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East Garden  John 3:16

“What we believe matters..."

What we believe is more than just statements about God. What we believe transforms our hearts. What we believe shapes our lives. What we believe deeply affects our relationships.

At First Pres, we humbly stand in the long tradition of Christians who have built their beliefs upon the foundation of God's Word as revealed to us in the Bible, the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit, and the person and work of Jesus Christ. As we grow in faith, we journey together with Jesus as our example, the Bible as our path, and the Holy Spirit as our guide.

What We Believe

The Bible
We believe the Scriptures, both the Old and the New Testaments, are inspired by God, complete and correct in the original writing.  As such, they are to be believed in what they teach, obeyed in what they require, and trusted in what they promise. The scriptures are for everyone to read so that through the work of the Holy Spirit all may hear God speak to their hearts and minds.
 
God
We believe in one God, infinitely perfect and existing in three equal persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We believe in the biblical witness of God as the all-powerful, all-knowing Creator who brought all things into existence through the spoken Word. We believe that God is not distant and uncaring; He is personable and relational, loving and just, directing all things according to His plan of redemption and reconciliation.
 
Jesus Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. We believe Jesus conquered sin and the grave for us by his atoning death on the cross. We believe that Jesus conquered sin and the grave for us personally through his death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven.
 
The Holy Spirit
We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit, as the third person of the Trinity, is to stir the human heart towards the saving grace of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit does this by bringing to life an awareness of one’s need for forgiveness and the acceptance of God’s mercy. The Holy Spirit moves the human heart towards the first step of a life of faith. We believe the Holy Spirit’s ongoing work is to provide the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right.
 
Humanity & Sin
We believe that people were created in the image of God to live in perfect fellowship with Him and with each other. People rebelled against God's revealed will and chose to go their own independent way. The result of this rebellion was physical and spiritual death. Due to our rebellion, we are alienated from the relationship that God intended to have with us. In His mercy, God restores our relationship when we place our faith in Jesus Christ.
 
Salvation
We believe that Jesus Christ died as the substitution for the death penalty we owed. No amount of good works or human effort can make us right with God. We believe that placing our faith in Jesus and relying on His grace is the only means by which our sins are forgiven and by which we are reconciled to God.
 
The Church
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, and all believers are part of His Body. The Church universal is comprised of all people who have asked Jesus Christ for forgiveness and made Him leader of their lives. The scripture commands believers to gather together to devote themselves to worship, prayer, participation, outreach, communion, and baptism. Wherever God’s people meet in obedience to this command, there is the local expression of the Church.
 
Christ's Return
We believe in the blessed hope that Jesus Christ will return to this earth, personally, visibly and unexpectedly, in power and glory, to gather His people, to raise the dead, to judge the nations, and to bring His kingdom to fulfillment. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and unjust.
 
Sacraments
We believe that Scripture teaches believers to observe two sacraments, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
 
Lord's Table: We believe that all people who are aware of God’s saving activity in their lives, regardless of church membership or denominational affiliation are welcome at the Lord’s Table.

Baptism: Our position on baptism is influenced by two strong themes of Scripture. First, we believe Scripture teaches the inclusion of children in the covenant community. As such we rejoice with parents in the celebration of infant baptism, joining and supporting them in living out the parental vows of baptism.

Dedication: Although it is not identified as a sacrament in our church, we join in celebration with those parents desiring to dedicate their children as infants, in anticipation of their personal profession of faith and subsequent baptism.

Confirmation: Whether through baptism or dedication, we believe that Scripture teaches a communal celebration of a person’s faith. For baptized youth, this is celebrated through a personal declaration of faith. (This may occur at the conclusion of the spiritual journey known as Confirmation.) For individuals who have not been baptized or who were dedicated to the Lord, this is celebrated through baptism as they personally declare their saving faith in Jesus Christ. 

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For a more detailed look at what we believe check out the following creeds and confessions that are part of our heritage shared within our wider church family.

Book of Confessions (Creeds) of our church.

First Presbyterian Church of River Forest is a member of the Presbyterian Church USA.

Last Published: May 17, 2017 3:48 PM
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