The following are the core beliefs of Central Presbyterian Church - Merced based on the foundational truths taught in the bible. All of our teaching and ministry is rooted in and flows out of these biblical doctrines.
We believe there is one true and living God who exists eternally as three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The three persons of the Trinity are equal in essence but distinct in their relations. God the Son is begotten of God the Father. God the Spirit proceeds from God the Father and God the Son. God the Father is revealed in history through the work of the Son and Spirit. God is perfect in love, power, justice, knowledge, wisdom, and holiness. He is immortal, eternal, immutable, omnipresent, and sovereignly rules over all things. He is supremely worthy of all glory and honor.
The Bible consists of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, is the inspired and authoritative revealed word of God, without error in all that it affirms, and the church’s only infallible rule of faith and practice.
Creation & Sin
All things, visible and invisible, were created by God from nothing, and are sustained by his providential oversight. Human beings were created in the image of God to know, love, and worship God, and to rule over the rest of creation. Adam and Eve, deceived by Satan, rebelled against God and thus brought sin, guilt, and death to the rest of humanity. All human beings are therefore alienated from God by both their nature and choice, corrupted in every aspect of their being, and subject to God’s righteous wrath.
Jesus Christ is the incarnate Son of God, one person with two natures, fully human and fully God. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, and then died a substitutionary, atoning death on the cross. Christ rose bodily from the grave, ascended to heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father. One day he will come again in power and glory to judge the world. The dead will be raised, and the unrighteous will be separated from God in hell, while the righteous will inherit eternal life in heaven.
The Holy Spirit & Salvation
Through the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, all those who repent of their sins and trust in Christ for salvation are united to Christ, justified, adopted by God, and baptized by the Holy Spirit who indwells them. Salvation is the gift of God’s grace. In response to God’s grace believers are called to live in the power of the Spirit, continually growing in holiness, doing good works, and exercising their spiritual gifts for the kingdom of God.
Those who believe in Christ are spiritually united together under Christ, the head of the church. The universal church is manifested in local churches, which are marked by worship, proclamation of the gospel, administration of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, membership and discipline, love, unity, and mission. Each church is responsible for her doctrine and practice, and for settling disputes, receiving new members, conducting discipline, and establishing elders who lead, teach, and oversee the church. The main purpose of the church is making disciples, so that as we grow together in Christ, God’s kingdom would be advanced in the world, and his name would be glorified.