What We Believe
Compelled by the love of Jesus Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we carry the gospel to Houston and to the world.
The following Statement of Faith was adopted unanimously by the Session of First Presbyterian Church of Houston at its stated meeting on June 19, 2012.
Statement of Faith
God. God has revealed himself to be the creator and sustainer of the universe and the living and true God, perfect in love and righteousness in all his ways, one in essence, existing eternally in the three persons of the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Jesus Christ. God, who discloses himself to humankind through his creation, has spoken in the words and events of history -- seeking to redeem creation and to establish the kingdom of God. This “redemptive history” is fulfilled in Jesus Christ, God’s eternal son, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, the incarnate Word, fully human and fully divine, who is made known to us by the Holy Spirit through Scripture.
The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit – as the third member of the Trinity – inspired the writing of the Bible and enables the believer to read and hear the Bible as God’s Word. The Spirit also bears witness to Jesus Christ as he is attested in Scripture and works to both transform and restore all creation. The Spirit, through the proclamation of the gospel, renews our hearts, persuading us to repent of our sins and confess Jesus as Lord. By the same Spirit we are led to trust in God’s mercy, receive forgiveness for all our sins, are justified by our faith and granted the free gift of eternal life in God’s present and eternal kingdom.
The Authority and Interpretation of Scripture. Scripture is an essential and trustworthy record of God’s self-revelation. All the books of the Old and New Testaments, given by divine inspiration, are the written word of God.
- The Bible, as God’s word, is infallible and inerrant in all that it teaches concerning the redemptive history of God’s people and in matters of theology, faith, ethics and the practice of day to day living as a disciple of Jesus Christ.
- All Scripture is to be interpreted in light of Christ’s centrality in God’s plan for the salvation and redemption of all creation.
- Priority should be given to gaining the most “plain” (simplest or most direct) interpretation of a text within its narrative, grammatical, cultural and historical contexts.
- All Scripture is to be interpreted by other Scripture; searching the whole of Scripture when studying a particular issue or text and evaluating all texts within the larger context of the centrality of Jesus Christ.
- Scripture has precedence over all other authorities, including church tradition, human reason and experience, and culture. At the same time, the interpretation of Scripture is to be done in humility, with a deep understanding of the potential fallibility of human interpretation.
Sin. God, by his word and for his glory, freely created the world out of nothing. God made man and woman in his own image, as the crown of creation, that we might live in fellowship with him. Tempted by Satan, all have rebelled against God, consistently refusing to honor God or to give him our gratitude. In doing so, we became separated from God, inwardly broken, falling short of God’s intended best for us and worshiping all manner of idols. Apart from grace, we are incapable of restoring our relationship with God.
Salvation. The only and exclusive mediator of God’s grace – and the exclusive means by which we are saved – is Jesus Christ our Lord. By his voluntary death on our behalf, he revealed God’s divine love while also upholding God’s justice. In so doing, he removed our guilt, reconciled us to God and instituted God’s Kingdom on Earth now, although not yet in its fullness. Having redeemed us from our sin, he rose bodily from the grave, victorious over death and evil, and ascended into heaven where, at God’s right hand, he intercedes for his people and rules as Lord over all creation.
Sanctification. God graciously adopts us into his family and enables us to call him Father. As we are led by the Spirit, we grow in the knowledge of the Lord, freely keeping his commandments and endeavoring so to live in the world that all may see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven.
God’s Redemptive Purpose. God’s purpose in history will be consummated by the return of Christ to raise the dead, to judge all people according to their acts of faith, and to establish his glorious kingdom. Those who have declined God’s saving grace -- will be separated from God’s presence, but those made righteous by God’s grace through Christ shall live and reign with him forever.