On Being Reformed

What does it mean to be “Reformed” today?

You will most likely encounter some terms and phrases that may be foreign to you. Don’t let that put you o? in learning something new. Just as the Information Technology world has a particular vocabulary which is understood and accepted (e.g. the cloud, terabytes, user interface, etc.), the same is true for the church. So we encourage you to look up those words, terms and phrases you don’t understand.

To be “Reformed” today means:

– To believe that the Bible (Old & New Testaments) is fully God’s Word. That it reveals God’s unfolding revelation about Jesus Christ (the Old anticipating him, the New revealing him).
– To have a distinct Christian worldview (outlook on life) that permeates all of life by applying the gospel to life.
– To take seriously the great commission (Matthew 28:18-20), to affirm the priority of mission and understand that mission.
– To worship in a reverent and edifying way
– To believe in and affirm a profoundly high view of God’s sovereignty over all things. God reigns over all things, meticulously determining all that comes to pass.
– To believe in God’s sustaining providence.
– To be creedal by agreeing with the consensus of the first five centuries of the Christian Church summarised in the Apostles, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds, all of which are subordinate to the Bible.
– To be confessional by affirming one or more of the great confessions of the historic orthodox church (i.e. orthodox means conforming to the Christian faith as represented in the creeds of the early Church) which are also subordinate to the Bible but provide outstanding summaries of the teachings of the Bible, e.g. Westminster Confession, Larger and Shorter Catechisms.
– To be covenantal by affirming the great covenants of Scripture (Redemption, Works, and Grace) and see those covenants as the means by which God interacts with and accomplishes his purposes in His creation and with mankind.

To be “Reformed” means to believe and affirm the “Five Solas” of the Protestant Reformation.

These points unashamedly highlight that salvation is the work of God.

Scripture alone is the standard and our ultimate authority. - Psalm 119:18 - Psalm 138:2 - 2 Timothy 3:14-17
Salvation is a gift of God’s grace alone, not by our efforts. - Ephesians 1:3-8
God declares us justified (as if we’ve never sinned; not guilty) by faith alone in Christ’s vicarious, substitutionary, and atoning work on the cross. - Galatians 3:6-11
It is by Christ’s work alone (his life, death, and resurrection) we are saved. It’s impossible to add anything to it or make perfection any better! - 1 Timothy 2:5-6 - Colossians 1:13-18
All of life is lived to the glory of God alone. - 1 Corinthians 10:31 - 1 Peter 4:11 - Revelation 1:6 - 2 Peter 3:1 - Ephesians 3:21 - Revelation 7:12 - Romans 11:36

To be “Reformed” means to believe and affirm the “Five Points of Calvinism” or “The Doctrines of Grace”.

Also known by the simple acronym “TULIP.” These five points are not intended to be a comprehensive summary of Calvinism or Reformed doctrine, but a description of the sovereignty of God in salvation. Simply put, God is the author of salvation, from beginning to end!

TULIP

Below you will find a short introductory video series on the acronym TULIP. It is taught by Rev. R. C. Sproul from Ligonier Ministries.