My personal statement of what I believe after studying the Reformed faith and theolog

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dudley

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I hope I am placing this in the correct forum.....

Question 34 in the shorter catechism asks :What is adoption?
A. Adoption is an act of God's free grace, a whereby we are received into the number, and have a right to all the privileges, of the sons of God.

It got me thinking today what do I now believe as a Reformed Protestant and a Presbyterian.

You are all aware I am an ex Roman catholic and now a Presbyterian and Reformed Protestant and a Calvinist.

I have made testimonial statements on the PB before but I think they said what I no longer believed and a little of what I have come to believe. I wish tonight to share with my PB brothers a statement of what I now believe as a Reformed Christian and a Presbyterian.

I want to summarize why I believe I am a Protestant and a Presbyterian and what my beliefs are as such. Please do take a few minutes to read this and digest what I am saying If I am not in line with the church in my thinking please correct me.

So here goes…what I believe………..I will start with a statement that to me says why I became a Protestant…….the statement says…..

“The way I see it, to be Protestant is merely to be Pauline, to be biblical. Do you have to be Protestant to be Pauline and biblical? No. But to be Protestant in the 16th century was to be both of these things. What I don’t get is why anyone would want to distance himself or herself from the biblical truism that salvation only comes through faith by grace. If someone wants to distance himself or herself from the historical event of the Reformation because it is a cause of disunion in the church, then so be it. But to reject being a Protestant is to reject a theology that is just plain biblical. You see, Martin Luther was protesting against a church that officially taught that you could buy your way to heaven. Luther knew that nothing so costly could cost so little. So he spoke up and many listened.”

The above quote is not mine it was written by Dr. Greg Peters in 2008, an Anglican theologian.

The reason I like the above quote is that it is written by a Professor of theology who is an Anglican but who also has a broad scope and knowledge of Church History and scholarship. I believe he is not blinded by a biased one sided view of Christian theology. He represents scholarship in both Protestant and Roman Catholic thought and thinking.

Dr. Greg Peters wrote an essay in 2008 “Proud to be Protestant”. The quote is taken from that essay. Dr. Peters earned his undergraduate degree in pastoral studies at Philadelphia College of Bible in 1994 where he met his wife, Christina. In 1996, he completed his M.A. in Biblical Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. In 1997, he and his wife moved to Minnesota to attend St. John's School of Theology, a Roman Catholic school run by Benedictine monks. There he earned a second M.A. with an emphasis in church history and a minor in monastic studies. From Minnesota, the Peters moved to Toronto, Ontario where Dr. Peters pursued doctoral work in medieval theology at the University of St. Michael's College. He graduated in 2003.

His biography indicated to me he was broad minded and well educated in both the Protestant and Roman Catholic camps. I accept and believe the above quote and have now made it part of my own belief system regarding Christianity.

I said when I became a Presbyterian that my conversion to Presbyterianism was based first on the fact that I had come to believe I was a Protestant in my thinking and no longer a Roman Catholic.

When I came to the full realization that I was Protestant in my theology and belief system I left Roman Catholicism in January 2006. I began to explore all major Protestant denominations and also different divisions of those denominations and what they believed and how they practiced and worshipped.

I decided to become a Presbyterian after several years exploring. I decided to join the First Presbyterian Church of Manasquan primarily last year because the Pastor reached out to me the first Sunday I attended services at FPCOM and it was as if Jesus were saying to me “come in , here you will be able to find me in meeting your life and the lives of others.”

I also wanted to become a Presbyterian because to me, to be Presbyterian means to be connected with the Reformed tradition which holds a high view of the authority of scripture, the sovereignty of God over all of life, a belief in the priesthood of all believers, justification by faith in Christ alone, practices a representative form of church government and its theology is continually reforming; “ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda.” I agree with both the historical development of these beliefs and practices as well as their Biblical soundness.

I believed after reading scripture and especially the Pauline epistles, particularly Ephesians, that it is by faith alone that we are saved.

I also realized believing the doctrine alone was not going to save me. I had to truly believe I still had faith. I will state for the first time to my brothers on the PB that I have been and still am a doubting Thomas and I think that is what really frightens me.

However I am having fewer doubts regarding faith and I think my faith is growing stronger as I pray and go directly to Jesus in prayer. I do think He is answering me in many different ways. My understanding of faith is growing stronger since I have joined the First Presbyterian Church of Manasquan and attending services each Sunday and hearing the Word of God preached by the pastor and associate pastor. My faith is growing stronger as I participate frequently in the sacrament of the Lords Supper at church services; I believe I meet Jesus personally in the Supper. I am coming to know a more personal Jesus by the explanation and reading of scripture in pastor Dave’s Bible class each Thursday evening at the church.

As a Christian I believe the ancient creeds , The Apostles creed ,the Nicene creed, Atanasian creed, and the Definitions of Chalcedon.

Besides the above creeds I have written also my personal Confession of my faith.

As a Presbyterian I have a summary of my beliefs…..

I believe in One God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- and I confess anew the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord, and acknowledge Him Head over all things to the Church, which is His Body.

I believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God; they are the only infallible rule of faith and practice

I believe it Christ alone who is salvation to our souls, not the Church of Rome or the Pope" nor really any institutional church.

I adhere to the Westminster Confession of Faith as a systematized outline of the things which I believe the Holy Scriptures to be teaching.

I believe in “ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda.” because I believe we are all evolving mind , body and spirit to a mystical union with the Christ in heaven and the Cosmic God of the entire universe. “Ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda.” is popular Latin motto associated with the Protestant Reformation, however translated into English this Latin phrase reads, “the church reformed and always reforming.” I believe that this phrase says what the church need to be able to do as we evolve towards a greater understanding of Gods creation and his plan for us.

I have adopted the Westminster Confession and Larger and Shorter Catechisms of the Presbyterian church in as much as I am capable of understanding them as containing the system of doctrine taught in the Holy Scriptures and I have freely submitted myself to the teachings of the Presbyterian tenets and doctrine.

However I believe the Bible is the word of God and the only and final authority and path to salvation.

I do submit in discipline to the doctrines of John Calvin because I think and believe John Calvin was correct in most of his thinking regarding the church. I have submitted to the teachings of the Presbyterian Church in doctrine and life because I believe the Reformed theology is logical and the Presbyterian system of church structure is biblically correct.
I have come to believe that I can go directly to my Lord and savior Jesus Christ , which is why I now profess myself as a Protestant and a Presbyterian.

As a Roman Catholic I had to go to Jesus through the priest and the church as a Presbyterian and a Protestant I go to my Lord and Savior directly. To me that is the only path to eternal salvation.

I am a Presbyterian because I believe the Presbyterian church is there to assist me; not to direct and control me as it was in the Roman Catholic church.

Finally I Acknowledge Jesus Christ alone as my Lord and Savior.

Anyway I think the above sates well what I now have come to believe as a Reformed Christian. It states I think why I have come to be a Protestant and a Presbyterian.

I would appreciate input form all and if you think I might be astray in some of what I have come to personally believe feel free to correct me and explain what if any might be an error.

Thank you all

 

 
 
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