What We Believe


First Presbyterian Church  |  Glen Ellyn, Illinois  |  Approved March 6, 2017

Relying on God’s grace, as individuals and as a church, we seek to live by these equally important values:

  1. Transformation: With gratitude for Christ’s work in our own lives, we pursue continuing transformation for ourselves and for all those impacted by First Presbyterian Church, of Glen Ellyn.
  1. Scripture: Our life together is anchored in the study of God’s word revealed in Scripture.
  1. Unity: Through our shared experience of Christian faith, community, and worship, we are part of a movement grounded in a unity that embraces and celebrates extraordinary variety; one body with many parts.
  1. Visible Faith: In our families, our schools, our workplaces, our community, and our world, we seek to personally experience and publicly express the way of Jesus.
  1. Compassion: Responding to Christ’s call and the needs around us, we seek to serve and love in his name by expressing justice and mercy, locally, regionally and globally.
  1. Witness:  We count it a privilege to share the good news of the gospel and to invite others into the abundant life in Jesus Christ.
  1. Relationships: Recognizing that healthy relationships are no accident, we work intentionally to cultivate Christ-centered relationships, strong marriages, healthy families, and transformative friendships.

We are part of the Prebyterian Church (USA) – Member of the Chicago Presbytery.  There are approximately 2.3 million members and more than 10,000  congregations with denominational offices in Louisville, Kentucky. Presbyterians trace their history to the 16th century and the Protestant Reformation. Our heritage, and many of our distinctives, began with John Calvin (1509-1564), whose writings crystallized much of Reformed thinking. Find out more about what the PCUSA church believes historically, theologically, and socially at the PCUSA website.

We express faith based on biblical truth. The Bible is the basis for our teaching, our governing, and our practices on all levels of the church. Our most important beliefs are those we share with other Christians, and especially with other evangelical Christians who look to the Protestant Reformation as a renewal of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We believe that Jesus is as alive today as he was on the first Easter morning and that he is present with us today, even though we cannot see him or physically touch him. We call Jesus “Lord” because he has saved us from the power of death and the power of sin and because, through his sacrifice, we are able to know the fullness of God’s love for us. We, as Christians, also believe that Jesus will one day return to the earth to complete the task of creating a world where justice, peace, and love rule, and evil is no more.

Through the Holy Spirit, God empowers us to grow in faith, make mature decisions, and live faithful lives. The Spirit gives us the will, as Jesus said, to “be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) The Holy Spirit gives believers the authority to accurately interpret the Bible, just as the Spirit enabled the original writers of Scripture to tell truthfully about God, Jesus, and everything else we need to know. The Spirit also gives authority to the church to act in God’s name for the good of humanity. The Spirit gives every person a sense of “calling” to a special function in the world, in keeping with God’s providence and Jesus’s summons to “follow him.” The “fruit of the Spirit” identified by the apostle Paul are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22)

Our church confesses the Scriptures to be the Word of God written, witnessing to God’s self-revelation. Where that Word is read and proclaimed, Jesus Christ the Living Word is present by the inward witness of the Holy Spirit. For this reason the reading, hearing, preaching, and confessing of the Word are central to Christian worship.

We believe the Bible when it says that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Unlike crime, which involves the breaking of human law, sin is a condition of the heart or an expression of that condition where we are estranged from God and fail to trust in God. Sin expresses itself in particular acts.

Out of the greatest possible love and compassion God reached out to us and redeemed us through Jesus Christ, the only one who was ever without sin. Through Jesus’s death and resurrection God triumphed over sin. We believe it is through the action of God working in us that we become aware of our sinfulness and our need for God’s mercy and forgiveness. Just as a parent is quick to welcome a wayward child who has repented of rebellion, God is willing to forgive our sins if we but confess them and ask for forgiveness in the name of Christ.

Click here to read a pastoral letter on same-sex marriage.