What we believe
At Garst Mill Presbyterian we desire to know the one true triune God as he has revealed himself to man through Scripture. We firmly believe the Bible to be God’s word to man and is where we find what to believe concerning God as well as what duty is required of man. Thus, the Bible is our final authority for faith and life. We have a Reformed understanding of what the Bible teaches and believe that this is best summarized in the Westminster Confession of Faith and catechisms.
WE ARE A BIBLE BELIEVING CHURCH
The God who created all things has made himself known to mankind. Through the natural world we know that there is a God and that he is good. This is clearly seen in the intricate design of, and care for, creation (Romans 1:18-20). But the knowledge of God in nature is only enough to condemn people for their rejection of their Creator since nature does not present to us a way of salvation or give us a full understanding of our Creator and his requirements. It is necessary for God to speak to us if there is any hope of knowing God and being reconciled to him. God has communicated to mankind through the prophets, apostles, and other men in ancient times, revealing all that is necessary for salvation and life. This has been handed down to us in the Bible. The Scriptures contained in the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments are the true Word of God, are accurate, without error. The Bible is necessary, sufficient, clear, and authoritative and so is the basis from which we derive all our beliefs.
WE ARE A TRINITARIAN CHURCH
The Bible reveals God to be one, the only true and living God (Deuteronomy 6:4, Isaiah 43:10-13). There are no other Gods. However, Scripture also reveals God to be one God in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19; Romans 1:1-4; Titus 3:5-6). This doctrine was not a invention of the church, but has been recognized and received from God, through the Scriptures, and affirmed in a number of creeds with which have whole hearted agreement (e.g. Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed, the Definition of Chalcedon).
WE ARE A CHRIST CENTERED CHURCH
Jesus is the Messiah, the appointed Savior of mankind. He is the second person of the Trinity: the one God who exists in three persons. He is the divine creator of all things. Because of human sin, all people have been separated from God and have committed lawless acts (1 John 3:4). Since God is must judge his creation with justice, all people are condemned to eternal punishment. Jesus came to earth, taking to himself true humanity, lived under the law and kept it perfectly, was falsely accused and sentenced to death on a Roman cross. In his death on the cross Jesus took the punishment for the sins of all his people (Colossians 2:13-14, 2 Corinthians 5:20-21). Jesus the Messiah (the Christ) is the only way of humans being made right with God, having their guilt forgiven, and having eternal life instead of eternal punishment. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me…” (John 14:6). All of God’s promises are kept in Jesus. At Garst Mill Presbyterian, the preaching, teaching, music, and prayer are intentionally focused upon Jesus Christ.
WE ARE A CONFESSIONAL AND REFORMED CHURCH
The Bible has a great breadth and depth of teaching, and human minds are prone to error, so we gratefully make use of documents that carefully summarize what the Bible teaches. Specifically, we hold to the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms. These simply explain what we believe the Bible to be saying—the Bible remains our standard for faith and life. God has given the church a rich theological history, and the theological controversies of the past have helped the church clarify what we are to believe about God and what duties he requires of us. There is no reason for the church to be confused about what the Bible teaches or to fall into the errors of the past since we have such a wealth of information from the minds of godly believers past and present.
WE ARE A FAMILY FRIENDLY CHURCH
In the beginning God created mankind in his image, male and female (Genesis 1:26-27). He created marriage—the lifelong covenant union between one man and one woman. This relationship is for companionship, fellowship, and help (Genesis 2:18-23), as the proper and pure context of human sexuality (1 Corinthians 7:9), for raising up godly offspring (Psalm 128; Malachi 2:15), and as a living illustration of Christ and his church (Ephesians 5:22-33). Children are a great blessing from the Lord (Psalm 127:3) and are included in God’s promises to his covenant people (Genesis 17:7, Acts 2:39). At Garst Mill Presbyterian, we welcome families and encourage parents to bring their children into the worship services, practice regular family worship, and catechize them.