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    What We Believe

    Home » About » What We Believe

    We believe the Bible to be the Word of God and the final authority for faith and practices.  We believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the savior of those who have faith in Him.  We believe in the historic Christian faith as confessed in the Creeds and Confessions of the Reformed Church of America.  

    About The Glory of God
    God’s chief purpose in all that he wills, thinks, and does is the glory of His name.(1) Moreover, every person, indeed all creation, exists for this same purpose: to glorify God.(2) God is sovereign, such that there is nothing unseen, unknown, or undetermined by God in all of creation, time, or eternity.(3)
    (1) Isaiah 48:9-11;  Habakkuk 2:14;  Romans 11:34-36;  Colossians 1:16;  Hebrews 2:10
    (2) Psalm 86:9;  Ecclesiastes 12:13;  Isaiah 43:6-7;  Revelation 14:6-7
    (3) Genesis 50:20;  Job 14:5;  Psalm 139:1-4, 16;  Isaiah 46:10;  Daniel 2:21, 4:35;  Matthew 10:29-31;  Acts 4:27-28, 17:25-27;  Romans 8:28;  Ephesians 1:11;  HC 27, 28;  BC 1, 13

    About The Authority of Scripture
    The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the ultimate authority, without error in all that it intends to teach, and altogether sufficient for Christian faith and practice.(4) The Bible reveals universal truths which are true for all people at all times and can be known with certainty and clarity.  It is wrong to place the authority of Scripture under or equal to other writings or human experience.(5) As divine revelation, Scripture accurately describes who God is and how He wishes to be addressed, including the trinitarian language of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.(6)
    (4) Psalm 12:6, 18:30;  John 10:35, 17:17;  Acts 24:14;  Romans 3:1-2;  1 Thessalonians 2:13;  2 Timothy 3:16-17;  2 Peter 1:20-21;  BC 3, 4, 5, 6
    (5) BC 7
    (6) 1 Timothy 6:15;  Malachi 1:6;  Isaiah 54:5;  Revelation 21:2;  Romans 11:33-36;  Matthew 6:9;  John 16:7-15;  Matthew 28:19;  HC 24;  BC 8

    The Gospel of God
    Humanity’s greatest need is to be reconciled with God.(7) The gospel is compromised when the grace and love of Christ are expressed without the ultimate objective of calling sinners to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.(8) The appropriate response to sin is one that believes in the power of God to change lives, hopes in the mercy of God to forgive sins, and loves enough to call sinners to confession and transformation.(9) God is inclusive in that He calls all to come to Him in faith and repentance.(10) God is exclusive in that only those who believe in Jesus Christ and seek to keep His commands can be assured of salvation.(11) The gospel is the good news of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection and should not be equated with or reduced to merely good deeds, humanitarian relief, or societal reform.(12)
    (7) 2 Corinthians 5:18-20
    (8) Matthew 28:19-20;  BC 29;  CD 1.2, 1.3, 2.5
    (9) Galatians 6:1;  James 5:19-20;  1 Corinthians 13:13
    (10) Matthew 11:28-30;  John 6:37;  CD 1.4, 3/4.8
    (11) Matthew 7:13-23;  John 3:18, 6:53, 8:24;  CD 1.12, 1.13
    (12) 1 Corinthians 15:1-8

