What We Believe

First Presbyterian Church in Santa Paula is a member of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. https://www.pcusa.org/, making us one of the 10,000 congregations and 1.7 million members following Christ's call to ministry and mission.  We are a member of the Santa Barbara Presbytery which is in turn a member of the Synod of the Pacific.  We believe in the connection of all churches within our Presbytery and faith and so we have strong representation in both the Santa Barbara Presbytery and the Synod of the Pacific. 

We also believe that we were planted here in Santa Paula with a purpose.  We believe our purpose is lift up and support Christ's mission in Santa Paula, where ever it may be and wherever it may take us.

Theologically we follow the Reformed Theology as outlined by John Calvin which has its roots firmly planted in the Reformation of the 16th Century and the Book of Confessions.

About God

We believe that God is the loving Creator of all that exists, both seen and unseen. God is eternal, sovereign and completely good, knowing all things and having all power. God exists in a triune community of three persons equal in divine perfection: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God passionately desires relationship with us that we might come to know and enjoy Him forever.
Genesis 1:1,26; Matthew 28:19; John 1:1,3; 4:24; 14:6-9, 15-17 and John 16:7-15; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Romans 1:19,20; Ephesians 4:5,6; 1 John 4:9-10

Picture: From the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.  God is reaching out to touch Adam with the spark of life.  Michelangelo (1508-1512)

About Jesus Christ

We believe that God has revealed Himself in human form through Jesus Christ, the Son of God, born of the virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life and was crucified for our sins. He was buried and rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven where He intercedes for His people and from where He will return to earth to rule and reign forever.

Matthew 1:18-25; 20:28; 22:36-40; Luke 1:26-38; John 1:1; 20:28; Romans 9:5; 8:46; II Corinthians 5:21; I Peter 2:21-23; John 20:30, 31; Ephesians 1:4; Acts 1:11; Romans 5:6-8; 6:9,10; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 9:28; I Timothy 3:16; Colossians 1:13-23; 2:8-14; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8; John 14:1-3; Hebrews 1:1-3; Acts 10:42-43; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

Picture: The Peta in St. Peter's in Rome, by Michelangelo between 1497 and 1500, image from http://thecoincidentaldandy.blogspot.com/

About the Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit is sent from the Father and the Son to live inside all who believe in Jesus Christ. The Spirit teaches, convicts, comforts, guides and empowers us; giving each believer diverse gifts for the building, strengthening and encouragement of the Church and its ministry in the world.

John 14:26; 15:26, 27; 16:7-14; Romans 5:5 and Romans 8; Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 3:16, 4:3-4, 5:18; I Corinthians 3:16; 6:19 and 1 Corinthians 12-14; Galatians 5:22-26

Picture from Virgo Clemens web post "The Name, Titles, and Symbols of the Holy Spirit"  https://virgoclemens.wordpress.com/2015/08/25/the-name-titles-and-symbols-of-the-holy-spirit/

About the Bible

We believe that the Bible (The Old and New Testament) is the infallible Word of God, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and that it has supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct. We believe that God speaks to us in the Bible, and that it is our privilege and responsibility to seek to understand Gods message and apply it to our lives. The Bible is our standard in all we say and do.

Matthew 5:17-19; Mark 13:31; John 8:31,32; 20:31; Acts 17:11; 20:32; II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:20,21; 2 Timothy 2:15 and 2 Timothy 3:14-17; Hebrew 4:12; 2 Peter 1:16-21 and 2 Peter 3:14-18; Psalm 19:7-11 and Psalm 119:9-16; Joshua 1:7-8.

Picture from Evangelical Bible.Com   https://evangelicalbible.com/

About Salvation

We believe that all people are created in the image of God and to live in relationship with Him. However, through our sin (failing to live by God’s standards), we have broken our relationship with God to pursue our own self-centered desires. However, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to rescue us from the consequences of such a life and to restore our broken relationships with God and others. God has accepted Christ’s death on the cross as the perfect act of redemption for each of us. Salvation comes to people on the basis of God’s grace through their faith in Jesus alone. They receive the free gift of forgiveness and are spiritually reborn through repenting of their sin and trusting in Jesus Christ as their only Lord and Savior. Good works and a holy life, although totally unable to save anyone, are the product of repentant, believing people.

John 3:16 and John 5:24; Ephesians 2:1-10; I Peter 2:24, 3:18; Romans 3:9-28; 6:23, and Romans 10:9-10; Titus 3:3-8; James 2:14-26.

Picture from wells.net Salvation questions

About the Church

We believe that the Church is comprised of all born-again believers known as the Body of Christ of which Jesus Christ is the head. Through a common confession of faith and a shared life, the Church worships God and proclaims Christ. We believe that the local church embodies the nature of the Body of Christ in its given context. Under the guidance of the Word and the Spirit First Presbyterian Church is led by Pastors, Elders, & Deacons who seek to nourish the church’s life and faith and equip it for its ministry and mission. While acknowledging that there is diversity among churches and Christians, First Presbyterian Church seeks to encourage all believers to work together in humility and love for the proclamation of the gospel. In accordance to the Word of God, the Church administers the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

Matthew 23:8-11, 18:15-17; John 15:12; Acts 2:42-47; Romans 12:3-18; 14:1-15:7, 16:17; 1 Corinthians 1:10-13; 16:15-16; Galatians 6:1-5, 10; Philippians 2:1-5; Colossians 4:5-6; 1 Timothy 5:1, 17-23; 2 Timothy 2:14-17, 23-26; 4:1-5; Hebrews 13:7,17.

Picture:  Christmas Eve 2019 at First Presbyterian