|Sunday School||9:00 AM|
|Sunday Worship||10:30 AM|
Our Doctrine & Beliefs
A Confessional Church
Forks Presbyterian Church is a confessional church. Our confessional standards, which we believe to be an accurate and good summary of Scripture’s teaching, consist of the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechisms. We believe these standards contain carefully worded summaries of the contents of sacred Scripture. To be sure, acceptance of every confessional distinctive is not required for membership at Forks Church. One may be a participating member of our congregation by affirming the clear biblical teaching that salvation is accomplished by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone. However, as a Reformed and Presbyterian Church, the preaching and teaching is based upon the truths of the historic Christian church as well as the distinctives of the Confession.
The Solas of the Protestant Reformation
Sola Scriptura—Scripture Alone
The Bible is the sole written divine revelation and alone can bind the conscience of believers absolutely (Matt. 4:4; 2 Tim. 3:16).
Sola Fide—Faith Alone
Justification is by faith alone. The merit of Christ imputed to us by faith is the sole ground of our acceptance by God, by which our sins are forgiven (Rom. 5:1; Gal 2:16).
Solus Christus—Christ Alone
Christ is the only mediator through Whose work we are redeemed (John 14:6; John 3:16).
Sola Gratia—Grace Alone
Our salvation rests solely on the work of God’s grace for us (Rom. 2:4; Eph. 2:8-10).
Soli Deo Gloria—To God Alone be Glory
To God alone belongs the glory (Isa. 42:8; Col. 3:17).
The historic five points of Calvinism, simplified in the acrostic TULIP, distinguish Reformed theology at the key points of issue, but in no way exhaust the content of Reformed theology. These five points include:
T- total depravity
U- unconditional election
L- limited atonement
I- irresistible grace
P- perseverance of the saints
Briefly, total depravity declares that all men are corrupted by the Fall to the extent that sin penetrates the whole person, leaving them in a state by which they are now by nature spiritually dead and at enmity with God. This results in the bondage of the will to sin by which the sinner is morally unable to incline himself to God, or to convert himself, or to exercise faith without first being spiritually reborn or regenerated by the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit (Ps. 51:5, Rom. 5:12, Col. 2:13, John 3:5-7).
Unconditional election refers to God's sovereign and gracious work of election by which, from all eternity, God determines to exercise saving grace to a particular group of people chosen from out of the mass of fallen humanity. God gives this saving grace according to the good pleasure of His will, and not according to some foreseen actions, responses, or conditions met by men. God's election is based purely on His sovereign grace and not upon anything done by humans. The elect are brought to saving faith by the work of the Holy Spirit. The elect receive special grace from God. The non-elect receive common grace, but in the end receive the justice of God (Deut. 7:6,7; Rom. 8:28-30; Eph. 1:4; 1 Peter 2:8,9; John 6:44).
Limited atonement means that though the value and merit of Christ's atonement are unlimited and sufficient to save the whole world and are offered to all who repent and believe, the efficacy of the atonement is applied only to the elect, and that, by God's design. This means that in God's eternal plan of salvation the atonement was designed to accomplish redemption for the elect and that God's plan of redemption is not frustrated by the refusal of the impenitent to avail themselves of its benefits. In this sense all for whom the atonement was designed to save, will be saved (2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Peter 3:18; Gal 3:13; John 11).
Irresistible grace refers to the grace of regeneration by which God effectually calls His elect inwardly, converting them to Himself, and quickening them from spiritual death to spiritual life. Regeneration is the sovereign and immediate work of the Holy Spirit, working monergistically. This grace is operative, not cooperative, meaning that those who are regenerate always come to saving faith, as they are made willing to come to Christ to Whom they most certainly flee and cling for their redemption (Ez. 36:26-27; Rom. 8:30; John 3:3-8; Titus 3:5; Eph. 2:1-10).
Perseverance of the saints means that those who are truly regenerate and truly come to saving faith will never lose their salvation. They may fall via manifold temptations and spiritual weakness, even into radical sin but never fully and finally because God, by His grace, preserves them. The intercession of Christ for the elect is efficacious unto eternity (John 3:16; John 10:27-30; Rom. 8:35-39; 1 Jn. 5:13).
Our form of church government is presbyterian in nature; or, in other words, our church is governed by elders. Presbyterian comes from the Greek word meaning, "elder." Paul emphasized a plurality of elders in the early church (Titus 1:5; Acts 20:17). An elder is a biblically qualified individual who has been nominated, trained, examined, and ordained to oversee the affairs of the church. The Bible gives explicit qualifications for such people (1 Tim. 3:1-7).
A deacon is a biblically qualified individual who has been nominated, trained, examined, and ordained to minister to the physical needs of the church. Deacon means, literally, "one who waits on tables." The Apostles appointed the first deacons so that the Apostles could better attend to prayer and the ministry of the Word (Acts 6). The Bible gives explicit qualifications for deacons (1 Tim. 3:8-13).