Our Identity

 

OUR THEOLOGICAL IDENTITY


Oftentimes people will ask, “What does Fairfield Presbyterian Church believe?” Sometimes the questions are asked in these ways: What are our theological distinctives? What does it mean to be a Presbyterian Church? What does it mean to say we are reformed? Are these issues even important? Do we, in our theological tradition, care about evangelism; that is, winning new people to faith in Jesus Christ?

We are evangelical.

To say that we are evangelical means that we take our stand with all those who believe in the basic truths of historic Christianity. We joyfully affirm our unity with those who believe in these fundamentals of the Christian faith: the existence of the triune God, the deity of Jesus Christ, the virgin birth and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, the vicarious or substitutionary atonement of Christ, the certain and bodily return of Jesus Christ, the necessity of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ for salvation from sin and all its consequences, the historicity of supernatural events described in the Bible, and the infallibility and inerrancy of the Bible which is our only guide for faith and practice. Though we may have certain disagreements in areas beyond these fundamental truths, we affirm our unity with those who share our common commitment to these most important doctrines.

We are reformed.

The word “reformed” can be defined simply in two ways: 1) it is a reference to our historical link to the Reformation of the 16th century and intends to describe us as the heirs of that tradition which comes from Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox and other reformers. 2) The word “reformed” is used most commonly to refer to certain theological distinctives which have marked reformation believers, particularly those in the Calvinist tradition.
These distinctives can be summarized by our glad affirmation of the responsibility of every person to repent and believe, and that it is God who, by His sovereign electing grace, draws men and women, otherwise dead in sin, to faith in His Son. By this faith alone are God’s people justified.
Reformed distinctives include the sovereignty of God in His creation, providence and election of believers apart from any merit of their own; the irresistible grace of God provided for and preceding the faith of the individual; the sufficiency of God’s grace apart from which man is dead in sin and wholly defiled in all his faculties of soul and body; the efficacy of Christ’s death for all those who believe in Him by grace; the safe-guarding of all those for whom Christ died for eternal life.
We seek to hold to our reformed convictions humbly, recognizing the sincerity and earnestness of Godly men and women who have other positions.

We are evangelistic.

This means we take seriously the Great Commission, “Go and make disciples of all nations.” Without compromising the sovereignty of God, we affirm the responsibility of each person to repent and believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and our responsibility to extend the Gospel invitation as a call to salvation to everyone who hears its message. We invite all, without distinction, to drink freely of the Water of Life and to live eternally. In this way, we seek to “extend the transforming presence of the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

We are confessional.

This means that we have a written confession of faith which we believe to be a good and accurate summary of the Bible’s teaching. Our confession consists of the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms. These documents are not without flaw; yet we believe they do contain carefully worded summaries of the Bible’s content. It is important to note that every church has a confession, formal or informal, even though some claim they have “no confession but Christ” or “no creed but the Bible.” Every church summarizes its convictions in some form in order to distinguish its members from those who are not believers or those who do not believe in their church’s distinctives.

We are covenantal.

To say we are covenantal means we believe that the unifying principle of the Scriptures is the one covenant of grace that God made with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and finally, and most importantly, in Jesus Christ. The covenant is a pledge or bond of loyalty which God made to His people through each of the above named persons. The covenant is a relationship of loving loyalty that God has initiated with us as His people throughout human history. To speak of the unity of the covenants means that there is one way and one way only to salvation in both Old and New Testaments-that is, by faith alone in Jesus Christ. This covenantal understanding of the Bible is in distinction from any system of organizing the Scriptures which would attribute differing ways of salvation to a succession of historical Biblical eras.

We are Kingdom centered.

We believe that the Kingdom of God is not only a future hope but is also a present reality. We believe that the ascension of Jesus Christ means that He is presently reigning from Heaven and, therefore, we are called upon to honor and obey Him in every area of our personal lives and to plant the banner of Christ’s Kingdom rule in every area of human endeavor. In addition, we are committed to engaging in ministry with other like-minded local churches, Presbyteries, the denomination, and worldwide ministries in order to extend the kingdom of God to the end of the earth. While we are committed to being as specific and narrow as possible in our theological formulations, we are committed to being as catholic (universal or broad) as possible in our fellowship with other Christians.

We are Presbyterian.

“Presbyterian” refers to our type of government. We believe that the biblical form of government is through “elders” or “presbyters” who govern the church together. The body of elders that governs a local church like Fairfield is called a Session; the body that governs a large geographical area of churches is called a Presbytery; the body that governs the entire denomination is called General Assembly. This Presbyterian form of government is contrasted to congregational (government by the entire congregation) and episcopal (government by an individual).

We are Means of Grace dependent.

One of the most important questions anyone could ask is, “How do I grow as a Christian?” We believe that God will bless and grow His people through the use of the ordinary means of grace: the reading and preaching of God’s Word, the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, prayer, and the fellowship and accountability of the church family. Therefore, the means of grace have a priority in the life and ministry of Fairfield Presbyterian Church (PCA) whether in worship, discipleship, or outreach and missions. We are committed to simple, God-centered worship that draws on the rich heritage of the reformed worship tradition.

 

 

In the Reformation era, Martin Luther had a sponsor whose name was Frederick of Saxony. Frederick was a prince and a 16th century entrepreneur who funded many of Luther’s projects. He was a man of warm heart and deep conviction. On his coach, he had emblazoned these Latin words: suaviter in modo, fortiter in re, which means, “gentle in manner, strong in truth.” This is what Fairfield desires to be: warm, gracious, inviting, open and non-judgmental; yet holding strong convictions that always come directly from the Bible. It is our absolute and unwavering conviction that to be strong in truth without being gentle in manner is unbiblical. It is also our profound conviction that to be gentle in manner while not adhering to scriptural truth is also unbiblical. By God’s grace, we will be both as we press on in the Lord’s grand design for Fairfield to be used on the Gulf Coast and all the world.

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When and Where

SUNDAY

Sunday School for All Ages - 9:15 am

Coffee and Fellowship Time - 10:15 am to 10:45 am
Morning Worship Service - 10:45 am

We celebrate the Lord's Supper the 1st Sunday of the month and is usually followed by a Fellowship Dinner.

WEDNESDAY

PotLuck Supper: 6:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Bible Study and Prayer- 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Located at:

410 S. Fairfield Drive
Pensacola, FL  32506


(2 blocks north of US 98 on S Fairfield Drive)
Click here for map

(850) 455-7245