More About Us
The Cumberland Presbyterian Church Bertram strives to make a difference in our community and beyond by sharing in the love, encouragement, peace, and forgiveness of our Lord, Jesus Christ. You are invited to join with us and explore our call to Christian discipleship.
Beliefs of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church
The official statement of doctrine of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church is called The Confession of Faith, which the reader is invited to consult for a more complete statement and the Scriptural supporting texts. The statements below are partly in the words of The Confession of Faith and are in part an interpretation of it.
The Bible - Cumberland Presbyterians accept the Bible as the only infallible rule of faith and practice. We believe that the Holy Scriptures comprise the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. Scriptures are the authoritative rule and guide of all Christian life, practice, and doctrine. They are totally sufficient and must not be added to, superseded, or changed by later tradition, extra-biblical revelation, or worldly wisdom. Every doctrinal formulation, whether of creed, confession, or theology must be put to the test of the full counsel of God in Holy Scripture.
The Godhead – We believe that there is one God. We believe in the divinity of Jesus and the Holy Spirit as well as in God the Father; the three persons are co-existent, co-equal, and co-eternal making up the one triune God.
The Church - We believe in our denomination as a part of the Church of which Christ is the head and all believers in Christ are a part. We believe in cooperation with all who accept Jesus as Christ and Lord.
Salvation - We believe that every person is born into this world as a sinner and in need of spiritual regeneration. This regeneration, along with forgiveness of sins and saving faith, are made possible by Jesus Christ’s death on the cross, His resurrection to life, and His atonement for our sins; and is available freely to any that ask it of Him. We do not believe that good works of any sort will save our souls, but that good deeds are the result of a regenerated life.
Sanctification - We believe that God is faithful and will continue to work in the lives of all believers and that every child of God will continue to grow in grace and become more like Christ and less like the world. All believers are exhorted to live their life in a manner pleasing to God, knowing they will have to give an account to God for their every thought, word, and deed. The spiritual disciplines, especially Bible study, prayer, worship and confession, are a vital means of grace in this regard.
Preservation of Believers - We believe that a person who is truly regenerated will not totally fall away from a state of grace, but will be preserved to everlasting life. Although no Christian is perfect, he or she will ultimately not be satisfied with anything less than a life which is pleasing to Christ. A believer’s ultimate confidence to persevere is based in the sure promise of God to preserve his people until the end, which is most certain.
The Sacraments - We believe that there are just two sacraments of the Church:
Water Baptism is one sacrament. It is a sign or symbol of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and a seal of the Covenant of Grace. Since the Holy Spirit is always represented in the Scriptures as being poured out on the person, its renewal and cleansing is best symbolized by pouring or sprinkling water upon the head of the one being baptized. We believe that infant children of Christians should be given the seal of the Covenant just as Hebrew children were in Old Testament days. Infant baptism is now that seal, and represents an act of faith on the part of the parents and the Church as the child is dedicated to the Lord. Infant baptism is not an evidence of salvation but is an evidence of non-communicant church membership.
There is no saving power in water baptism, yet it is the duty of all believers not previously baptized to publicly confess Christ in this solemn ordinance and to present their infant children for baptism.
The Lord's Supper is the second sacrament. The symbols to be used are bread and grape juice, which remain after consecration literal bread and juice. Since it is the Lord's Supper and not an ordinance of a particular church, all who acknowledge Jesus as Christ and who have faith to understand the significance of this sacrament are invited to partake of it with us, regardless of their denominational affiliation.
Things to Come - We believe that the bodies of all persons after death return to dust; but their spirits return to God who created them. The spirits of the righteous are received into heaven, and the spirits of the wicked are cast into hell. The Scriptures speak of no other place for departed spirits. We believe that God has appointed a time for the resurrection of the just and the unjust when he will judge the world in righteousness by Christ.
Church Attendance - We believe that Christians should take advantage of the opportunities provided for regular worship in the church. Church attendance is given special emphasis in the vows taken by the members because it is regarded as a means of spiritual growth as well as a means of Christian witness.
Form of Government - Individual congregations are governed by elders who are elected by the people. Each congregation, through its elders, calls its pastor. Pastors and elders of an area are formed into presbyteries. Ministers are received and ordained by presbyteries. Standards for ordination are established by the General Assembly and include educational requirements of at least a college education and a degree from a graduate school of theology. Only ordained ministers receive members by profession of faith and baptism, conduct the communion and officiate at the marriage ceremony. Ruling elders may receive members by letter.