WHAT WE TEACH
Important Point to Note:
As a congregation of the Church of Scotland, we are a gathered community of people who hold to a Christian standard of faith. We are made up of members and friends who in their Christian journey, and with sincerity of heart, some may hold differences of opinion and views on some theological and doctrinal points of interpretation. As a congregation, we respect those differences as we continue our walk of faith together.
Church of Scotland Statement
Our standards of belief are to be found in the Old and New Testament and in the Church's historic Westminster Confession of Faith. For a brief summary of our beliefs, it is useful to look at the Apostles' Creed, which is used by many churches in declaring Christian faith:
"I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell.
"The third day he rose again from the dead, he ascended into Heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
"I believe in the Holy Ghost; the Holy Catholic Church; the Communion of Saints; the Forgiveness of Sins; the Resurrection of the Body; and the Life Everlasting."
This creedal statement was approved by the General Assembly of 1992. You can find this statement in the Church's worship book, Common Order. It is used alongside the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed, ancient creeds of the church (see the link for these Creeds at the bottom of the page).
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Our Basis of Faith
Below is a very brief summary of what we, as a Church of Scotland congregation, believe:
There is one God, who exists eternally in three distinct but equal persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. God is unchangeable in his holiness, justice, wisdom and love. He is the Almighty Creator, Saviour and Judge who sustains and governs all things according to His sovereign will for His own glory.
The Church of Scotland acknowledges the Word of God which is contained in the Scriptures
of the Old and New Testaments to be the supreme rule of faith and life.
The Church of Scotland holds as its subordinate standard the Westminster Confession of Faith,
recognising liberty of opinion on such points of doctrine as do not enter into the substance of the Faith,
and claiming the right, in dependence on the promised guidance of the Holy Spirit, to formulate, interpret, or modify its subordinate standards always in agreement with the Word of God and the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith contained in the said Confession, of which agreement the Church itself shall be sole judge.
[From the Services of Ordination and Induction to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament - See also, The Book of Common Order, p 337]
[The current ministry under the preaching and teaching of the Rev BJA Abeledo holds the view of the Bible in the following terms]
God has revealed Himself in the Bible, which consists of the Old and New Testaments alone. Every word was inspired by God through human authors so that the Bible as originally given is in its entirety the Word of God, without error and fully reliable in fact and doctrine. The Bible alone speaks with final authority and is always sufficient for all matters of belief and practice.
The Human Race
All men and women, being created in the image of God, have inherent and equal dignity and worth. Their greatest purpose is to obey, worship and love God. As a result of the fall of our first parents, sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all humanity, for all have sinned. Every person is therefore under the just condemnation of God and needs to be forgiven and reconciled to God in order to know and please him.
The Lord Jesus Christ
The Lord Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin and lived a sinless life in obedience to the Father. He taught with authority and all his words are true. On the cross he died in the place of sinners, thus making a true and proper atonement for sin. He rose from the dead and in his resurrection body ascended into heaven where he is exalted as Lord of all. He intercedes for His people in the presence of the Father.
Salvation is entirely a work of God’s grace and cannot be earned or deserved. It has been accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ and is offered to all in the gospel. God in his love forgives sinners whom he calls, granting them repentance and faith. All who believe in Christ are justified by faith alone, adopted into the family of God and receive eternal life.
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit has been sent from heaven to glorify Christ and to apply his work of salvation. He convicts sinners, imparts spiritual life and gives a true understanding of the Scriptures. He indwells all believers, brings assurance of salvation and produces increasing likeness to Christ. He builds up the Church and empowers its members for worship, service and mission.
The universal Church is the body of which Christ is the Head and to which all who are saved belong. It is made visible in local churches, which are congregations of believers who are committed to each other for the worship of God, the preaching of the Word, the administering of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, for pastoral care and discipline and for evangelism. The unity of the body of Christ is expressed within and between churches by mutual love, care and encouragement. True fellowship between churches exists only where they are faithful to the gospel.
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper have been given to the churches by Christ as visible signs of the gospel. Baptism is a sacrament instituted by Christ to be administered to believers who have repented of their sins and are trusting in the merits of Christ for their salvation. It is a symbol of union with Christ and entry into his Church.
The Lord’s Supper is a sacrament instituted by Christ to be administered to believers who, having ‘examined’ themselves, can rightly partake of the elements in all good conscience.
The Lord Jesus Christ will return in glory for those who have received Him as Saviour and Lord.
Blairgowrie Parish Church is a congregation currently under a conservative ministry in the Reformed and Presbyterian tradition. We are part of the Church of Scotland.
A fuller statement of our beliefs as a church can be found in the following documents: