All people sin against God (Psalm 14:1-3) and are facing God’s wrath and condemnation. For that reason, a sinless Saviour is needed to reconcile people to God and rescue them. The great news is that God has demonstrated His gracious love for his chosen people (Eph. 1:4ff.) by sending his one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to live a perfect sinless life (Heb. 4:15) and to die for their sins on a cruel cross (1 Cor. 15:3). Furthermore, God raised him from the dead on the third day (Acts 10:40) and now Christ reigns in heaven at God’s right hand (1 Peter 3:22) and is interceding for his people (Rom. 8:34). All those who repent of their sin (Luke 13:3) and place their trust and hope in Jesus Christ alone are reconciled to God and receive the gift of eternal life with him (1 John 5:13) to the praise and glory of his name.
Our churches believe that the Bible is the Word of God. This Word has no equal because it is:
- Inspired by God the Holy Spirit, who caused many different men to write it over a considerable period of time
- Infallible in that it is a completely reliable and trustworthy book which should not and need not be doubted
- Inerrant, meaning that whatever is revealed in it is without error, contradiction or misrepresentation
- All-sufficient because it fully contains the will of God and reveals all that we need to believe in order to be saved and live the life of a Christian.
This Bible is the final authority on faith and life in our churches. It is the standard for the regulation, foundation and confirmation of our faith.
Creeds and Confessions
Because of the sheer length of the Bible, it is helpful to have a summary of the key teachings of the Bible presented in an orderly way.
Of the many historical Creeds and Confessions that have been written over the centuries, we have chosen to adopt seven as our own.
- The Heidelberg Catechism (1563)
- The Belgic Confession (1566)
- The Canons of Dort (1619)
- The Westminster Confession of Faith (1643-1648)
We believe these creeds and confessions are faithful to the Bible and that they serve as a standard of unity. The church is to be found together not by class or race, but by a common faith in Christ (Eph. 4:1-15). Sound confessions also enable the church to guard its members from false doctrine and to maintain the purity of the truth (2 Tim. 1:13-14).
As human documents, however, they possess only secondary authority. The Word of God is the ultimate divine authority. The contents of our creeds and confessions are always subject to (and to be tested by) the standard of the Word of God.
What does “Reformed” mean?
This word has a long history. Some 500 years ago, in Europe, the church had become very corrupt. Many Christians, including church leaders, reacted against this and they reformed the church by going back to the Bible. This great event is known as the Reformation. It is this event that lies behind our name. Anglican, Presbyterian and Lutheran churches also owe their existence to the Reformation (and others too). The essence of being Reformed is the conviction that the Bible is the supreme authority for faith and life.