INTERNATIONAL
PRESBYTERIAN
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Introduction to the International Presbyterian Church 

   






History

The IPC is a European-based Reformed and covenantal denomination started by Francis Schaeffer in 1954 in Switzerland. By the late 1960s there were 3 congregations in 3 countries. It had from its beginning a stated intention of being a church which crossed international boundaries. Since 2000 it has grown considerably. It maintains its same vision of being a Reformed church focused on bringing and applying the gospel to a modern secular world. It now consists of a growing number of churches in various countries stretching from Great Britain across Europe, to Azerbaijan and Korea. [ Link to more on History of the Denomination ]

Vision

We believe that authentic gospel ministry is always embedded in churches.  Therefore we seek to bring the gospel to unchurched people by growing existing churches and starting new ones.

We believe the Church should be international, multi-ethnic, interdependent, Reformed and covenantal.  The Bible teaches that God’s Church consists of people from every nation under heaven, united by the Holy Spirit as one body in Christ, and commanded to make Christ known in the world.  As the gospel overcomes cultural barriers, local churches will reflect a unity in Christ which transcends race and language.  They will then be able to evangelise the communities in which God has placed them, developing indigenous leadership and making the gospel known in the language and culture of each people group.
 
Core Commitments

International:
The ethnic and social diversity of the Church united in Christ is one of her greatest adornments. We reflect the image of God most clearly when united across the barriers that divide sinful humanity. It is one of the greatest testimonies to the saving love of God, signalling to the world the reversal of the judgment at the Tower of Babel and the curse on the nations (Genesis 11).

Together, we are completed in Christ (Revelation 14:6). God’s saving purpose has always been for all nations. The unity of the Church, which will be complete in the new heavens and the new earth, is already a reality which we must strive to live out in practice in our churches We have a commitment not only to bring the gospel to individuals but to engage cultures as well. The gospel not only critiques us as individuals but it also critiques and transforms our cultures. 

Presbyterian:
The creation of Christ's Church is God's central purpose in salvation, as his chief means of bringing glory to himself through his Son. The Church is not a mere association of individual believers, but was designed as a family from its beginning through the promise of a seed in the Garden of Eden. Specifically, it is God's covenant family, bound together across the generations, and across the world (Genesis 18:18), by God's covenant promises of mercy and eternal life in Christ (Genesis 17:7,8; Ephesians 2:19-21).

As God's family, the Church, being one body filled with one Spirit serving one God and Father, has a unity in her common declaration of one Lord, one faith and one baptism (Ephesians 4:4-6). This is to be expressed in mutual love, service, cooperation and accountability to one another according to the pattern of government by pastors and elders, also called 'presbyters'.

This pattern is that each congregation is ruled by a plurality of elders, with all elders being part of and accountable to a council of elders ('presbytery') consisting of the elders of churches in a specific area. A key function of the presbytery is the careful choosing and ordaining of elders  (1 Timothy 4:14). Presbyteries are to be united in and accountable to a Synod of many presbyters (Acts 15).

This unity of believers and churches across time and space is of great value to the church. Government by councils of elders guards the Church against cultural idols by helping to expose them. The whole church grows when its elders work together, rely on each other, and govern Christ's church together (Acts 11:27-30; Acts 13:1-3).

The sharing of money, knowledge, wisdom, abilities, prayer and discipline is difficult and messy in a church full of sinners, and will never be achieved perfectly in this age. It is nevertheless required of us to the best of our ability, and is a means used by the Lord Jesus to bring great blessing to his Church.

Church:
We believe that the Church is the Body of Christ and the fundamental agent for carrying out the Great Commission, enlarging the Kingdom of God. We consider the historical and confessional understanding of the Church identified and affirmed in our doctrinal standards (Westminster Confession of Faith with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms and the Three Forms of Unity, The Heidelberg Catechism, The Canons of Dort, and The Belgic Confession) to conform most closely to Scripture.  

v 5.1 100616  (c)IPC 
    
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