God’s Holy Word is our primary standard. It is the only infallible rule of faith and practice. Our church officers subscribe to the Westminster Standards as our secondary standard, which consists of the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Larger Catechism, and the Shorter Catechism, as containing the system of doctrine taught in the Holy Scriptures. The four parts of our name (Christ Covenant Presbyterian Church) help to explain more about who we are:
- Christ – We strive to be Christ-centered in our corporate worship and in our daily living.
- Covenant – We believe that the most unified, consistent understanding of Biblical truth is found in covenant theology.
- Presbyterian – We teach that all members of the church should submit themselves to the preaching of God’s Word and the loving care, counsel and correction of elders.
- Church – Reverent, relevant, God-centered worship services, Sunday morning and evening. The purpose of worship is not entertainment or therapy, but pleasing God.
We strive to be Christ-centered in our corporate worship and in our daily living.
- God Incarnate; Immanuel, which means “God with us”
- the Second Person of the Trinity
- Lord, Savior and Head of the Church
- the ultimate Prophet, Priest and King
- the only Mediator between a Holy God and sinful mankind
“He (Christ) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rules or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.” (Colossians 1:15-19)
“Who is the redeemer of God’s chosen ones?” — “The only redeemer of God’s chosen is the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, Who became man. He was and continues to be God and man in two distinct natures and one person forever.” (Westminster Shorter Catechism — Question and Answer # 21)
“Shout with joy to God, all the earth!
Sing the glory of his name;
make his praise glorious!
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
So great is your power
that your enemies cringe before you,
All the earth bows down to you;
they sing praise to your name.” (Psalm 66:1-4)
We believe and teach that the most unified, consistent understanding of Biblical truth that honors and pleases our Savior God is found in covenant theology, which is clearly stated in the Westminster Confession of Faith and its Catechisms, originally written in 1647.
- Scripture or the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, is the holy, inspired, inerrant Word of God.
- Scripture is our only authority for faith and life.
- More continuity exists between the Old and New Testaments than difference. The New Testament is in the Old Testament, concealed, and the Old Testament is in the New Testament, revealed.
- The Person and Work of Christ are the central themes of God’s covenant of grace (God’s promise to save sinners for Himself) revealed throughout Scripture.
- Historic, Biblical orthodoxy consistent with the Protestant Reformation (as found in the teachings of Luther, Calvin, Knox, etc.)
- Conservative and Reformed in doctrine and in practice.
- Not dispensational.
“He (Jesus) said to them [two disciples on the road to Emmaus], ‘How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter His glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself…. They asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?’” (Luke 24:25-27, 32)
“What authority from God directs us how to glorify and enjoy Him?” — “The only authority for glorifying and enjoying Him is the Bible, which is the Word of God and is made up of the Old and New Testaments.” — “What does the Bible primarily teach?” — “The Bible primarily teaches what man must believe about God and what God requires of man.” (Westminster Shorter Catechism Questions and Answers #2 & #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.” (Westminster Confession of Faith Chapter 7 – “Of God’s Covenant with Man”)
We teach that all members of the church, both communicants and those who are members by virtue of baptism only, should submit themselves to the preaching of God’s Word and the loving care, counsel and correction of elders, whom Christ has called to shepherd His flock according to His will.
- “Presbyterian” (from the New Testament Greek word for elders, presbuteroi) simply means “rule by elders.”
- The Apostles appointed elders (never just one, but a plurality of elders) in every local church, to oversee its life and ministry. The group of elders in a local church is called a session.
- Elders are gifted and called by Christ to lead His church, but the congregation must confirm their calling by electing them to this office.
- Elders should be loving servant-leaders, who care for God’s people as good shepherds care for their sheep.
- Elders are responsible to maintain the peace and purity of the church for the honor and glory of Christ through the exercise of church discipline.
- The New Testament designates two kinds of elders; first those who teach (often called pastors, preachers or ministers) and secondly those who rule. Together, teaching and ruling elders oversee or shepherd God’s flock, the church, through the ministry of God’s Word, the sacraments and prayer.
- Other officers in the church, deacons, are also called by Christ and confirmed by the congregation to serve in a ministry of mercy, which attends to the material or physical needs of the saints.
- The qualifications for elders and deacons are listed clearly in Scripture, I Timothy 3 and Titus 1.
“Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church. He said to them…‘Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which He bought with His own blood.’” (Acts 20:19,28)
“Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.” (Hebrews 13:17)
“I. The Lord Jesus, as King and Head of His church, has appointed a government in it, to be administered by church officers, distinct from civil magistrates.
“II. To these church officers He has committed the keys of the kingdom of heaven. For this reason they have authority to retain and to remit sins, to shut the kingdom against the unrepentant both by the Word and by censures, and to open it to repentant sinners by the ministry of the gospel and by releasing from censures, as the occasion requires.” (Westminster Confession of Faith – Chapter 30 – “Of Church Discipline”)
“Ecclesiastical discipline is the exercise of that authority which the Lord Jesus Christ has committed to the visible church for the preservation of its purity, peace and good order. Judicial discipline is concerned with the prevention and correction of offenses, an offense being defined as anything in the doctrine or practice of a member of the church which is contrary to the Word of God. The purpose of judicial discipline is to vindicate the honor of Christ, to promote the purity of His church and to reclaim the offender.” (The Orthodox Presbyterian Church Book of Discipline)
- Reverent, relevant, God-centered worship services, Sunday morning and evening. The purpose of worship is not entertainment or therapy, but pleasing God. Each week the Christian should ask, “What did I put into worship that was glorifying and pleasing to God?” rather than, “What did I get out of it?”
- Discipleship, Training, and Fellowship – Various Bible Studies for adults and teenagers meet during the week. Although parents are responsible for the spiritual training and evangelism of their own children, the church does offer Sunday School Classes for all ages. They provide only minimum instruction in Christian doctrine, but they are a major source of fellowship for all of us, where we learn how to listen to, interact with, serve, include, encourage, enjoy, be patient with, pray with, correct, care for and love others in God’s family. Sunday School is an excellent opportunity for our families to learn that the church is not a place, but the people with whom God has placed us and wants us to love as He does.
- According to Scripture, a true church:
- Submits to the absolute authority of the Bible in doctrine and practice
- Properly administers the two sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which Christ instituted and
- Faithfully practices church discipline.
- Membership in a local, visible church is not optional for Christians. It is essential for following Christ. The church is where you grow in grace by God’s means (the Word, sacraments, prayer, and the fellowship of the saints), where your personal gifts are discovered, developed and used to build God’s kingdom, where you make your stand in an unbelieving world and where your learn to live and to die for God’s glory.
We want to be a faithful church that adds to our faith, goodness and to goodness, knowledge, and to knowledge, self-control, and to self-control perseverance and to perseverance, godliness and to godliness, brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness, love. We know if we possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will enable us to be effective and productive in our service and witness for the Lord Jesus Christ in Amarillo, Texas.
“God placed all things under His (Christ’s) feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way.” “It was He (Christ) who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:11-13)
“But you (believers) are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now your are the people of God: once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (I Peter 2:9-10)
“Greet Priscilla and Aquilla, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus…Greet also the church that meets at their house.” (Romans 16:3,5)
“I. The universal church, which is invisible, consists of all the elect who have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ its head. This church is His bride, His body, and the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
“II. The visible church, which is also universal under the gospel (that is, not confined to one nation, as it was before under the law), consists of all those throughout the world who profess the true religion, together with their children. It is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, the house and family of God, outside of which there is no ordinary possibility to salvation.” (Westminster Confession of Faith Chapter 25 – “Of the Church”)