We believe that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God and is our rule for faith and life. In the Scriptures, God has progressively revealed Himself and His redemptive plan for mankind. Every word of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments is “God-breathed”, inerrant, infallible and has been faithfully preserved and passed down through the ages by God for the gathering and upbuilding of His people. And, while the Scriptures were written and collected over many centuries, we believe that the collection (or “canon”) of Scripture is now closed.
God & the Creation
We believe there is one God in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These three Divine Persons of the Godhead are distinct in personal properties and yet They are equal in all respects, being of one essence. As “Trinitarians”, we are not polytheists and we distinguish our confession of God from the monotheism usually associated with Greek, Islamic or Jewish thought.
We believe that this Triune God sovereignly created the universe in seven 24-hour days and that He rules the universe, sustaining and preserving all creation by His eternal counsel and Providence while directing all things to His everlasting glory.
Christ & Salvation
We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ, while being the second person of the Trinity—co-equal to the Father and the Holy Spirit–took upon Himself a human nature and flesh such as ours. He was conceived by the work of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, suffered all the time He lived on earth, was crucified, dead and buried. He rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and now reigns at the right hand of God the Father. He will come again to receive His Church into glory and to judge the world.
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity, being co-equal with the Father and the Son. The Spirit eternally proceeds from the Father and the Son but is neither made, created, nor begotten. He is of one and the same essence, majesty, and glory with the Father and the Son. He was active in the creation and spoke through the prophets and Apostles. He works in the believer the benefits Christ has earned for him (known as sanctification), and leads, comforts and preserves the believer unto everlasting life.
Mankind, Sin & Salvation
We believe that by the sin of our first parents, Adam and Eve, all mankind forfeited their original righteousness and communion with God, making them enslaved to sin and to Satan. Being thus totally depraved in all parts of body and soul, mankind is in a state of sin and condemned by the just judgment of God.
We believe that mankind, being enslaved in sin, is delivered from eternal condemnation by the grace of God alone, through repentance and faith alone in Jesus Christ who has satisfied the justice of God in the place of sinners. All consideration that man merits God’s favor or obligates God to accept the sinner by some contribution or work is rejected.
We believe that those truly converted to God by the Holy Spirit will be led by and enabled by that same Spirit to embrace salvation in Christ alone, to live a life of practical godliness and to do good works born of gratitude, not according to the traditions of men but according to the revealed Word of God. Further, these believers will be faithful in prayer wherein adoration is given to God, sins are confessed, thanksgiving is tendered for His blessings and petitions made for His grace and favor.
The Church, Judgment & the Final State
We believe that the church is the body of Christ and comprised of believers and their children, who by true faith are partakers of salvation through Jesus Christ alone. The faithful church is distinguished by three marks: (1) the pure preaching of the Word, (2) the proper observance of the sacraments (Baptism and the Lord’s Supper), and (3) Christian discipline as exercised through the rule of the offices of Pastor, Elder and Deacon.
We believe that though physical death is God’s judgment upon man’s sin, the “sting of death” has been removed by the saving work of God in Christ; upon death the Christian’s soul (spirit) goes immediately to heaven to live in conscious communion with Christ. Those who die content in their sins and rejection of God’s grace will suffer in hell, in eternal alienation from God. At the last day, at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the bodies of both the believers (the saved) and the unbelievers (the unsaved) will be reunited with their souls. All mankind will then be judged, and body and soul will enter their final state of eternal heavenly bliss or eternal punishment.
God, through the officers of Reformation Church, calls the congregation to two worship services each week, a morning and afternoon service each Sunday. Typically, one service has expository preaching and the alternate service builds on the Heidelberg Catechism (one of our Confessional standards). Worship is closely regulated by the principles laid out in Scripture in which the reading and preaching of God’s word are central elements. Prayers, Psalm and hymn singing and offerings by the congregation are necessary responses to God’s word; also, the Lord’s Supper is celebrated monthly. These elements of worship are done in an orderly manner, “with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” Far from entertainment or being spectators, the congregation is to be engaged actively in each service of worship.
The Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordained by our Lord, Jesus Christ. They are necessary confirmations of the preaching of the word of God, being physical symbols of God’s grace in Christ. Baptism is a sign and seal of God’s covenant promise to His people and is properly administered to children of believers in their infancy as well as to those who come to trust in Christ as adults. The proper recipients of the Lord’s Supper are members of the congregation (in good standing) who have made profession of their faith in Christ and visitors from sister congregations who have provided a written attestation from their congregation’s officers (prior to the worship service).
All Christians are required to join in the membership and fellowship of the faithful, local Church. They are called to exercise their gifts for the benefit of the congregation. The local church consists of Christian believers and their children. The members of Reformation Church uphold the classic formulations of Reformed theology as they are found in the Heidelberg Catechism, Belgic Confession of Faith, and Canons of Dort (known together as the Three Forms of Unity) as faithfully accurate summaries of the promises and obligations of the Holy Scriptures. Adult members are required to make public confession of their faith in accordance with the Confessions of the church; children, after a period of instruction, are also expected to make profession of faith. Both adults and children are accountable to the Confessions of the church should they be found delinquent in doctrine or practice.
The New Testament model of church government requires that the faithful church is to be nurtured and governed by the distinct offices of Pastors, Elders and Deacons. The local congregation is also united to sister congregations which confess the same faith. This unity is expressed or practiced, first, with those congregations that are geographically nearest (known as the Classis) and, secondly, with congregations less geographically close (known as the Synod). Important issues or unresolved controversies may be taken up by these “courts” of the Church. However, there is equality among Ministers and Elders of the various congregations. Likewise, no single congregation is more important than another or may exercise authority over another congregation. Thus we reject both autonomy of the local congregation (independentism) and hierarchy.
Covenant Youth Instruction
We believe that it is the duty of the congregation to pass down to our children the Faith “once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). Covenantal training by parents in the home, and through Catechism classes prepares our youth for public profession of faith, and equip them for a life of grateful service to God.
In addition to growing in our own understanding of the Faith, the Scriptures exhort believers to spread the Gospel message, to give an account of their hope in the Gospel and call unbelievers to faith in Christ. Whether in the worship service, the workplace or the home, we confidently expect that God will be pleased to call many to the Faith in His Dear Son through the ministry of Reformation Church. The congregation also supports missionary endeavors in partnership with sister congregations.
We believe that God calls us to counsel, comfort, edify and confront fellow-believers with God’s Word and Spirit so that God is glorified and that we all move from immaturity to maturity, growing in conformity to the will of God, and out of thankfulness serve Him. in His kingdom until Christ returns.
Creeds and confessions are statements of the Christian Faith. Historically, they were developed as a result of schisms or controversies within Christendom. They are intended to clarify in summary fashion (not exhaustively) the truths of Scripture in order to maintain the purity of the Faith and the wellbeing of Christ’s church. Creeds and confessions are considered secondary standards, subservient to Holy Scripture, and may be revised if they are proved to be contrary to Scripture. Reformation Church adheres to what are referred to as the Ecumenical Creeds (Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed and Athanasian Creed) as well as the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism and the Canons of Dort (together referred to as the Three Forms of Unity). These Ecumenical creeds and the Three Forms of Unity are considered accurate summaries of the Faith to which all members of the congregation must subscribe.