What We Believe

At Washington Presbyterian Church (WPCA), we are committed to living out the implications of God’s radical grace in every area of our lives, and we believe that all of life—at home, at work, at play—is to be lived to the glory of God.

Here is a simple snapshot of some of the most important truths of our faith:

Humanity’s Condition

All humanity has fallen short of God’s glory, is broken and in a state of sin, and deserves the wrath of God. Because of our sin nature, we cannot seek out or please God on our own (Romans 3:23), and we deserve eternal punishment (Romans 1:18).

Jesus’ Solution

Not only was Jesus Christ a real person in history, he is the sinless Son of God. First-century political and religious leaders put him to death because of his “radical” claims to be God in the flesh, the Divine King promised in scripture (Messiah), and because of his message of salvation exclusively through faith in him alone (1 Timothy 2:5-6).

Jesus died for God’s children because he loves us—and because we need a perfect Savior to turn away from us God’s justified anger (John 6:37-39). Jesus’ death was not permanent; on the third day he physically rose from the grave and appeared to numerous eyewitnesses (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, when we confess our unworthiness and put our faith in him, we are saved from final judgment and granted eternal life (John 6:40).

Our Response

The Holy Spirit is the third member of the Divine Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: Three-in-One and One-in-Three); he draws us to Christ, gives us saving faith to believe the good news, and strengthens us to live holy (albeit imperfect) lives of obedience to Jesus (Romans 8:5-11). Being a follower of Christ requires personal and often costly sacrifices (Luke 14:25-35).

The Promise of the Gospel

He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it (Philippians 1:6). In other words, the One who has captured your heart will never leave you or forsake you. Through the gospel of Jesus Christ, God has promised his love for you—and he will keep that promise. He will never let you go. And by the power of that gospel, he will make you all that he has created you to be (Romans 1:16). How do I know He has embraced me? I have embraced Him (1 Corinthians 1:8-9).

We never get beyond the gospel in our Christian life to something more advanced. The gospel is not just the first step in a stairway of truths; rather, it is more like the hub in a wheel of truth. The gospel is not just the A-B-C’s of Christianity, but it is the A to Z of Christianity. The gospel is not just the minimum required doctrine necessary to enter the kingdom, but the way we make all progress in the kingdom. Believing the promise of the gospel means we live our lives, day-to-day, moment-by-moment, in light of all of the gospel’s truths, demands, and implications (Colossians 2:62 Peter 3:18).

The Church Universal

The Church, the Body of Christ, is a collection of saved sinners across space and time. We are committed to loving and caring for one another. Most importantly, we cultivate relationships to help each other grow in grace and love for our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 12:9-21). Prayer is a powerful gift from God through which we receive grace and forgiveness (Philippians 4:6).

The Church is commanded to reach out to the world with an indiscriminate call to faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 1:16). We are responsible to influence the world, both near and far, for the gospel (Matthew 28:19). Jesus will come again; and when he does, he will renew the cosmos and clothe his people in bodies fit to live on a renewed earth forever. Those without faith in Jesus will receive unending punishment (Matthew 25:31-46).

Biblical, Confessional, Presbyterian

WPCA is a biblicalconfessional, and Presbyterian church.

Biblical means we are a church that believes the Bible is God’s Word written (2 Timothy 3:16-17); therefore it is without error in all that it affirms and is the supreme authority in the Church. Through scripture alone we discover who God is, who we are, and the way of salvation by grace alonethrough faith alonein Christ aloneto the glory of God alone.

Confessional means we are a church that subscribes to both the ancient Christian creeds (such as the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed); and to historic, protestant, and Reformed theology as expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith and Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechisms. As a confessional church, we believe it is important to say what we believe and to write it down for others to read and confirm by scripture (2 Timothy 1:13Titus 1:9). Therefore our confession and catechisms are subordinate to the Bible, while striving to faithfully summarize biblical teachings.

Presbyterian means we are a church governed by a team of elders (also referred to as overseers or shepherds in the Bible) called by God and elected by members of the church. As a Presbyterian church, we believe Jesus, the chief shepherd, has given undershepherds to care for God’s people as they journey through their life of faith on this side of heaven (Ephesians 4:11-141 Peter 5:1-4). The Presbyterian form of church government emphasizes the cooperative character of the Church as reflected in the New Testament (Acts 15:2-6). Therefore, while the elders of WPCA are primarily responsible for overseeing the ministry of our own congregation, they also share in the work of overseeing the ministry of sister churches through a regional presbytery and in the entire denomination through a General Assembly.

Additional Information

Learn more about our beliefs through the following outside links.