In this sermon, Pastor Neil explains the essentials of our faith, our belief in the inspired, infallible, and authoritative Word of God. Here are some excerpts:
The Essentials of Our Faith are, in a word, essential to our unity in the EPC [Evangelical Presbyterian Church] and with believers from any and every other Christian tradition. Every pastor or teaching elder in our denomination, as well as every ordained deacon and ruling elder in our church, including those who were ordained and/or installed two Sundays ago, must “affirm and adopt” the EPC Essentials of Our Faith “without exception.”
It is a requirement for everyone who serves as a deacon, elder, or pastor. Why? Because we believe that unity in the essentials of our faith is absolutely necessary for the spiritual health and well-being of the church, for the church’s fulfillment of its God-ordained mission in the world, and for the glory and honor of God in the church.
From time to time it is good to remind ourselves of the essentials of our faith. From time to time it is good to go back to the basics, to deepen our understanding, and to renew our commitment to the foundational truths of our faith. That is what I propose to do beginning this morning as we consider the introductory paragraph of the EPC Essentials, which we have already said together.
Listen as I read it again:
All Scripture is self-attesting (that is, it bears witness to its own authority and trustworthiness) and being Truth, requires our unreserved submission in all areas of life. The infallible Word of God, the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, is a complete and unified witness to God’s redemptive acts, culminating in the incarnation of the Living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible, uniquely and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit, is the supreme and final authority on all matters on which it speaks.
This belief in the Bible as the inspired, infallible, and authoritative Word of God, is the bedrock foundation on which we affirm all the essentials of our faith.