New to Reformed Theology
No doubt that depending on the varying Church background (or not) that you may have come from to find us, you have some questions about Gospel Community Church being a “Reformed Church”. We understand that it is completely normal to be asked; What are these churches that are called “Reformed” anyway? Why are they called “Reformed “? What do they believe that might be different from what my previous Church taught? Where did they come from (historically)? What do they do that is different from what you are used to? These are great questions!
The idea of being a part of a Reformed Church isn’t always easy to grasp. Yet in one way its simple. Martin Luther and the 16th Century reformers wanted to “reform (or ) change” things back to the way the the Bible taught. They believed that the church had become entangled with obeying mans traditions over Gods requirements for them as contained in the Scriptures. Ligonier Ministries simply defines this commitment to Reformed theology as nothing other than a return to “Biblical Christianity”.
We all want what is Biblical, but what does it mean to be a part of a Reformed Church as opposed to a Pentecostal Church or a Lutheran or Anglican Church or if you have a Roman Catholic upbringing?
Daniel Hyde in his book; “Welcome to a Reformed Church; A guide for Pilgrims” gives a quick 3 point overview that might help you what a Reformed Church is.
While there are variations from one Reformed church to another, Reformed churches as a whole can be summarized in three points.
First, Reformed churches are Christian churches. They are Christian churches because they believe the Bible is the Word of God, that there is only one God who exists eternally as a Trinity, and that Jesus Christ our Savior is both God and man. Reformed churches hold these beliefs in common with all Christians in all times and places. In the words of Vincent of Lerins (d. 450), “We hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all.” 4
Second, Reformed churches are Protestant churches along with other denominations who reject the claims of the pope to be the head of the church, acknowledging instead that Jesus Christ is the Head of His church, and that He rules and governs His church by His Word and His Spirit, not by the dictates of men.
Third, Reformed churches are just that-Reformed churches. They are a subset of Protestant churches in that they believe sinful humans are saved by grace alone, from eternity past to eternity future, and that we experience this grace of God earned for us by Christ alone when the Holy Spirit uses certain means that God has appointed in the church: the preaching of the Word of God, which is the Bible, and the celebration of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
To help you understand more about what it is to be Reformed and in a Reformed Church we have compiled some valuable resources for your to engage with to get a bigger and better picture of why we believe that that Church Reformed and committed to ongoing reform (continuing to become more biblical and Christlike) is the right (orthodox) thing to be a part of as a believer in Christ.
The Video Series by R.C Sproul on “What is Reformed Theology” is a must see.
Ligonier Ministries kindly give access to these series of lectures that are both insightful and helpful in learning more about the Reformed Churches History.
This wonderful book is both a personal testimony and a theological primer. A great way to introduce people to the Reformed faith and its practices. Dr. Godfrey’s book is thoughtful and winsome and reminds us that Reformed theology is not just for pointy-headed intellectuals–even though he (Dr. Godfrey) is often thought of as one. He’s a regular guy, a scholar and a gentleman–a rare combination. This book is highly recommended.
Another classic Text to gain a High View of God is this one by A.W Pink its a must read for all who are serious about coming to grips with how God works and the humility of man.
A.W Pink “The Sovereignty of God” –
‘Present day conditions’, writes the A.W Pink, ‘call loudly for a new examination and new presentation of God’s omnipotence, God’s sufficiency, God’s sovereignty. From every pulpit in the land it needs to be thundered forth that God still lives, that God still observes, that God still reigns. Faith is now in the crucible; it is being tested by fire, and there is no fixed and sufficient resting-place for the heart and mind but in the throne of God. What is needed now, as never before, is a full, positive, constructive setting forth of the Godhood of God.’
If you prefer a Video Series on the Attributes of God you can tune in to Steve Lawsons Series (Link includes video access and full Transcript)
Or you can view our own Teachings on the Attributes of God on our Youtube Channel. (Click Here to Access these)
The other book that complements the above series by R.C Sproul is below;