So what exactly is "Reformed"?
It's okay, we get that question a lot. It sounds like we're the church for people who have special problems, like the kids who need to go to "reform school". We do indeed have our share of problems, some of us can be pretty stubborn, but that's not what a "Reformed" church refers to.
We call ourselves "Reformed" because our roots go back to a time in history known as the Protestant Reformation. This movement took place in the 1500's and sought to return or reform the teaching and practice of the Roman Catholic Church to look more like what we read in the New Testament.
Five things were especially important to the leaders of this movement.
- Scripture Alone is to be the guide for life and faith. 2 Tim 3:16
- The gospel is that we are saved by God's Grace Alone. Rom 6:23
- We receive God's grace by Faith Alone Eph 2:8-9
- Because salvation is accomplished by Christ Alone Jn 19:30, Heb 7:25
- So that in the end, all the Glory goes to God Alone Rom 11:36
Now even though the Reformation happened a long time ago, and many things have changed since then, these points of emphasis are still important. As sinful human beings, we always seem to have a tendency to want to add and complicate something that God has made free, clear and simple. If you want to know how to have a relationship with God and live a life pleasing to him, the Bible is enough. Tradition may be helpful, but ultimately the Bible is our source for truth. And the Bible teaches that Jesus is enough. The cup of salvation is full to the brim with Jesus. Salvation is found by simply trusting in him. Any attempt to add extra rules or requirements or practices only takes away from the amazing work that Jesus has done for us. He really has done all that we need for us to have peace with God.