What We Believe as Cumberland Presbyterians
The Cumberland Presbyterian denomination began in 1810. Our denomination’s beliefs are similar to those of other mainstream Christian denominations. Like many other Christians, Cumberland Presbyterians believe in:
- God – Creator of the universe
- Jesus Christ – the Son of God who came to earth as a man so that we might see God’s love in action; our Savior because of what He did on the cross
- Holy Spirit – the presence of God in the world around us and in the hearts of every believer
- The Church – the universal body of all of Christ’s followers
- Forgiveness of Sin – given through the grace of God and made possible by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ
- Life Everlasting – is promised to all believers because of the resurrection of Jesus
- The Bible – the inspired word of God; the infallible rule of faith and practice; our guide for Christian living
Cumberland Presbyterians interpret the Bible very much like other Protestants do. Ultimately, however, every Cumberland Presbyterian must find a personal set of beliefs through study, contemplation, and worship.
- The Trinity – God exists as three persons in one – the Father (Creator), the Son (Redeemer), and the Holy Spirit (Comforter)
- Heaven – This is a place of eternal presence with God, where believers will live with God in total, absolute joy and splendor
- Hell – This is total, absolute separation from God, which can exist now on earth but will also exist for all eternity for those people who refuse to accept the saving grace of Jesus
- Resurrection – Christ defeated death when God raised Him from the dead. We, as believers, also defeat death and are raised to eternal life in the presence of God
- Confession – This is a voluntary and healing act. It is made directly to God, although it may be made in a pastor’s presence or as an act of corporate worship
- Salvation – Our salvation comes as a miracle of God’s grace. When we confess Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we receive the gifts of God’s grace. One of those gifts is the assurance that we have been saved. Our salvation begins that moment, here on earth, as we experience God’s presence in our daily lives. That salvation continues for all eternity.
- Grace – This is God’s gift of his blessings to us. We cannot earn God’s grace; we can do nothing to deserve God’s grace. It is His gift to us, freely given. God’s grace brings us blessings of salvation, love, joy, peace and all the gifts of the Spirit.
Cumberland Presbyterians recognize two sacraments –
- Baptism – This sacrament unites us to the body of Christ – the church. Baptism does not, however, save us. It is simply an outward sign that marks us as members in the community of faith. This sacrament can be received as an infant or when making a profession of faith. Baptizing an infant is a way of recognizing that God’s grace comes before faith. In other words, God loves us before we ever know Him.
- Communion – In this sacrament we share in the death and resurrection of Christ. The bread and juice are symbols of his body and blood. In the sharing of this sacrament we acknowledge Jesus’ suffering and his self-giving love for us. But this sacrament is also a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus and the destruction of the power of death in our lives.