What is the gospel?
FPC is a Bible-believing church holding historic Christian teachings in common with churches and believers all around the world.
Here is a summary of our core beliefs:
All Scripture is self-attesting and being Truth, requires our unreserved submission in all areas of life. The infallible Word of God, the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, is a complete and unified witness to God’s redemptive acts culminating in the incarnation of the Living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible, uniquely and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit, is the supreme and final authority on all matters on which it speaks.
We believe in one God, the sovereign Creator and Sustainer of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To him be all honor, glory and praise forever!
Jesus Christ, the living Word, became flesh through His miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit and his virgin birth. He who is true God became true man united in one Person forever. He died on the cross a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. On the third day he arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, where, at the right hand of the Majesty on High, he now is our High Priest and Mediator.
The Holy Spirit has come to glorify Christ and to apply the saving work of Christ to our hearts. He convicts us of sin and draws us to the Savior. Indwelling our hearts, he gives new life to us, empowers and imparts gifts to us for service. He instructs and guides us into all truth, and seals us for the day of redemption.
Being estranged from God and condemned by our sinfulness, our salvation is wholly dependent upon the work of God’s free grace. God credits his righteousness to those who put their faith in Christ alone for their salvation, thereby justifying them in his sight. Only such as are born of the Holy Spirit and receive Jesus Christ become children of God and heirs of eternal life.
The true Church is composed of all persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit are united together in the body of Christ. The Church finds her visible, yet imperfect, expression in local congregations where the Word of God is preached in its purity and the sacraments are administered in their integrity; where scriptural discipline is practiced, and where loving fellowship is maintained. For her perfecting, she awaits the return of her Lord.
Jesus Christ will come again to the earth—personally, visibly, and bodily—to judge the living and the dead, and to consummate history and the eternal plan of God. “Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20).
The Lord Jesus Christ commands all believers to proclaim the Gospel throughout the world and to make disciples of all nations. Obedience to the Great Commission requires total commitment to “him who loved us and gave himself for us.” He calls us to a life of self-denying love and service. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
is a sacrament of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ. By the act of
Baptism, a person becomes a part of the Visible Church, for it is a sign and a
seal of the Covenant of Grace for believers and their children. As a sign, it
proclaims God’s forgiveness and our redemption in Jesus Christ. As a seal, God
marks us as adopted children of our heavenly Father. It indicates our engrafting
into Christ, our rebirth, the remission of sins, and our ability by the power
of the Spirit to walk in newness of life. This sacrament is to be continued by
God’s people until the end of the world.
The Lord's Supper was instituted by Jesus on the night of His betrayal. It is to be celebrated until the end of the world as a perpetual remembrance of what He did for mankind on the cross. The Lord's Supper is a seal of all those benefits of Calvary for believers and signifies their spiritual growth and nourishment. It is a bond and pledge of the communion of believers with Jesus Christ and with each other as parts of the church.
Our name describes us well. The EPC is both evangelical and Presbyterian. We are evangelical in our zeal for the gospel, as well as evangelism, missions, and living obediently as followers of Jesus. At the same time, we are rooted deeply in the Protestant Reformation and especially the theological and pastoral work of John Calvin. We embrace the Westminster Confession of Faith as our doctrinal standard, and the rule of spiritually mature elders linked together regionally as the best way to guide local congregations.
When the EPC started in 1981, we determined that we would not disagree on the basic essentials of the Christian faith, but on anything that was not essential—such as the issue of ordaining women as officers or practicing charismatic gifts—we would give each other liberty. Above all, we committed ourselves to loving each other and not engaging in quarrels and strife. The result is that when we get together in our regional and national meetings, we spend most of our time in worship and fellowship and almost none in arguing with each other.
The EPC consists of more than 600 churches with approximately 145,000 members. We have a world missions program with a priority on sending missionaries to unreached people groups. We are eager to plant churches across the United States and especially in urban communities and college towns. Our desire is that every one of our congregations will be an outpost of the Kingdom, with every member viewing himself or herself as a missionary on a mission.