Seven Reformed Distinctives

The Reformation began as a bold profession of Christian faith based on “the plain Word of God.” It was also a fearless “protestation,” explicitly rejecting and disavowing what institutional Christianity had become—a religion of human accretions and accommodations. This is why for centuries Reformation Christians were called Protestants.

Election for Salvation and Service

Our salvation and sanctification are based entirely on God’s initiative and God’s grace. God has chosen us in Christ for salvation and service—

Covenant and Covenant Life

Every believer is called to be a faithful and participating member of a local church, where “the community of the new covenant” has local expression and where they can be discipled into holiness and maturity. The community of the new covenant is to be a demonstration of the supernatural reality and power of the kingdom of God.

Sacraments

The church receives from the Lord Jesus Christ two sacred and symbolic actions, called sacraments, which enact and perform (symbolize and seal) the promises of the gospel. These sacraments are Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

Baptism is the sign and seal of incorporation into Christ and of the washing away of sin through his sacrifice. Celebrating the Lord’s Supper, we give thanks as we remember that Christ lived for us, Christ died for us and Christ will come again.

Sanctification - Work of the Holy Spirit

The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in the individual and collective life of believers effects real transformation—a life of increasing holiness, righteousness, power, and love, as we are changed more and more into the image of Christ. Though Christians are marred by sin and imperfect until Christ returns.

Priesthood of All Believers

All believers are called as disciples to do this ministry of Jesus—to participate in his priestly work of reconciling the world to God by proclaiming the gospel, doing the works of Jesus, and manifesting the reality and power of the kingdom of God in the world. This ministry is not reserved exclusively for ordained clergy and officers, but is the vocational privilege and responsibility of every Christian.

Mission of the Church

God’s redeeming and reconciling work in the world was accomplished through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and continues through the church, the body of Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit.

The great ends of the church are the proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind; the shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship of the children of God; the maintenance of divine worship; the preservation of the truth; the promotion of social righteousness; and the exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven in the world.

Jesus Christ, as the Lord of the church, calls the church into being, declares its mission, and supernaturally equips it for its work.

Stewardship

Jesus Christ is Lord of every area of our life—our spiritual life and our physical life; our social life including marriage, politics, justice, and culture; our intellectual life; our work life and our recreational life; the use of our bodies, our possessions, our resources, and our money. We are to be stewards of all of these things to manifest and extend the kingdom of God in the world, to extend the gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth, and to bring glory to the name of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.