FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF GREENWICH
Our vision is to be a nurturing Christian community following the call of Jesus to love God above all and our neighbors as ourselves.
What would you describe as the main belief for Presbyterians?
That God loves the creation God has made, and that he wants to be in a relationship with every person. And we believe that we see God’s love in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Human beings are sinners, but God’s love is more powerful than our sin. God is willing to forgive every wrong that we have done. What do Presbyterians believe about God being in control, given all the cruelty and suffering in the world today?
Presbyterian beliefs often begin with what is called the sovereignty, or the all-powerfulness, of God. We recognize cruelty and suffering, but we believe that cruelty and suffering will not have the last word over the human race. God will have the last word, a word of love so powerful that “nothing in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39). Is it true that Presbyterians believe in predestination?
Yes, but not in the way it is often interpreted. We do not, for example, believe that everything about our lives has been pre-determined by God. Nor do we believe that, before anyone was born, God predestined certain people to go to heaven and others to go to hell. Predestination is one way of saying that, in a relationship with God, the initiative is God’s initiative, and that “we love because God first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Predestination is also closely linked to service in the Presbyterian way of thinking. God has established a relationship with us so that we might serve God in the world where we live. How do Presbyterians believe a relationship with God is possible?
It is possible because God, in God’s love, has set things right between us. There isn’t anything that a person must or can do to earn or merit God’s love. God loves us simply because it is God’s nature to love. It is true that the gospel invites us to choose to love and serve God, but we make that choice knowing that the decision has already been made by God to love us and to establish a relationship with us. We are forgiven not because we said the right words or did the right actions, but because God has chosen to forgive us through the love of Jesus Christ.