What We Believe

About Us

Lakewood Presbyterian Church is:

Most importantly, we believe that the Bible is the Word of God. When the authors of the Biblical books initially wrote (or dictated) under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit what we acknowledge thousands of years later to Holy Scripture, that means that every word that was recorded was exactly what God intended for us to receive. In technical terms, that means that Scripture is inspired, infallible, inerrant, and authoritative.

The Bible is unmistakably clear on the following:

That God is Triune. There is one God, who exists eternally in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

That all human beings – while made in the image of God – are sinners. Sin affects the whole person – mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Because of our sin, we are utterly unable to escape God’s righteous judgment against us; only his mercy can make that possible.

That salvation from sin and from the penalty of eternal judgment are made possible only by the sovereign grace of God, in the person and work of Jesus Christ, and must be received by faith alone.

That Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, who through His perfect life and sacrificial death atoned for the sins of all who trust in Him, alone, for salvation.

That God is Faithful to his Covenant promises, to the generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. While every individual must respond in faith to the message of salvation in Christ, in God’s sovereign purposes, he is ordinarily pleased to bring about saving faith in individuals through their parents’ diligent efforts to instruct them in the faith.

That the Holy Spirit indwells God’s people and gives them the strength and wisdom to trust Christ and follow Him.

That Jesus will return, bodily and visibly, to judge all mankind and to receive His people unto Himself.

That all aspects of our lives are to be lived to the glory of God under the Lordship of Jesus, who reigns today, over all the kingdoms of this earth.

Obviously, not every church believes the Bible teaches the same thing, but that’s not a failure on God’s part to communicate – instead, it’s a failure on ours to understand what he’s made clear.

Furthermore, Lakewood is …

Sometimes people ask the question: “what must I believe to be a Christian?” – but this is not the best question to ask. You don’t receive the grace of God by knowing the right answers to certain questions, but by knowing Jesus Christ through faith.

At the same time, knowing Jesus Christ at all implies knowing who he is. More simply put, you can know who Jesus is without knowing him by faith, but you can’t know him by faith unless you know who he is.

So who is Jesus? And who is God the Father, and who is the Holy Spirit?

On these questions, the Church – the body of Christ, made of all Christians in all ages – has been universally agreed for over 1600 years. This agreement is best expressed in the Apostles and the Nicene Creeds, which teach the basics about the unique identity of God, who exists eternally in three persons, and who alone can redeem us from sin and restore us to our rightful place in the world he has created and will bring to perfection at the appointed time.

Again – it’s not about what you know, it’s who you know – and if your faith is in a God other than the one these creeds perfectly describe – then your faith is not in the God of the Bible, our Creator and Redeemer, who alone can meet the needs of humanity and fulfill the glorious promises made in Holy Scripture to all who in faith receive and believe them.

While the Bible is unmistakably clear on all that’s mentioned above, we believe it’s also clear on a number of other points as well. Being a “confessional” church, for us, means that we have received, acknowledge, and teach nothing contrary to the Westminster Confession of Faith, along with its Shorter and Larger Catechisms. Although they are not inspired, inerrant, or infallible (as the Bible itself is), we do believe that with respect to every topic they address, they are correct in their assertion of what the Bible teaches.

Although we are a confessional church, that doesn’t mean that the Westminster Confession and Catechisms are all that we teach – no doctrinal statement is exhaustive, after all – it just means we don’t teach anything contrary to them. Nor does it mean that we require all of our members to personally adopt the Westminster Standards. Although we are proudly confessional, we are also “catholic” (with a small c), which means that we recognize as brothers and sisters in Christ those who in good conscience disagree with us on non-essential matters of faith.

We are not ashamed of history; in fact, we’re quite thankful for it. We stand on the shoulders of giants, who stood on the shoulders of still others; and we all stand on the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3).

We trace our roots back to the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century during which the Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ was recovered and began to be propounded once again in the pulpits of Europe, and is now proclaimed throughout the world.

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