Marion Reformed Presbyterian Church is a congregation of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA). The constitution of the RPCNA describes the beliefs of Marion Reformed Presbyterian Church. The constitution consists of the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF), Westminster Larger Catechism (WLC), Westminster Shorter Catechism (WSC), and the Testimony of the RPCNA along with other documents that guide our church life.
A brief summary of the basic beliefs of Marion Reformed Presbyterian Church are as follows:
The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, the only rule of faith and obedience (WLC 3).
God is a Spirit, in and of himself infinite in being, glory, blessedness, and perfection; all-sufficient, eternal, unchangeable, incomprehensible, every where present, almighty, knowing all things, most wise, most holy, most just, most merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth (WLC 7).
The Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God and is of one substance and equal with the Father. In the fulness of time He became man, and so was and continues to be God and man, in two entire distinct natures, and one person, forever (based on WLC 36).
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, proceeds from the Father and the Son, and is truly God, of the same substance, equal in power and glory with the Father and the Son. He is to be believed in, loved, obeyed and worshipped by men in all ages (Testimony 2.6).
The work of creation is, God’s making all things of nothing, by the word of his power, in the space of six days, and all very good. God created man male and female, after his own image, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, with dominion over the creatures (WSC 9 and 10).
Our first parents, Adam and Eve, sinned in eating the forbidden fruit. By this sin they fell from their original righteousness and communion with God, and so became dead in sin, and wholly defiled in all the faculties and parts of soul and body. They being the root of all mankind, the guilt of their sin was imputed, and death and corrupted nature was passed on to all their natural descendants (based on WCF 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3).
God’s Plan of Salvation
The first covenant made with man was a covenant of works, wherein life was promised to Adam, and in him to his posterity, upon condition of perfect and personal obedience. Man by his fall, having made himself incapable of life by that covenant, the Lord was pleased to make a second covenant, commonly called the covenant of grace; wherein He freely offers unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ, requiring of them faith in Him that they may be saved, and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto life His Holy Spirit, to make them willing and able to believe (WCF 7.1 and 7.2).
Effectual Call of the Holy Spirit
All those whom God has predestined unto life, and those only, He is pleased in His appointed and accepted time effectually to call, by His Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God; taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them a heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and by His almighty power determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ: yet so, as they come most freely, being made willing by His grace (WCF 10.1).
Those whom God effectually calls, He also freely justifies: not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous, not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ’s sake alone; nor by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness, but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them, they receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness by faith; which faith they have not of themselves, it is the gift of God (WCF 11.1).
The Christian Life
They, who are once effectually called and regenerated, having a new heart and a new spirit created in them, are further sanctified really and personally, through the virtue of Christ’s death and resurrection, by His Word and Spirit dwelling in them; the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified, and they more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces, to the practice of true holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord (WCF 13.1).
The Law of God
Although they that are regenerate, and believe in Christ, be delivered from the moral law as a covenant of works, so as thereby they are neither justified nor condemned; yet, besides the general uses thereof common to them with all men, it is of special use, to show them [i. e. the regenerate] how much they are bound to Christ for his fulfilling it, and enduring the curse thereof in their stead, and for their good; and thereby to provoke them to more thankfulness, and to express the same in their greater care to conform themselves thereunto as the rule of their obedience (WLC 97).
The acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by Himself, and so limited by His own revealed will, that He may not be worshipped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scripture. The reading of Scriptures with godly fear; the sound preaching, and conscionable hearing of the Word, in obedience unto God, with understanding, faith, and reverence; singing of Psalms with grace in the heart; prayer; as also, the due administration and worthy receiving of the sacraments instituted by Christ; are all parts of the ordinary religious worship of God: besides religious oaths, vows, solemn fastings, and thanksgivings upon special occasions, which are, in their several times and seasons, to be used in an holy and religious manner (based on WCF 21.1-5).
The catholic or universal Church, which is invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the Head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all. The visible Church, which is also catholic or universal under the Gospel (not confined to one nation, as before under the law), consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion; and of their children: and is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, the house and family of God, out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation (based on WCF 25.1 and 25.2).
A sacrament is an holy ordinance instituted by Christ, wherein, by sensible signs, Christ, and the benefits of the new covenant, are represented, sealed, and applied to believers. The sacraments of the New Testament are, Baptism, and the Lord’s supper (WSC 92 and 93).
God the supreme Lord and King of all the world, has ordained civil governments to be under Him, over the people, for His own glory, and the public good; and, to this end, has armed them with the power of the sword, for the defence and encouragement of them that are good, and for the punishment of evil doers (based on WCF 23.1).
The Last Judgment
God hath appointed a day, wherein He will judge the world in righteousness by Jesus Christ, to whom all power and judgement is given of the Father. The end of God’s appointing this day is for the manifestation of the glory of His mercy, in the eternal salvation of the elect; and of His justice, in the damnation of the reprobate, who are wicked and disobedient. For then shall the righteous go into everlasting life, and receive that fulness of joy and refreshing, which shall come from the presence of the Lord; but the wicked who know not God, and obey not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast into eternal torments, and be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power (based on WCF 33.1 and 33.2).