The fundamental principle of our faith is that we are broken people, who came as enemies of God but whom God in his mercy has loved. He demonstrated his love for us by providing Himself in Jesus as the substitute to pay for our sin and rebellion. His free gift of love and acceptance provides the basis for self-acceptance, selflessness and grace that radiates outwardly in all our relationships.
Our philosophy of ministry is to find ways to reflect that love and grace in all we do – especially in our interactions with our neighbors and the community at large. How can we demonstrate the grace and love of Christ to those around us – through loving our neighbor. How do we love our neighbor – through serving them and telling them about the love of Christ that we’ve found.
The more technical definitions of our philosophy are detailed in the Holy Scripture and summarized in the Westminster Confession of Faith. We seek the practical outworking of this faith as we interact with our neighbors.
We believe that we were created to worship God – to express gratitude and praise for who He is and what He has done. We believe that God’s grace and mercy gives us much to celebrate and worship about! With so much to be grateful for, worship must be at the center of church life. Worship’s centrality is a key aspect of what unites us as a community. Everything else we do in the church flows out of this worship.
Since God has called us out of darkness to be his worshipers (1 Pet 2:9), we desire to worship God sincerely, eagerly and biblically. Our aim is that Jesus Christ and his gospel always stand at the heart of our worship. Consequently, we desire that all the elements of worship be in accord with Scripture and that our hearts be well prepared for worship so that Christ and his gospel will be glorified.
Our worship includes prayer, and hearing the Word read and explained; the singing of psalms, hymns and spiritual songs and the administration of the sacraments. Once again, more detailed definitions of our worship philosophy and practice are found in the Westminster Confession of Faith.
Edification is a somewhat archaic theological word that really means “to build up.” “Building up” in a Biblical sense has a number of parts. One is to educate the community of faith as to what we believe. We also want to educate our community of faith as to how we can answer others who have questions about our faith.
Another is to educate the community of faith as to who Jesus is and what he’s done for us. We cannot worship Him if we do not know Him. The more we know about Jesus, the more that knowledge causes us to love him. This incites worship of Jesus which is again, central to our purpose. “All ministries exist in the church so that we might grow in grace and be equipped to be better worshipers. We desire to nurture all believers “to know the Lord, to do the Lord’s will, and to be like the Lord.” E. Clowney: The Church
- Holiness of Life
The Scriptures teach us that the believer is to be holy as God is holy (1 Pet. 1:15-16). We believe that the only power in the Church is the Holy Spirit who works in humbling us, resulting in lives that pursue God in worship, prayer, and service.
- Gospel Community
Believers are called to care for one another in the church by bearing one another’s burdens (Gal. 6: 1 – 2), and living with one another in a loving and forgiving way (Rom. 12:9ff.). We are called to edify and build one another up by living for Christ through the enabling power of the gospel message.
- Cultural Transformation
We believe that God would have each Christian live as salt and light in society (Matt. 5: 13-16). We are called to fulfill the cultural mandate by living consciously for Christ in our homes and employments (Eph. 5:21-6:9) and as Christian citizens (Rom. 13:1ff.). We are committed to help God’s people develop a world-view that addresses cultural concerns in a distinctly Christian manner. Our goal is to show the world biblical alternatives of being human as we serve through the home, the arts, business, government, academy, and all of life.
Witness is what we do as we seek to represent Christ in our community. The fact is that we represent Christ one way or another, intentionally or not. Redeemer seeks to be intentional in our representation of the historical divinely revealed Christ but also circumspect in our understanding of our contemporary cultural context and it’s critique of Christianity. We want to represent Christ in a gentle but persuasive way that demonstrates that Jesus is alive, real and worthy of examination as a viable world view. By the example of a godly life, exercising hospitality, showing compassion and genuine interest in the lives of others, we aim to share Christ and His Gospel with them. Because of this, all ministries of Redeemer Presbyterian Church exist to bring people into the Church and to make them true worshipers of God. We are committed to using the resources of the church with servant hearted attitudes that advance the kingdom of God and bring sinners like us to Christ both at home and abroad through specific outreach – ministries of the church and denomination.
- The Gospel
The word Gospel literally means “good news.” Jesus Christ is presented in the gospel as the only hope for sinners. He defines justice and mercy as He takes the debt of our sin on himself and provides the gift of mercy through giving us His righteousness. He takes what we deserve while giving us what He deserves. This ‘exchange’ is very good news. Redeemer Presbyterian Church desires that the gift of Jesus, represented by the cross, be at the center of all we do. It is through Jesus Christ, who was crucified, raised, and ascended that sinners are made right (justified), given meaning and purpose, and have assurance of life after death. The message of Christ crucified is all we wish to know (1 Cor 2:2) because all knowledge has significance as it is related to Christ and His work at the center of all things. This wonderful good news defines meaning in all our relationships.
- Seeing the Lost Come to Jesus
Jesus Christ has commanded His Church to be His instrument in the conversion and discipling of the nations (Matt. 28: 16-20). The Church does not exist for itself as some “holy club” but for God’s glory. God is glorified through the growing maturity of believers, as they move from brokenness and self-centeredness to gracious servant-hood. All of this is represented in Jesus and is based on the sharing the wonderful news of Jesus generous and gracious free gift of relationship with Him. We don’t earn our relationship with Him, He gives it freely in His grace and mercy. Our efforts are toward an intelligent, earnest presentation of the gospel through preaching and witness that leads men, women, and children to understand our broken and rebellious condition and to see our need of the Savior’s mercy and grace. We are resolved to involve our congregation in witness for Christ in Lakeland, and throughout the world.
The theology of Redeemer Presbyterian Church is summarized in the Westminster Confession of Faith which is the most faithful summary of biblical doctrine and from which we make our commitment to reformed theology and our commitment to the gospel. We endeavor to order the entire life of the congregation around biblical truths and to work out the implications of our confession in all of life. The doctrinal system of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, then, is the foundation for our vision, values, and ministry strategies.
Presbyterian Church Government
Christ the Head and King of His redeemed Church has established the Presbyterian form of government (that is, government by elders) until He returns as found and described in the Book of Church Order of the Presbyterian Church in America.