About the Reformed Faith
OUR REFORMED FAITH
There are a lot of ways to describe a church, but there is one thing we can say about ours that says many other things at the same time:
We are, and always will be, Reformed.
The Reformed churches are a family of Protestant churches that trace their roots to the Protestant Reformation (16th -17th Century), a period when the church rediscovered the essentials of the Christian faith through a careful study and application of God’s Word.
Before that time, the church had drifted from the true faith into a combination of superstition and moral corruption. These concepts arose when people believed that participating in the external religious rites of the church secured the forgiveness of sins and salvation to eternal life. But religious rites have no real power to conquer the sinful nature inside. When superstition and moral corruption reached a critical mass, God, in his mercy, renewed his church through the work of Reformers like Martin Luther and John Calvin.
It was the careful study and application of the Scriptures that gave birth to the Reformation and to the church. As the Word of God was central for them, it is for us. After all, what else will keep us from drifting away except a constant engagement with the living and powerful Word of God?
The Reformation led to a collection of essential beliefs.
Below is a list of 10 of the most essential.
We hope these give you a better understanding of who we are as a church, and also inspire you to join us as we seek to follow God in a day when so many of these things are no longer understood or cherished.
Essential Reformed Beliefs:
1) The Power and Authority of Scripture
- The Bible is true (inerrant) and effective.
- The Word of God is central to the life and ministry of the church.
2) The Sovereignty of God
- God is in control of all things.
- He is moving all things toward his intended purposes.
- He draws believers, by His Spirit, to willingly join Him in that work, by faith.
3) The Responsibility of Man
- Those who are truly saved are those who truly believe, and receive, the gospel.
- The Gospel consists of three main parts:
- Sin is not Safe (All humanity is fallen, and are, by nature, objects of God’s wrath.)
- But all is not lost (God, in his mercy, has sent the one and only Savior to bear the penalty of our sins on the cross, Christ Jesus.)
- If you’ll count the cost (This salvation can be yours through the repentance of your sins and the surrender of your life to him.)
4) The “Five Points” of Calvinism (T.U.L.I.P)
- Total Depravity (We cannot save ourselves, and are by nature, objects of wrath.)
- Unconditional Election (God chooses us, but not because we are inherently special people.)
- Limited Atonement (Christ died to pay for the sins of those whom God has chosen.)
- Irresistible Grace (The message of the gospel dynamically brings the elect to salvation.)
- Perseverance of the Saints (Those who truly believe will continue to live by faith, through the indwelling and power of his Holy Spirit.)
5) Redemptive Historical Hermeneutics (approach to understanding the scriptures)
- The Bible tells one story of redemption for Adam’s race, from Creation to New Creation.
- Jew and Gentile together are saved through faith in Christ.
6) Covenant Theology
- Old Covenant into New Covenant
- The problem is sin. The solution is Christ.
- God joins himself forever to his people.
- All believers share in the promises originally made to Abraham.
- All believers are a part of the covenant community.
7) Creedal and Confessional
- We “agree to agree” on what the Bible teaches.
- We believe that the Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed, and Athanasian Creed are faithful ecumenical expressions of the Christian faith.
- We subscribe to the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dort as faithful explanations of that faith in greater detail.
8) The Common Grace / Special Grace distinction
- God graciously gives all people good things – this is common grace.
- To some, he gives salvation – this is special (redeeming) grace.
9) Kingdom Theology / Worldview Emphasis
- Establishing his eternal kingdom on earth is God’s ultimate goal.
- This kingdom will come in its fullness only after Christ’s Second Coming.
- Yet, God seeks to bring about various aspects of his kingdom through the lives and works of his children now.
- God claims ownership of every area of life and society.
- Every sphere of society is commissioned by, and answerable to, Him.
10) The Five Solas of the Reformation
- Sola Scriptura: Only Scripture as the rule to guide us
- Sola Gratia: Only Grace as the grounds to save us
- Solus Christus: Only Christ as the payment to redeem us
- Sola Fide: Only Faith as the means to include us
- Soli Deo Gloria: Only God’s glory as the goal to propel us