About the OPC?
For a detailed description and analysis of the OPC, see “What is the Orthodox Presbyterian Church?” at: http://www.opc.org/whatis.html. The OPC was born out of a mind for mission work, both at home and abroad. Largely as a result of church-planting efforts, the OPC has grown to approximately 325 churches and mission works in 47 states, 2 provinces in Canada, and Puerto Rico. The OPC is organized into 17 regions, each governed by a presbytery. Carrying the whole truth of Scripture to the ends of the earth has been of singular importance to Orthodox Presbyterians from the outset. Today the OPC has missions on five continents.
The purpose of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church is simple:
- to bring glory to God through our churches and individual lives
- to make known to the world the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ
What is the Reformed Faith?
When we speak of the Reformed faith, we are referring to the true Christian religion as it was recovered during the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, under the leadership of John Calvin (1509–1564). The Orthodox Presbyterian Church as a Reformed church adheres to those cardinal articles of the Christian religion that Reformed churches hold in common with other churches, such as the Trinity, the atonement, justification by faith, the virgin birth and bodily resurrection of Jesus, his miracles, and the inspiration of Holy Scripture.
The Reformed faith holds to all the apostolic doctrines set forth in the Bible and given creedal formulation by the great ecumenical councils of the ancient church. It is important to recognize that several branches of the visible church have variously misinterpreted these doctrines. Which interpretations belong to the Reformed faith, and which do not? The answer to that question can only be gained through a careful study of the Reformed creeds, confessions, and catechisms.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)
It is the humble position of the OPC that the Reformed faith is the Christian religion in its most consistent expression. This is not to claim that others, who do not hold to the Reformed confessions, are not Christians. It is simply to insist that there is only one true religion and that the most consistent expression of it is the Reformed faith. Jesus himself said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matt. 7:13–14). No doubt some see this way more clearly than others. And Jesus does not say that none but the consistent will be able to enter in. But how clear it is that there is only one way! Furthermore, Jesus plainly insisted that this one way of salvation be taught consistently: “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age’” (Matt. 28:18–20).
Consistent and faithful maintenance of the entire content of the true religion is a matter of no little importance. We are not to judge just how much a particular sinner must know in order to be saved. But there is no doubt as to the church’s task in this world: to uphold the whole of Christ’s word in faithful and consistent teaching. Reformed Principles are:
- Bible-Based – God’s Word is sufficient and the only infallible rule of what we are to believe and how we are to live.
- God-Centered, not man-centered – “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever” (WSC Q1); thus, “whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31).
- Covenantal – By covenant we understand that “voluntary condescension on God’s part” (WCF, VII:1) by which he (the Creator) enables man (his creature) to obey, glorify, and enjoy him.
For a further view of the Reformed faith and Orthodox Presbyterian Church, its Doctrine, Practice, Form of Government, and Worship, see “What Is the Reformed Faith?”