WHAT WE BELIEVE
We believe that all are sinners and totally unable to save themselves from God's displeasure, except by His mercy.
We believe that salvation is by God alone as He chooses those He will save. We believe His choice is based on Grace, not by any human individual merit or foreseen faith.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, who through His perfect life and sacrificial death atoned for the sins of all those who will trust in Him alone for salvation.
We believe that God is gracious and faithful to His people not simply as individuals but as families in successive generations according to His Covenant promises.
We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells God's people and gives them the strength and wisdom to trust Christ and follow him.
We believe that Jesus will return, bodily and visibly, to judge all mankind and to receive His people to Himself.
THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
We believe that all aspects of our lives are to be lived to the glory of God under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE REFORMED
Trinity Presbyterian Church is a Reformed congregation. This means we believe in Reformed theology, also called Calvinism.
We understand that for many people in Cleveland, Reformed theology is new and strange. There are two doctrines of Reformed theology that are particularly troubling to those unfamiliar with it.
The first is the doctrine of God's sovereignty. We believe God is sovereign over all of his creation and "works all things according to the counsel of his will." (Ephesians 5:11) This knowledge gives us great comfort, especially in times of distress. For no matter what happens, we know our all-knowing and all-powerful God sits on his throne in heaven. Our God reigns. There are no accidents. He is working all things together for the good of those who love him.
However, some people believe the doctrine of God's sovereignty is incompatible with man's free will and therefore undermines his moral responsibility and significance. We understand this concern. From our perspective it is difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile God's sovereignty with man's responsibility and significance. But, here is where our Reformed theology helps us. We believe God's Word and not our own ability to reason. His Word is the final authority in questions of faith and practice. Therefore, while we don't understand it completely and cannot explain it perfectly, we believe and affirm both God's sovereignty and man's freedom because God's Word clearly teaches both.
We are not hyper-Calvinists, who deny human freedom. Nor are we Arminians, who believe God voluntarily limits his sovereignty to allow for human freedom. We believe it is contrary to God's Word to deny either God's sovereignty or man's freedom. Rather, we affirm both.
The second doctrine that disturbs many people is the doctrine of election – which is simply the expression of God's sovereignty in salvation. We believe that Scripture teaches that God chose some, but not all, to be holy and blameless before him. In love, he predestines them for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, and grants them redemption and the forgiveness of their sins, all through his blood. (Ephesians 1:3-9) We understand why this seems unfair to some people. Wouldn't it be more fair if God simply offered salvation to all men and allowed them to accept or reject it?
It may seem so, but we ask you to remember that all men are by nature God's enemies (Romans 5:10), hostile in mind towards him (Colossians 1:21). None seek God ... not even one (Romans 3:11-12). Therefore, if God simply made salvation available, none would be saved. That God chooses to save some by granting them faith and repentance unto life (Acts 11) is a testimony to his gracious mercy, not a reason to condemn him.
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE PRESBYTERIAN
Trinity is a Presbyterian congregation. Like Reformed theology, Presbyterianism is new and strange to many people in Cleveland. However, Presbyterianism is nothing to be feared. In fact, Presbyterianism is simply a form of a church government or organization.
To be Presbyterian is to be ruled by elders. That is, in a Presbyterian congregation elders are given the responsibility of overseeing the work of making mature disciples.
The qualifications for elders are clearly set forth in Scripture (1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9). From among those who meet these qualifications, each congregation elects men to serve them as elders. These men are then entrusted with the responsibility of leading the congregation in the work God has given them to do.
Presbyterianism is looked at with suspicion because some prominent Presbyterian denominations have rejected the authority of God's Word over their faith and practice. We understand and appreciate this concern and want you to know Trinity is not part of such a denomination.
Trinity belongs to the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), a conservative denomination committed to the authority of Scripture and the importance of the Great Commission. As such, we have more in common with our evangelical Baptist and Pentecostal brothers and sisters in Christ than we do with other Presbyterians who have rejected the authority of God's Word.