We believe that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, authoritative Word of God and it is therefore our ultimate authority for faith (what we believe) and practice (how we are to live, worship, witness, etc.).
Our church’s statement of faith is expressed in the Reformed Confessions of the 16th-17th Century Protestant Reformation, namely the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Westminster Larger & Shorter Catechisms. We believe that these Westminster Standards faithfully & accurately teach the system of doctrine found in God’s Word.
Also, as a member of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, Keystone Heights Presbyterian Church also affirms the following statements: The Cambridge Declaration and the Chicago Statement on Biblical Innerancy.
In John 17:3 Jesus says, "This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and the One You have sent --Jesus Christ".
According to Jesus, the primary reason and purpose that we exist is to KNOW GOD. As A.W. Tozer once said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.".
The study of biblical theology is vital in the life of the Christian, because that word "theology" is simply fusion of two Latin words which literally means, "the knowledge of God".
If you have a sincere desire to know God...to know Him deeply, passionately and intimately....then it begins with a careful and precise study of Christian theology.
In "Theology Pure And Simple", Pastor Rob walks the reader through the great theological truths which are contained in the Westminster Shorter Catechism, a historic evangelical statement of faith written in the mid 17th century.
We believe in one God, the sovereign Creator and Sustainer of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
esus Christ is God in the flesh who walked among us, died on a cross as the sacrifice for our sins, and on the third day arose bodily from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and is now our High Priest and mediator.
The Holy Spirit has come to glorify Christ and to apply the saving work of Christ to our hearts. He gives us new life, empowers and imparts gifts to us, guides us into all truth, and seals us for the day of redemption.
Being separated from God and condemned by our sinfulness, our salvation is wholly dependent upon the work of God’s free grace. God credits His righteousness to those who put their faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation.
The true Church is composed of all persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit are united together in the body of Christ.
Jesus Christ will come again to the earth-personally, visibly, and bodily-to judge the living and the dead, and to consummate history and the eternal plan of God.
The Lord Jesus Christ commands all believers to proclaim the Gospel throughout the world and to make disciples of all nations.
Scripture Alone– The Bible is the sole written divine revelation, our only infallible rule for faith and life, and alone can bind the conscience of believers absolutely (Matt. 4:4; 2 Tim. 3:16).
Faith Alone– Justification is by faith alone. By God’s free grace, the righteousness of Jesus Christ is imputed to us by faith and is the sole ground of our acceptance by God, by which our sins are pardoned (Rom. 5:1; Gal 2:16).
Christ Alone– Jesus Christ is the only mediator through Whose work we are redeemed (John 14:6; John 3:16).
Grace Alone– Our salvation rests solely on the work of God’s grace for us (Rom. 2:4; Eph. 2:8-10).
To God Alone be the Glory– Salvation is of God and has been accomplished by God, therefore to God alone belongs the glory (Isa. 42:8; Col. 3:17).
The Church consists of all those individuals whom God has saved throughout the world. The marks of the Church in her individual congregations are those defining characteristics of the body of Christ throughout history. These marks are, especially, the right preaching of God’s Word and the faithful declaration of the Gospel, the administration of the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, the discipline of her members, and her submission to Christ as her only true and rightful head (1 Tim. 3:13; Matt. 28:19; 16:19; 1 Cor. 11:24-26).
Most of what Keystone Heights Presbyterian Church teaches and believes it holds in common with faithful believers all over the world. Yet as a “Reformed” congregation, we tend to emphasize some teachings or Scriptural interpretations more than others. How can this be?
If you think of the worldwide church as a body, then you can imagine specific congregations as individual organs. Each organ contributes to the proper functioning of the body, and each performs a unique function.
Or imagine a room full of English speakers from different corners of the world— Georgia, Australia, Britain, South Africa, Scotland, and Toronto. Each speaks the same language, but their accents make them sound very different!
Sometimes we refer to our particular emphases as speaking with a “Reformed" accent.
Three words that figure prominently within a Reformed accent are sovereignty, covenant, and kingdom.
Those of us who speak with a Reformed accent hold a very high view of God’s sovereignty: God’s plan, God’s will, God’s power. Everything that happens in the world, from the acts of nations to the faith of individuals, is ultimately under God’s sovereign control.
We find it very comforting that God’s infinite love and grace is coupled with God’s power and ability to work on our behalf. You see, we know that no human thought or speech or action or desire is completely free of the effects of the fall. Even our will is tainted. Therefore we cannot help ourselves; we are “dead in our trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1).
Our only hope, then, is to admit that we have a sin problem, that we are powerless to help ourselves, and that we need to ask for God’s intervention. Since God has already stirred such a desire in us, we are sure that he will answer our cry.
Reformed churches focus on how God calls people into relationship with him, urging people to say yes to His offer of salvation in Jesus and offer their lives to God in return. Although we’re deeply involved in responding to God’s love in Jesus Christ, salvation is ultimately God’s work from beginning to end.
Another word that shows up a lot in our “Reformed” accent is covenant. Perhaps that word isn’t familiar to you. A covenant is like a contract or a treaty. It involves partners who make promises to each other and then seal the deal in some appropriate way—with signatures, for example.
The Bible talks of God as a “covenant-making God,” meaning that He makes promises and keeps them. (The word testament, as in Old and New Testaments, really means covenant.)
This is a very good thing to know! Because the sad truth of the matter is that we have a hard time keeping our promises. Think of all those New Year’s resolutions that dissipate in the light of January 2. More sadly, think of the number of marriages promises, made in complete sincerity, that are broken.
God makes firm covenant promises to love and protect, to care for and guide His people—in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer. Though our promises prove feeble, God’s are firm. In fact, God can carry our covenant all by Himself!
A final word that’s important to a “Reformed” accent is kingdom. And here the accent gets very broad because kingdom takes in all of human culture throughout the world.
Unlike nations on earth, God’s kingdom does not have defined borders. It is not restricted to a certain location, like a cathedral; nor can it be reduced to “religious” activity. By God’s kingdom we mean God’s sovereign rule, God’s sphere of influence. We believe that God’s Spirit is busy extending God’s rule all over creation.
Certainly God’s reign is evident in spiritual experiences of renewal and change. But it is also evident in God’s gracious upholding of creation day by day, season by season. God’s reign is evident anywhere God’s will is done—in actions, lives, technology, artistry, and institutions.
God calls each of us to participate in the spread of his kingdom. The whole world is a place where we can carry out the mission of restoring God’s creation. In the memorable words of the theologian Abraham Kuyper, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!’”
Jesus came to inaugurate the kingdom of God. His victory over sin and death turned the tide. Though sin, brokenness, and evil are still evident in the world, God’s kingdom is already here and is still coming. Someday Christ will come again, bringing the kingdom in full. In the meantime we pray and act for God’s kingdom to come.
Our form of government is presbyterian in nature; or, in other words, our church is governed by elders. Presbyterian comes from the Greek word meaning, simply, “elder.” Paul emphasized a plurality of elders in the early church (Titus 1:5; Acts 20:17). An elder is a biblically qualified man who has been nominated, trained, examined, and ordained to oversee the affairs of the church. The Bible gives explicit qualifications for such men (1 Tim. 3:1-7).
A deacon is a biblically qualified man who has been nominated, trained, examined, and ordained to minister to the physical needs of the church. Deacon means, literally, “one who waits on tables.” The Apostles appointed the first deacons so that the Apostles could better attend to prayer and the ministry of the Word (Acts 6). The Bible gives explicit qualifications for deacons (1 Tim. 3:8-13).