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Question and Answer

The Gospel

Question:

In my search for a true Gospel preaching church, I've found that many will not even answer my questions, which is very disheartening, to say the least. Mark 16:15-16 makes it very clear that it is imperative that we are believing in the true Gospel of God. Could you please tell me what your church defines the Gospel to be?

Answer:

I couldn't agree more. No single issue in a person's life is more important than how he responds to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

And no more appropriate question can be asked a church than, "What do you believe?"

The Orthodox Presbyterian Church is a confessional church. We believe we have an obligation to confess before the world what we believe about God, and what duty he requires of us.

Let me direct you to the page on our website that contains our doctrinal standards.

Our standards consist of three documents: the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Larger Catechism, and the Shorter Catechism. We do not intend for these documents to take the place of the Bible, which is the only infallible rule of faith and practice. However, we do believe they are reliable statements of the system of doctrine taught in scripture. Please give special attention to checking out the scripture proofs found in each document.

The seriousness of getting the gospel right is clear in this modern version of our Confession of Faith (7.1-3):

"The distance between God and the creature is so great that, even though rational creatures are responsible to obey him as their Creator, yet they could never experience any enjoyment of him as their blessing and reward except by way of some voluntary condescension on his part, which he has been pleased to express by way of covenant.

"The first covenant made with man was a covenant of works in which life was promised to Adam and, in him, to his posterity, upon condition of perfect and personal obedience.

"Since man, by his fall, made himself incapable of life by that covenant, the Lord was then pleased to make a second covenant, commonly called the covenant of grace. In it God freely offers life and salvation by Jesus Christ to sinners, requiring of them faith in him, that they may be saved, and promising to give his Holy Spirit to all those who are ordained to eternal life, to make them willing and able to believe."

God's offer of life and salvation by Jesus Christ to sinners—that's the gospel! Is belief in the true gospel imperative? Most certainly! Our very life and salvation depend upon it.

You can use our search engine here to find an Orthodox Presbyterian congregation near you. If there are none, we can help you find a church of another denomination that holds to the same doctrinal truths we do.


About Q&A

"Questions and Answers" is a weekly feature of the OPC website. At least one new question is posted each week, so there should always be something new here for you to read. (For those who would like to look at previous questions and answers, they will continue to be available as well.)

The questions come from individuals like yourself. If you have questions about biblical and theological matters, you are invited to send them by e-mail by using the "Pose a Question" link on the OPC home page or by clicking here.

The purpose of the OPC website's "Questions and Answers" is to respond to biblical and theological questions. Matters of church discipline, disputes, or debates go beyond the scope of our work. We recommend that you present your concerns in these areas to the appropriate judicatory. In most cases this will be to a local pastor, elder, or session. We do not want the website to replace personal involvement in, or commitment to, the local, visible church.

While we will respond to every serious questioner, we are not bound to give a substantive answer to every question, should we deem the question to be beyond the scope of our purpose or our own ability to answer.

You will receive an answer by email. Please be patient as many of our respondents are busy pastors. The response to your question may take up to two weeks. Some of the questions submitted will be chosen to be posted here, along with the corresponding answers.

The answers come from individual ministers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church expressing their own convictions and do not necessarily represent an "official" position of the Church, especially in areas where the Standards of the Church (the Scriptures and the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms) are silent.

Note that the "Questions and Answers" posted on the site have been edited—all personal references are removed, Scripture references may be added, and sometimes portions are expanded—to make the questions and answers more useful to a larger audience.

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