What We Believe
Sheffield Presbyterian Church
Within our denomination of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in England and Wales, there are three major tenets that undergird our worship, our theology and our mission. These are a wholehearted commitment to:
- The Inerrancy of Scripture
- The Westminster Standards
- The Great Commission
We hold to the sufficiency, authority and utter reliability of holy Scripture as revealed in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Our office bearers fully and joyfully subscribe to the Westminster Standards and it is never our intention to only nominally uphold the doctrines taught in these Standards. The Westminster Confession, the Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechisms have been updated into modern English and we are sure that all churches would benefit by studying them. They are not the property of Presbyterian churches only, though they are our open doctrinal statements. Our denomination has a few minor exceptions which we leave open to private interpretation. That excepting, we expect our ministers and elders to robustly teach and defend the system of truth as is wonderfully expounded in these documents. As Paul told Timothy “O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you” (1 Timothy 6:20); this guarding is something that we must continue in every generation; the task of guarding the content of the Christian faith and the gospel.
This overall commitment to the inerrancy of Scripture and also the Westminster Standards inevitably leads us to a commitment to the Great Commission as found in places such as Matthew 28:18-20.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
We can think of this commission as the ongoing new covenant commission of our covenant Head and King over the church, who is the Lord Jesus Christ. We must aim in all churches to carefully uphold the crown rights of King Jesus. The church all over England and Wales is in urgent need of further reformation and the godlessness of our nation requires the proclamation of the gospel to non-Christians as well. In short, the church needs preaching and so does our world.
Preaching is the high point of our public worship and this is in line with a historic and Biblical tradition in every generation. Church life is more than preaching pure doctrine which is rightly heard: It is more than the right administration of the sacraments which are rightly received; however, the church is never less than these. Public worship on the Lord’s Day with two services is central to our doctrine of the church. This is the time when the sheep are primarily fed, nurtured, and cared for. It is not the only time, but our whole understanding of the congregation life is shaped around our delighting in the Christian Sabbath.