At Providence, we are a Bible-believing Christian church that embraces the historic Presbyterian and Reformed tradition. We are members of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC), a denomination that began in 1936 in reaction to liberalism in the mainline church. The word “orthodox” is not to be confused with the Eastern Orthodox Church. Orthodox simply means “straight thinking.”
Providence OPC is a Presbyterian church because we believe the Bible teaches that churches should be governed by a plurality of elders that are elected by the congregation and submitted to one another in the Lord, having taken vows to uphold our doctrinal standards.
Providence OPC is a Reformed church because we identify with the great Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. This was a time when many of the central truths of the Bible were recovered such as affirming that scripture alone is our ultimate authority in matters of faith and practice and justification by faith alone. For a more complete explanation of what we consider to be the Reformed faith click here.
For a more detailed account of what we believe the Bible teaches (i.e. our doctrinal standards), see The Westminster Confession of Faith and the Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechisms. Providence OPC also values other Reformed standards, including the Three Forms of Unity: the Belgic Confession, the Canons of Dort, and the Heidelberg Catechism.
For more about our doctrinal standards and beliefs, please visit the pages in the box on the left side of this page, as well as our Resources page.
At Providence Orthodox Presbyterian Church, we celebrate the fact that God gives us everything necessary for life and godliness, which includes provision for our lives here on earth and in the eternal life to come. Our motto is taken from II Peter 1:3, which says, “By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”
We also appreciate the Reformed understanding of God’s providence, which is summarized from the Holy Scriptures in Chapter 5 of the Westminster Confession of Faith, including that “As the providence of God doth, in general, reach to all creatures; so, after a most special manner, it taketh care of his church, and disposeth all things to the good thereof.”
The Word of God, which consists of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only true guide for faith in God and obedience to Him. The Scriptures principally teach two things: what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man. The Scriptures teach that this God is “Triune,” which means that He is one God in three distinct persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three persons are one God, the same in substance, and equal in power and glory.
Both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible record and prove what God does in history to save His people from the consequences of their sins. By means of types, ceremonies and prophecies, inspired writers of the Old Testament looked forward to and revealed the unique attributes of a promised Messiah, which means “anointed one.” These inspired writings concerning the anticipated Messiah and his coming kingdom proclaimed the good news or “gospel” throughout the Old Testament.
The New Testament describes the long-awaited revelation of Jesus as the Messiah (or “the Christ” in Greek). Jesus proclaimed the good news that the Kingdom of God had come to the earth through him. He preached that people could only see this kingdom if they were “born again” (regenerated) by the Spirit of God, which then would free them from the inherent power of sin over them as part of the human race, enable them to believe in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, and enable them to live according to the way taught by the Holy Scriptures.
The Westminster Confession of Faith (completed December 4, 1646) and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms (October/November 1647) contain both an accurate summary and a helpful teaching of key truths found in scripture. The Orthodox Presbyterian Church accepts these documents (with minor revisions first adopted in 1788) as official standards for the church, although they are secondary and subject to the complete teaching and truth of Holy Scriptures.
View This Article on Covenant Theology by Rowland S. Ward.