What we believe
Madison - Monrovia Presbyterian Church
is a new congregation of the
ASSOCIATE REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. With deep roots in American history — the product of union in 1782 by two Colonial denominations, the Associate and Reformed Presbyterian Churches — we of the ARP at M-MARPC are excited and eager to share, in whatever way possible, that "God is ready to help right now! Today is the day of salvation!" (2 Cor 6:2)
The ARP Seal expresses in symbolism our basic beliefs:
The Shield, the basic form of the seal, is a Biblical symbol for complete trust in God (Eph 6:16). Faith is the outstretched hand by which sinners grasp and receive the free gift of salvation and eternal life that God offers in Christ (Jn 3:16; Rom 4:3).
The Cross forms the central emphasis of the seal, and represents the Person and work of Jesus Christ. Jesus is Emmanuel — God with us, the Son of God, the sinless God/man. He willingly died on a cross and rose from the dead so that sinners could be completely forgiven, declared righteous and reconciled to the Holy God (Rom 3:23-25; 1 Cor 5:21).
The Circle symbolizes God the Father and eternity. The Heavenly Father lavishes love upon all who trust in Jesus Christ, such that they are called children of God (1 Jn 3:1). By His sovereign power He sustains His creation and orders the affairs of people and nations according to His own wise, eternal plan. By His providence He is operating throughout history to fulfill His redemptive purposes (Rom 8:28-31; Eph 1:3-23).
The descending Dove portrays the presence of God the Holy Spirit as He witnesses to the Church and through the Church to the world. He illumines the minds of sinners, awakens in them recognition of their need for a Savior and regenerates them. He permanently indwells every believer to become his or her source of love, assurance, power, wisdom and joy (Mt 3:16; Acts 1,2; Rom 8:1-27; 1 Cor 2, 3:16, 12).
Collectively, the Circle, Cross and Dove affirm the reality of the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one God in three Persons, the same in substance, equal in power and glory (Mt 28:19; Jn 1, 3, 17; 2 Cor 13:14).
The Book represents the Bible, the inerrant, infallible, written Word of God. The Bible is "God-breathed," our only rule of faith and life (2 Tim 3:15). The Burning Bush on the left or Old Testament page denotes the eternal, indestructible nature of God's Word (Ex 3:2). Alpha and Omega on the right or New Testament page symbolize the authority of Christ, "the First and Last," "the Way, the Truth and the Life" (Rev 1:8; Jn 14:6).
The Words on the unfurled Banner are from Psalm 36:9: "In Thy light shall we see light." Purpose, meaning, love, security — the sum of human need — are met eternally in a relationship with God, through faith in Jesus Christ.
Our foundational doctrinal statements are found in The Standards of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church --- including The Westminster Confession of Faith, and Catechisms Larger and Shorter, plus the overture for the Government and Discipline of the Church, and the Directories for Worship, Public and Private --- all of which we hold to be "the system of doctrine which is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone" (Associate Reformed Synod, May 31, 1799).