Some of the principles articulated by John Calvin remain at the core of
Among these are the sovereignty of God, the authority of the scripture,
justification by grace through faith and the priesthood of all believers. What
they mean is that God is the supreme authority throughout the universe. Our
knowledge of God and God's purpose for humanity comes from the Bible,
particularly what is revealed in the New Testament through the life of Jesus
Christ. Our salvation (justification) through Jesus is God's generous gift to us
and not the result of our own accomplishments. It is everyone's job - ministers
and lay people alike - to share this Good News with the whole world.
Presbyterians understand that God alone is lord of the conscience, and it is
up to each individual to understand what these principles mean in his or her
The Presbyterian church is governed at all levels by a combination of clergy
and laity, men and women alike (Source:
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