    The Uniqueness of Christ
    Jesus Christ is unique among the so-called gods of this world. Only in Jesus can we have salvation, fellowship, and a true understanding of God.(13)  Jesus Christ died on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice for sins, and in so doing absorbed God’s wrath and eternal judgment upon our sin.(14) We are counted righteous before God based on the imputed righteousness of Christ.(15) Justification is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.(16)  No one will be saved apart from the atoning sacrifice of Christ.(17)  Salvation is received through personal hearing and conscious believing in the gospel of Jesus Christ.(18)  The unrepentant and unbelieving will not be saved, either in this life or after physical death.(19)  Apart from Jesus, who is the eternal Son of God incarnate, we cannot see, know, or glorify God as He is.(20)
    (13) Isaiah 45:18;  John 1:18, 14:6;  Acts 4:12
    (14) Isaiah 53:4-5;  Romans 3:25;  Galatians 3:13;  1 John 2:2;  BC 21;  CD 2.2, 2.3
    (15)  2 Corinthians 5:21;  Philippians 3:9;  BC 22, 23
    (16) Romans 3:23-24, 5:1;  Galatians 2:16;  HC 61;  BC 22, 23
    (17) John 6:53-58;  1 Timothy 2:5;  Hebrews 2:17;  1 John 2:1-2  HC 14, 17, 29, 30
    (18) Romans 10:14-15;  see CD 1.17 for related council
    (19) Luke 16:26;  John 3:18;  Revelation 20:11-15;  HC 10;  BC 37;  CD 1.15
    (20) John 1:14;  Colossians 1:15-20;  BC 26

    The Confessional Church

    We recognize six doctrinal Standards:  the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed, the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dort.   Although authored by humans and imperfect, these Standards are nevertheless faithful and trustworthy expressions of the doctrines of the Holy Scriptures.  Our common commitment to these Standards is the critical component of our denominational identity and unity.(21)  Calls to church unity should not be made at the expense of truth and purity.(22)
    (21) The Liturgy: Reception into Communicant Membership
    (22) Ephesians 4:1-32

    The Covenantal Church
    Members of the RCA have entered into a covenantal relationship with God and one another which obligates each one of us to be accountable to others in the community.  This obligation may at times require the exercise of church discipline, one of the marks of the true church.(23)  Any judicatory which fails to exercise pastoral oversight and church discipline for those who have strayed from the truth of Scripture or the doctrines of our Standards is remiss in its duties.(24)  Establishing, upholding, and defending the truth of the gospel is not antithetical to church health and evangelism, but is essential to the ministry, mission, and unity of the church.(25)
    (23)  Matthew 18:15-20;  1 Corinthians 5:9-13;  BC 28, 29
    (24) Revelation 2:14-16, 20;  BC 32
    (25) Galatians 1:8;  Titus 1:9;  Jude 3;  John 17:17;  Galatians 2:11;  Ephesians 4:3, 13-16

    The Gift of Sexuality
    Marriage is a joyful covenanting between one man and one woman.(26)  All sexual intimacy is divinely designed for and should be expressed solely within the covenant of marriage.(27)  Any teaching or practice which blurs gender distinction, such as homosexuality, bisexuality, or trans-sexuality is contrary to Scripture.(28)  Same-sex “marriages,” even in committed and consensual relationships, are contrary to Scripture.(29)  Ordination to the offices of the church for any person who unrepentantly practices or promotes any form of sexual sin, whether fornication, homosexuality, or the like is to be prohibited.(30)
    (26) The Liturgy: Order of Worship for Christian Marriage
    (27) Genesis 2:18-25;  1 Corinthians 7:1-5;  Ephesians 5:22-33
    (28) Leviticus 18:22, 20:13;  1 Corinthians 6:9-11;  1 Timothy 1:10;  Jude 7;  HC 87
    (29) Matthew 19:5
    (30) 1 Timothy 5:22;  Titus 2:7-8;  James 3:1;  HC 109

    The Dignity of Human Life
    All human life is to be treasured as a gift from God.(31)  Any practice which demeans human dignity, such as pornography (32),  racism (33),  abuse (34),  exploitation (35),  persecution (36),  abortion (37),  and euthanasia (38) is immoral and unjust.
    (31) Genesis 1:27;  Psalm 8:3-8;  BC 14
    (32) Matthew 5:27-30;  HC 109
    (33) Ephesians 2:14-16
    (34) Ephesians 5:28-29
    (35) Amos 5:10-13;  HC 110
    (36) Matthew 23:29-36
    (37) Psalm 139:13-16
    (38) Exodus 20:13;  HC 105, 107

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