Our Statement of Beliefs
We in the Christian Reformed Church share some basic beliefs about God, the Bible, and life
We are a Confessional church. This means we subscribe to statements that summarize what we believe the Bible teaches. The Christian Reformed Church subscribes to the following confessions:
Here's a condensed form of one of our confessions, The Belgic Confession:
Who is God? Belgic Confession, Articles 1-13
God is the SOVEREIGN creator of the universe. He is ETERNAL, INCOMPREHENSIBLE, UNCHANGEABLE, COMPLETELY WISE & JUST. He exists in the form of a TRINITY which includes the FATHER, SON and HOLY SPIRIT - Three in one. God REVEALS Himself to us through His creation and even more so through the SCRIPTURES which were written by men INSPIRED by God. These scriptures include a CANON of sixty-six books which are INFALLIBLE in communicating His message. His scripture is SUFFICIENT for everything we need to know in order to be saved. Through His divine PROVIDENCE, God continues to CARE for His creation according to His HOLY WILL.
Who am I? - Old Self - Articles 14-15
I am created in God’s IMAGE. Because Adam disobeyed God's COMMANDMENT OF LIFE, all of creation has been infected by ORIGINAL SIN. I am now SEPARATED from God and I've willingly become a SLAVE TO SIN - unable to do any good on my own apart from God. Nevertheless, sin is not IMPUTED to me for my condemnation, but it is FORGIVEN by God's GRACE & MERCY.
How am I saved? Articles 16-23, 25-26
God has ELECTED and CHOSEN to include me in His plan of SALVATION. He sent His DIVINE son to become INCARNATE – truly God and truly man - in order to ATONE for my sins and fulfill the promises of IMMANUEL in the Old Testament. Through JESUS CHRIST'S perfect SACRIFICE I have been JUSTIFIED in God’s eyes. It is only because I have the RIGHTEOUSNESS of one who is sinless that I can enjoy the COMMUNION with God that He created me for. All I need to do to be saved is have FAITH in Him, and this is kindled in my heart by the HOLY SPIRIT. I can go with confidence to the throne of GRACE through Christ who is my INTERCESSOR.
Who am I - New Self OR How should I now live? - Articles 24, 27-37
I am now REGENERATED by the Holy Spirit working through God's Word. I've been called to a NEW LIFE, freed from the slavery of sin. It is impossible for my FAITH to be unfruitful, rather it produces WORKS which are good and acceptable to God, having been SANCTIFIED by His grace. It is my duty to SUBMIT to the instruction and DISCIPLINE of Christ's TRUE CHURCH, which also PREACHES the Gospel and administers the SACRAMENTS. I am recognized as a CHRISTIAN when I pursue RIGHTEOUSNESS, LOVE God & my neighbor, and CRUCIFY the works of my flesh. I strive to live a peaceful and quiet life in all PIETY and decency as I look forward to the great day when Christ will RETURN from heaven to JUDGE the living and the dead.
What do we mean by "Reformed"?
In the middle ages the Church had become extremely corrupted by the hands of man. Reformers focused on five simple concepts taught in Scripture that had been forgotten. These became known as the five 'solas' of the Reformation. They still have relevance in today's culture:
1) Sola Gratia (Grace Alone):
Our salvation is completely and totally a gift of God which we call grace. Nothing we do on our own can get us into heaven. Just 'living a good life' doesn't cut it - no matter how good you live it. We need God's grace.
2) Sola Fide (Faith Alone):
You can't earn or buy salvation. The only way to get this grace is by believing. The Apostle Paul teaches that "we are saved by grace, through faith." Don't worry if you don't think you can have enough faith to believe... Paul goes on to remind us that even our faith is a gift of God. He'll give you the strength you need to trust Him.
3) Solus Christus (Christ Alone):
Grace doesn't mean God forgets about or ignores the sins we've committed. God is perfectly just and holy - He demands that all sins be paid for (and thus our problem as sinful humans). The good news is that Jesus Christ pays that debt for us. The Bible is very clear that the only way to have our sins paid for and forgiven is through Christ's atonement (payment) on the cross. Jesus said that "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except by me." Millions of people are lost and hopelessly looking for answers in other religions because they won't accept this simple truth.
4) Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone):
The Bible (scripture) is God's inspired revelation to us. It's infallible (totally truthful) and it's complete. Scripture contains everything we need to know for our salvation. We don't need to search all over the world for other truth, nor do we to add to what's been given already. We live in a society dominated by relativity. This is absurd and illogical - truth must be absolute. God is the ultimate absolute truth, and the Bible is His message to us.
5) Soli Deo Gloria (For God's Glory Alone):
This brings us back to the beginning. The first four "solas" remind us why we don't need to live a life motivated by doing enough good deeds to earn our way into heaven. We can live our life with the assurance of God's grace. Once we understand this free gift, we can't help but want to thank and glorify God in all that we do.