We believe in the only true and living God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; who is holy love, eternal, unchangeable in being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth. By word and action God invites persons into a covenant relationship. God promises to be faithful to the covenant and to make all who believe his people. All who respond with trust and commitment to God's invitation find the promise sure and rejoice in being members of God's people, the covenant community.
The scriptures are the infallible rule of faith and practice, the authoritative guide for Christian living. The authority of the scriptures is founded on the truth contained in them and the voice of God speaking through them.
God is the creator of all that is known and unknown. All creation discloses God's glory, power, wisdom, beauty, goodness, and love.
God exercises providential care over all creatures, peoples, nations, and things. The manner in which this care is provided is revealed in the scriptures.
God, in creating persons, gives them the capacity and freedom to respond to divine grace in loving obedience. Therefore, whoever will may be saved.
All persons rebel against God, lose the right relationship to God, and become slaves to sin and death. In willfully sinning all people become guilty before God and are under divine wrath and judgment, unless saved by God's grace through Jesus Christ.
God acts to heal the brokenness and alienation caused by sin and to restore the human family to community through the reconciliation effected in Jesus Christ.
God's mighty act of reconciling love was accomplished in Jesus Christ, the divine Son who became flesh to be the means by which the sins of the world are forgiven. Jesus Christ, being truly human and truly divine, was tempted in every respect as every person is, yet did not sin. Jesus Christ willingly suffered sin and death for every person. On the third day after being crucified, Christ was raised from the dead, appeared to many disciples, afterward ascended to God, and makes intercession for all persons.
God acted redemptively in Jesus Christ because of the sins of the world and continues with the same intent in the Holy Spirit to call every person to repentance and faith. The Spirit moves on the hearts of sinners, convincing them of their sins and their need for salvation, and inclining them to repentance and faith toward God. Persons may resist and reject the call of the Holy Spirit, but for all who respond with repentance and trustful acceptance of God's love in Christ, there is salvation and life.
Repentance is that attitude toward God wherein sinners firmly resolve to forsake sin, trust in Christ, and live in grateful obedience to God.
Saving faith is response to God, prompted by the Holy Spirit, wherein persons rely solely upon God's grace in Jesus Christ for salvation. Such faith includes trust in the truthfulness of God's promises in the scriptures, sorrow for sin, and determination to serve God and neighbor.
Justification is God's act of loving acceptance of believers whereby persons are reconciled to him by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Regeneration is God's renewal of believers and is solely of God's grace. Those who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ are recreated, or born again, renewed in spirit, and made new persons in Christ.
The church in the world consists of all who respond in faith to God's saving grace and who enter into formal covenant with God and each other. The church in the world never exists for self alone, but to glorify God and work for reconciliation through Christ. All who are united to Christ by faith are also united to one another in love. In this communion, they are to share the grace of Christ with one another, to bear one another's burdens, and to reach out to all other persons.
Christian worship is the affirmation of God's living presence and the celebration of God's mighty acts. It is central to the life of the church and is the appropriate response of all believers to the lordship and sovereignty of God.
Sacraments are signs and testimonies of God's covenant of grace. Circumcision and passover are the sacraments of the Old Testament; baptism and the Lord's Supper are the sacraments of the New Testament. They are given by God and through his presence, word, and will are made effective.
Baptism symbolizes the baptism of the Holy Spirit and is the external sign of the covenant which marks membership in the community of faith. In baptism the church witnesses God's initiative to claim persons for Christ, forgive their sins, grant them grace, shape and order their lives through the work of the Holy Spirit, and set them apart for service.
The Lord's Supper
The Lord's Supper is a means by which the church remembers and shows forth Christ's passion and death on the cross. The sacrament is also a perpetual means given to the church to celebrate and experience the continuing presence of the risen Lord and her expectation of the Lord's return. All persons who are a part of the covenant community and are committed to the Christian life are invited and encouraged to receive this sacrament.
Jesus Christ as Lord and head of the church has entrusted the government of the church to officers who make those decisions that will guide the life and ministry of the covenant community. The Cumberland Presbyterian Church is governed by certain representative bodies: session, presbytery, synod and General Assembly. Responsibility for the government of a particular church belongs to the session which is composed of the minister in charge and the elders elected by the congregation and installed as members of the session. The session thus constituted is responsible to lead the members in all those ministries that belong to the church.
Believers are saved by grace through faith which produces the desire to do the good works for which God creates persons in Christ Jesus.
Christian stewardship acknowledges that all of life and creation is a trust from God, to be used for God's glory and service. The motive for Christian stewardship is gratitude for God's abundant love and mercy. All believers are responsible to God and to the covenant community for their stewardship.
Death and Resurrection
Death is both a spiritual and physical reality. Therefore the church has the privilege and duty to proclaim that in Jesus Christ, God acts to redeem persons from bondage to death both in spirit and body. As in regeneration the whole person is resurrected to new life in Christ, so in the resurrection of the dead the whole person is raised to live in and enjoy the presence of God forever. Believers are assured of having passed from the death of sin into life with God. They confidently await full redemption without fear of judgment. Thanks be to God who gives us this victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!
Judgment and Consummation
God's judgment transcends this life, ever standing against all human attempts to deny dependence on God and to live without repentance, faith, and love. Those who reject God's salvation in Jesus Christ remain alienated from God and in hopeless bondage to sin and death, which is hell. In the consummation of history, at the coming of Jesus Christ, the kingdoms of the world shall become the kingdom of the Lord and of the Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.