The Canadian and American Reformed Churches follow the Word of God as he has revealed it to us in the Bible. Our churches have adopted summaries of the Word of our God. These summaries are found in the ecumenical creeds – the Apostles' Creed, Nicene Creed, and Athanasian Creed – and the Three Forms of Unity, namely, the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism and the Canons of Dordt. To maintain proper church function and direction the churches have formulated the Church Order, based upon the Church Order of Dordt adopted by the Synod of Dordt in 1618-19.
Yet above all these remains the infallible, living Word of God - the Bible.
We are so-called Protestant churches, finding our origins in the Great Reformation which occurred in Europe in the 1500s. Our beliefs follow the general principles laid out by the early reformers, but especially those of the French reformer John Calvin.
ABOUT THE BIBLE
The Canadian and American Reformed Churches accept the Bible as the infallible Word of God. We believe that the Bible is his divine revelation in which he reveals to us his will. Therefore, the Word is the final and highest authority for our life. By this divine Word, God clearly reveals himself to us, as far as is necessary for us to know in this life, to his glory and for our salvation. The Bible therefore clearly explains to us the way of salvation through Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Since the Bible is the guide to our daily lives we will now let the Bible speak.
WHY DO WE NEED THE WORD OF GOD?
"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."
WHY DO WE USE THE HOLY SCRIPTURES?
"All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."
2 Timothy 3:16,17
WHY WERE THE SCRIPTURES WRITTEN?
"These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name."
WHAT WILL GOD'S WORD DO IN US?
"If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free."
WHY IS THE MESSAGE OF GOD'S WORD SO IMPORTANT?
It explains the way of salvation in Jesus Christ. "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven among men by which we must be saved."
WHAT IS THE MESSAGE OF THE BIBLE?
The message has three parts:
Our Sin (Heidelberg Catechism Lord's Days 2-4)
"None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands, no one seeks for God . . . since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
The Lord Jesus said, "You will die in your sins unless you believe that I am He."
"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Our Service (Heidelberg Catechism Lord's Days 32-52)
"I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."
ABOUT THE CHURCH
The Canadian Reformed Churches believe that there is one holy and universal Church which has been from the beginning of the world and will be to the end of the time. It is preserved and supported by the Lord God, through his Son, our Redeemer Jesus Christ, who gathers and guides the Church by his Holy Spirit and Word.
We further believe that there are three marks by which one can identify whether or not a church is true according to the Word of God. These marks are:
- The pure preaching of the Gospel;
- The pure administration of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper as instituted by Christ;
- The exercise of church discipline for correcting and punishing sins.
In short, all things must be managed according to the Word of God, and all things contrary to it rejected.The word "Reformed" is indeed essential for today. It simply means "back to the original form," that is, the form which God himself intended and revealed in his Word the Bible. The word "Reformed" points to the Word of God as the solid foundation and Jesus Christ as the only Head of the Church. This foundation was rediscovered during the years of the great Reformation by people such as John Calvin, Martin Luther, John Knox and Ulrich Zwingli.
Historically, we trace our roots to the time of the great Reformation in the 16th century and we subscribe to the following Calvinistic confessions:
- The Belgic Confession of Faith written by Guido de Bres in 1561
- The Heidelberg Catechism written by Zacharius Ursinus & Caspar Oliveanus in 1563
- The Canons of Dort written by the Synod of Dort in 1618-1619
We also subscribe to three creeds which summarize some of the most critical beliefs expressed in the Bible. These were made in the early days of the Christian Church, in the first 500 years after Christ's death.