We talk a lot about “the gospel” but what does that mean? The word gospel literally means “good news,” and was historically used to describe the triumphal proclamation of a King who had achieved a great victory. In Christianity, the gospel refers to the good news of what the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus the King accomplished. This includes salvation for his people and the establishment of a new kingdom. All that the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus accomplished is offered as a gift of grace to anyone who will believe. We don’t deserve it, we don’t earn it, we simply receive it by faith.
We affirm the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed. These two creeds have been the core of Christian belief since the earliest centuries of the church and unite us together with the global community of Christians. We are also indebted to the stream of Protestant Christianity that began in the 17th Century and is summarized in the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms. The Westminster Confession was produced in order to unify the English, Scottish, and Irish churches under a common expression of faith. Though the language of the creed is antiquated, it remains an incredibly helpful resource for the church today.
Practically speaking, being Presbyterian means that we are led by a group of Elders (called the Session) and part of a network of churches (the Presbyterian Church in America, and more locally the Pacific Northwest Presbytery) to whom we are accountable.