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What Cumberland Presbyterians believe

Most people who rant and rave that they want the Decalogue displayed in public places cannot remember half of the commandments.  How do people who belong to a denomination with a confession of faith fair with knowing what they say they believe?
Most people who rant and rave that they want the Decalogue displayed in public places cannot remember half of the commandments. How do people who belong to a denomination with a confession of faith fair with knowing what they say they believe?Photo by Jana Birchum/Getty Images

So you think I should read about the doctrine of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church do you? Really?

Fewer than 1% are likely to take a serious look at one of the most fantastic encapsulations of God being at work in his creation. The Cumberland Presbyterian Confession of Faith (COF) begins with the gospel in miniature, that is, with John 3:16.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

The Confession of Faith is a statement of what Cumberland Presbyterians believe. Most people that attend Cumberland Presbyterian worship have probably not read the Confession of Faith—at least not start to finish. Classes on the COF seldom draw a crowd.

What to do?

How about a homiletic rendering of the Confession of Faith?

Without a line-for-line review of the COF, this sermon series hits the essence of each topical section of the basic theology of Cumberland Presbyterians. Each article offers a chance for comments and discussion.

FIRST THINGS FIRST! The first thing that you will want to do is bookmark this page so you may come back to whenever you desire. You might also copy and paste the links below to a location that is easy to access.

Let's begin in the beginning:

1.00 GOD SPEAKS TO THE HUMAN FAMILY

The Living God and the Holy Scriptures

God’s will

More on God’s will

Creation

Providence

The Law of God and the Fabric of the Universe

2.00 THE HUMAN FAMILY BREAKS RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD

Breaking up is hard to do

3.00 GOD ACTS THROUGH JESUS CHRIST TO RECONCILE THE WORLD

He took away our sin. We are sinners no more

Christ the Savior

4.00 GOD ACTS THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT

The Call and Work of the Holy Spirit

Repentance and Confession

Saving Faith

Our Tug of War with believing that God made us righteous

Understanding what it is to be a new creation

Sanctification and Growth in Grace

Preservation of believers and Christian Assurance

5.00 GOD CREATES THE CHURCH FOR MISSION

God creates the church for mission

Christian Communion

Christian Worship

Sacraments

Baptism

The Lord’s Supper

The Church in Mission

Church Government and Judicatories

6.00 CHRISTIANS LIVE AND WITNESS IN THE WORLD

Christian Freedom

Good Works

Christian Stewardship (Time)

Christian Stewardship (Talent)

Christian Stewardship (Treasure)

Marriage and Family

The Lord’s Day

Lawful Oaths and Vows

Civil Government

7.00 GOD CONSUMMATES ALL LIFE AND HISTORY

Death and Resurrection

Judgment and Consummation

A stop along the way

For further consideration: Res Judicata

Read the entire Confession of Faith.

COF FAQs

What is the purpose of the Confession of Faith?

It has a stated two-fold purpose. First, it is to provide a means whereby those who have been saved, redeemed, and reconciled by God through Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit understand and affirm their faith.

Next, it is to bear witness to God’s saving activity in such a way that those who have not been saved, redeemed, and reconciled might believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and experience salvation.

That’s mighty fancy language. Can you put it another way?

The Confession of Faith is an affirmation of ancient truth in contemporary language.

Does the COF have an organizing principle?

Yes. It is to testify to what God has done and is doing in the world to accomplish the redemption of his children by telling the story that the Bible tells the way the Bible tells it.

Does the COF have any impact on God’s people or the church?

There is a direct relationship between the church’s confession of faith and her life and witness as a people in covenant with God and each other. The faith of the church orders and shapes the life of the people of God—their mission, their government, their worship, and the orderly conduct of the church’s affairs.

Do Cumberland Presbyterians worship the COF?

No. We worship God.

Does the COF replace the Bible?

No. The COF should clarify many biblical accounts and make the reader hungry to read and understand more of God’s word.

Do all denominations have a Confession of Faith?

No. Different denominations observe different traditions in professing what they believe.