|"For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctifed," Hebrews 9:14
"Therefore being justifed by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ," Romans 5:1.
The Reformation Past and Present
The following articles discuss the Reformation doctrinally and historically as well as the present state of the church and doctrine according to God's Word.
The Reformed Faith and Confession: Introduction
The Reformed faith is rooted in the Reformation of the church which began with Martin Luther's nailing of the ninety five theses on the door of Wittenburg church in October 31 1517. The seminal doctrine of the reformation for Luther, Zwingli, Calvin and the other reformers was justification by faith alone. This is the truth that we are righteous before God in Christ who is our righteousness. That righteousness is imputed to us by or through faith, which is the instrument of God's grace to justify the sinner in his conscience before God.
That we are righteous before God by faith, means also that salvation is solely of the Lord. It is a free gift, and not of works. It is grounded in the truth of sovereign grace, for faith is not a new work on the basis of which man is righteous, but a work of grace in man, by which God imparts the blessings of salvation. The expression "by faith," or "through faith" refers to the instrument of grace. It does not mean as this truth is corrupted today "because of faith." To teach that man is righteous because of believing, is the heresy of salvation by works repackaged. Faith is a blessing of salvation, bought in the cross, and applied by the Spirit
Rome taught and continues to teach the error of salvation because of faith and the works of faith. It is Rome that teaches the cross is only a provision, a treasury of merits, upon which men by their faith and works draw and which is made available by a repeated sacrifice in the mass. It is to these errors that the reformers responded.
It is this same error of salvation by works, a conditional or provisional salvation offered to man and depending on the will, decision, act or works of the sinner in some form for its reception which pervades so-called evangelicalism. Such doctrine is not protestant. It is not evangelical. And it is not reformed. It stands at odds with the truth of Christ's perfect and finished atonement and of justification by faith in him. "For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified," Hebrews 9:14. Those sanctified by Christ's atoning death are God's elect, whom God effectually regenerates and calls unto faith and righteousness by faith in Christ.
It is exactly this truth of salvation by grace alone, which the genuine reformational doctrine of justification by faith represents. It is the gospel. Against it stands the doctrine of salvation by the works of man and his righteousness, which is the false doctrine of the Pharisees of Jesus' day. Jesus himself warns us against it, when he says, "beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees," and has in view their doctrine, Matthew 16:6, 11, 12. It is this corrupting leaven which repeatedly seeks to corrupt the life of the Christian church.
The truths of justification by faith and of sovereign grace are inseparable. They stand at the heart of every reformed confessional standard, both the Reformed continental standards: the Heidelberg Catechism, Belgic Confession of Faith, and Canons of Dordt and the Presbyterian standards the Westminster Confession and Larger and Shorter Catechisms. The purpose of the Reformed confessional standards is to maintain that truth as the personal confession of believers and the corporate confession of the churches over against the false leaven of salvation by works
The Reformed Standards are listed on this page. There are articles relating to the Reformation. A comparison of the Reformed and Westminster standards is also included. In addition the doctrinal sections on this web site on the Essentials, Covenant, Calvinism, Church, etc. address specific doctrinal subjects or issues in more detail.
The Reformed confessional standards are held by the Protestant Reformed Churches and were held originally by all Reformed churches tracing their history to the Synod of Dordt 1618-1619 and the Netherlands. They are our living confession, not mere historical documents.
They are an introduction to the Reformed faith from the confessional standards as it has always been confessed since the Reformation and as we also confess it.
The Reformed Confessions are:
The Reformed approach to the confessions are also set forth and discussed. The Reformed churches have historically required of office bearers subscription to the creeds
In connection with our mission work the Protestant Reformed Churches have also found it necessary to set forth the consistent teaching of the confessions on certain points of doctrine
The liturgical forms used by the Reformed churches are also considered confessional statements respecting the doctrines they address.
Under the Reformed page:
Under: The Church are the forms for ordination of
and the forms for church discipline and order
Under Missions is the form for
The following articles address the confessional standards of the Reformed faith in their relation to the Presbyterian standards, which are the Reformed confessions of the British Isles, Scotland and Ireland.