As Christians, we believe that in order to know God, God must first make himself known. In most sciences, the scientist himself performs the work of investigation, probing the depths of the particular object of study in order to grow in his knowledge of it. No so with God! No matter how hard we try, we cannot know God if God does not make himself known. As one writer puts it "God can be known only through God." And God has done just that- he's revealed Himself in creation, in the human conscience, but in a special way, through His Son Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word. If you've ever wondered "What is God like?", then look no further than the Incarnate Savior of the world. In the face of Jesus we behold the glorious face of Almighty God.
As Christians, we also believe that God has revealed Himself in a written Word- the holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. This Word is inspired by the holy Spirit and therefore utterly reliable, trustworthy, and without error in all that it teaches. We believe that the Bible is this infallible Word and reveals to us the life-giving truths needed for salvation from our guilt and corruption. And with the saints who have gone before us, we believe that these truths have been faithfully preserved in particular creeds and confessions. The heart and soul of these creeds and confessions is the Lord Jesus Christ. The holy gospel of his redeeming grace is at the very center of everything we do.
The word “creed” comes from the Latin credo and simply means “I believe,” a concept that Christians can hardly question. Our response to the gospel is one of faith (belief), since the gospel consists of promises from God to us. Creeds are written in such a manner that the Christian may take them upon their lips and “confess with their mouths” those things they believe in their hearts (Romans 10:9).
The truth is that every Christian, every church, has a creed. Even “no creed but Christ” or “no creed but the Bible” are, ironically, creeds! So the question is NOT “should we have creeds and confessions?” but “WHICH creeds and confessions should we use?”
As a Presbyterian congregation, we are committed to Reformed theology and practice, specifically the Westminster Confession of Faith and Larger and Shorter Catechisms. We believe these documents best summarize the teaching of Scripture and provide for the saints of today an invaluable link to our forbears in the faith who strove to see the church reformed and always reforming. In addition to the Westminster Standards, we also confess the faith of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church with Christians of all times and in all places. This holy catholic faith, confessed by the church from the beginning, is best summarized in the Apostles, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds. Every week we confess our common faith together using one of these creeds.
Far from usurping the absolute priority and authority of the Word of God, our confessions and catechisms serve to boost and highlight this priority, directing our wandering minds and hearts back to the Scriptures and its infallible teachings all of our days.