 3:10,23), unable to do anything spiritually good to please Him. Sin is an offence against God and unless our sins are forgiven, we will be judged and eternally separated from God.

However, God in His great love for us sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to be born on earth and to die on the cross. He died in the place of sinful men, paying the penalty for sin (2 Corinthians 5:21) and remained in the grave until the third day. The burial of Jesus shows that the death was real. The heart of the gospel is this—”I, the sinner, deserve to die; but I believe that Jesus the Son of God died in my place. He became my Substitute.”

According to the Scriptures, Christ rose from the dead on the third day. This event proves His claim to be God’s Son (Romans 1:4) and His power to conquer sin (Romans 4:25). It also assures us as Christians that God will raise us after we die (1 Corinthians 15:20-23). Salvation is a gift of God to undeserving and unworthy sinners.

In summary, the gospel proclaims Jesus’ death for sinners. This gift of eternal life is available to all who place their faith and trust in Jesus Christ and acknowledge Him as Lord and Saviour. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved!

The Holy Trinity
The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is not easily understandable to our limited minds. Nevertheless, we must accept it by faith as an essential doctrine of Christianity. God is the one living and true God. He is one God, yet three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

One can find this doctrine on the first pages of the Bible. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: …so God created man in his own image” (Genesis 1:26-27). This shows that God, who is one, speaks as more than one. Furthermore, “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us” (Genesis 3:22). When Isaiah heard the call of God centuries later, he said: “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” (Isaiah 6:8).

In the New Testament, there are many references to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. In the baptism of Jesus Christ we see the Three Persons of the Godhead: the Father in heaven, the Son on earth and the Spirit descending from heaven to earth (Matthew 3:13-4:1).

The Virgin Birth of Christ
The conception and birth of Jesus was a miracle performed by the power of God through His Holy Spirit, without a human father. Jesus Christ is both Divine and Human: Divine in that He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit; Human in that He was born of the Virgin Mary.

The doctrine of the Virgin Birth of Christ is one of Christianity’s essential doctrines. The Virgin Birth of Christ was told by both Matthew and Luke. “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 1:18). In Luke 1:26-35, we have God’s full explanation of the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ, Who is both God and Man.

Physical Resurrection of Christ
The doctrine of the Resurrection of Christ is one of Christianity’s essential and central truths. The Apostle Paul said that if Christ had not risen physically, then our faith is vain, we are still in our sins, and we are of all men most miserable (1 Corinthians 15:16-19).

This doctrine is specifically and thoroughly taught in Q52 of the Westminster Confession Larger Catechism: “How was Christ exalted in His resurrection?”

Ans: “Christ was exalted in His resurrection, in that, not having seen corruption in death (of which it was not possible for Him to be held), and having the very same body in which He suffered, with the essential properties thereof (but without mortality, and other common infirmities belonging to this life), really united to His soul, He rose again from the dead the third day by His own power; whereby He declared Himself to be the Son of God, to have satisfied divine justice, to have vanquished death, and him that had the power of it, and to be Lord of quick and dead: all which He did as a public person, the head of His Church, for their justification, quickening in grace, support against enemies, and to assure them of their resurrection from the dead at the last day.”
Much can be said from this statement, but there are 5 key points.

Firstly, Christ did actually die physically. It was confirmed by the Roman soldiers (John 19:33-37) and the Jewish burial that was given him (John 19:39-40).

Secondly, He also resurrected bodily; His grave clothes were left behind (John 20:5-7) and His nail prints could still be felt (John 20:27).

Thirdly, Christ rose from the dead on the third day by His own power. He predicted this in John 10:18. This is significant because it proves that He is the Son of God (Romans 1:4).

Fourthly, Christ’s resurrection secures salvation for all believers because it proves that His death was accepted as atonement for our sins.

Fifthly, because He has conquered death, all believers will likewise be resurrected at the last day (1 Corinthians 15:24-26).

Presbyterian Form of Church Government
The church is governed by sound principles in order to carry out God’s eternal plan in the world and in His children. But since God alone is the Lord of the conscience, God “has left it free from the doctrine and commandments of men, which are in any thing contrary to His Word, or beside it in matters of faith or worship” (Article 5.1). Hence, all church power, of the congregation or of its officers, is only “ministerial and declarative”. The only authority on faith and conduct is the Holy Scriptures and “all its decisions should be founded upon the revealed will of God” (Article 5.7). It is essential that those admitted as teachers and preachers in the church be sound in “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”

The church is committed to the task of evangelism and missions, fellowship and discipleship, baptism, the Lord’s Supper and Worship, Christian education, weddings and funerals, and the stewardship of the manifold resources bestowed by God.

The management, administration and discipline of the church rest on the Session of the church which comprises the Pastor, Associate/Assistant Pastor and, if any, Advisory or Supervisory Pastor, Elders, Deacons and Deaconesses. The Pastor will also be the Chairman or Moderator of the Session.

The spiritual oversight of the church in matters of doctrine, principles of government, church elections, admission and discipline of members and the administrative oversight of the church shall be the specific responsibilities of the Pastor with the full co-operation and participation of the Board of Elders (Article 11.2 & 15.7). Deacons and deaconesses work under the instruction of the Elders.

All session members of the church are elected to hold office for a period of three years by the congregation at the Annual Congregational Meeting. All may be eligible for re-election in accordance with the terms of the Constitution.

The church is financially supported by the freewill offerings and tithes of its members and gifts donated from friends and other income derived by the church according to the Holy Scriptures.