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What We Teach

What’s a Presbyterian?

Noosa Presbyterian Church belongs to the Presbyterian Church of Australia, a denomination that has existed in various forms in this country since the late 18th century.

The word presbyterian comes from the Greek word for elder, and so in simple terms, a presbyterian church is one that is elder-led. There is no one person (pope, bishop or pastor) who rules over the congregation, but a group of elders who are appointed by the church to lead, care for and teach the church.​

But to give you a better understanding of what kind of church Noosa Presbyterian is, it’s helpful to make the following distinctions:

We Are Christian

Some people think that all religions are basically the same – just slightly different paths that all lead to the same place. But we take Jesus seriously when he says “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6).

We believe Christ is the only way to know God, and so we are unashamedly Christian.

We Are Evangelical

Evangel (the Greek word for gospel) means good news. And at the heart of our church is the good news that we can enjoy relationship with God because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This good news defines us and empowers us.

We Are Protestant

Which is to say that we are not Roman Catholic. While there may be many people in Catholic churches with a genuine faith in Jesus, the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church is incompatible with the gospel of Jesus Christ, and so we stand in protest against its false teaching, and hold fast to the doctrines of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, as revealed by Scripture alone, to the glory of God alone.

We Are Reformed

Noosa Presbyterian is reformed in that it upholds the Bible’s emphasis on the absolute sovereignty of God in all things and the total inability of humans to do anything to secure their own salvation. We exist as a church not because we are in any way superior, but because God who is rich in mercy lavished His grace upon us, doing everything necessary for us to be delivered from sin and death.

What we Teach

The teaching at Noosa Presbyterian Church is consistent with orthodox Christian beliefs – the same truths that have bene believed by billions of Jesus’ followers century after century, all over the world.

As a member of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, we uphold the Westminster Confession of Faith as an accurate summary of key Biblical teaching, but only ever subordinate to the Word of God in Scripture.

Here are some summaries of key doctrines that you will hear taught in our church:

The Bible

We teach that the Bible – the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments – is the infallible Word of God which contains all that is necessary for us to know for life and faith. What can be known about God is revealed to us clearly in Scripture, and so we make the reading and teaching of the Bible the focus of our gatherings.

Because the Bible was penned by human authors who wrote in specific times and contexts, we read the Bible sensitive to its historical and Biblical contexts, so that we can understand what God said to His people then, and throught that, what He says to us now.

God

We teach that there is only one true God, the eternal, loving creator, sustainer and ruler over all things; and that this one God exists as 3 distinct but united persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We teach that because God created the world, it belongs to Him, and that He alone has the right to rule over the lives of His creatures.

Jesus Christ

We teach that the man Jesus Christ is the second person of the Trinity, and the only hope for fallen humanity. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, making Him fully God and fully human. Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life in obedience to the Father, died on a cross, rose again from the dead, and ascended into heaven from where he now rules over all things.

Humanity

We teach that humans are uniquely created in the image of God and are therefore equal in worth and dignity, irrespective of age, gender, ability or capacity.

We also teach that all men, women and children since the beginning of time have rebelled against God’s rule and that as a result are facing God’s fair and right judgment against sin.

Salvation

We teach that the only way for sinful humanity to be rescued from the power of sin and death and reconciled to our Creator is through faith in Jesus Christ. Salvation is the free gift of God which is neither earned or deserved, and is achieved through Jesus’ penal, substitutionary death on the cross. By repenting of sin and trusting in Jesus’ death in our place we are forgiven, declared right with God, adopted as His own children, sealed with His Holy Spirit and given eternal life.

The Holy Spirit

We teach that the Holy Spirit – the third person of the Trinity – is freely given to and dwells in all those whom God has chosen to belong to Him. It is through the Spirit’s power that the Christian is enabled to believe the gospel, is marked and sealed as God’s Holy possession, and is transformed to think, speak and act in a way that brings glory to Him.

The Church

While there are many churches, denominations and fellowships, we teach that there is one true universal church comprising all those whom God has redeemed through Jesus. This universal church is “invisible” in that only God knows who belongs in it.

We teach that local churches (like Noosa Presbyterian) are a small, visible subset of God’s invisible, universal church. As God is the one who builds His church, it exists solely for His purposes, and is equipped by Him with everything that is required for God’s people to build one another up in love.

The Future

We teach that at a time known only by the Father, the Lord Jesus will return to execute God’s judgment on rebellious humanity, both living and dead. At the same time God will also deliver His people – all those, living and dead, that accepted Jesus’ offer of forgiveness – and bring them into a new, physical creation where they will enjoy glorious, eternal, sinless fellowship with Him.

We hope this helps you get a better understanding of what kind of church we are. We don’t claim to be the only true church by any stretch, and we enjoy fellowship with brothers and sisters throughout the world and across denominations who profess faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. And so whether or not you agree with all these things, we’d love to have you join us as we learn and grow together under the rule of King Jesus.

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