- Our Primary Authority: The Bible
- Necessity of Creeds
- Belgic Confession of Faith
- The Canons of Dort
- The Heidelberg Catechism
A brief introduction to Grace Reformed Church
About Our Name
Grace Reformed Church is a mission work of the Reformed Church in the United States. We do want to introduce ourselves to you since we know that here in the Northwest Arkansas area the name "Reformed" is not well known. It might help you to know that the Presbyterian Church and the Reformed Church are historically similar in doctrine and church government. In fact often the Presbyterian Church will refer to herself as "reformed" in doctrine, and we refer to ourselves as "presbyterian" in government. A little of the history of the church of the Reformation will be helpful here.
A Brief History
When Martin Luther nailed his "95 Thesis" to the door of the Wittenberg church, God began a "reformation" in His church that has continued to this day. The church in Luther's day had been given over to tradition and had lost its awareness of the authority of the Word of God in life and doctrine.
Along with Martin Luther, such men as John Huss of Bohemia, John Calvin of France, and John Knox of Scotland began the cry of the Reformation, "Scripture Alone, Grace Alone, and Faith Alone." It was at this time in history that God raised up the Presbyterian churches in Scotland and the Reformed churches on the European mainland. It was also at this time the biblically sound historic creeds of the reformation were adopted by the Reformed and Presbyterian Churches.
Our own denomination was formerly called "The German Reformed Church in the United States," having its roots in the Reformation in Germany. In the 1700's faithful German immigrants carried with them to America their cherished reformed under-standing of the Bible and began to plant churches in their new homeland. These churches anchored firmly in the belief that the Bible alone is the authoritative Word of God, adopted the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dort as faithful summaries of the doctrines of the Bible. To this day the RCUS holds to these three historic and respected statements of faith. While viewing them as subordinate to the Bible, nonetheless we give thanks and glory to God for providing them as useful tools in the spreading of the "faith once for all delivered to the saints", that very faith which was so gloriously revived in the tone of the Reformation. As you can see we are a faithful Bible centered church with a grand heritage in the historic church of Christ.
A Brief Doctrinal Statement
We recognize that what the church believes and teaches is most important to you as an individual, both in this life and for your eternal hope. Therefore we ask you to study and carefully consider the following:
- The Bible
We believe the Word of God to be the only infallible rule for faith and practice We confess that the Scripture was not written by the will of man, but by men as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit. We believe without any doubt all things contained in them, and that they are without error, faithful and complete for instruction in the regulation, foundation, and confirmation of our faith. (Please see 2 Timothy 3:16,17 and 2 Peter 1:21)
We believe that God has revealed Himself to us in His word as one God in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. These three divine persons in the Godhead are distinct and yet equal in all respects, being of one essence. We believe that God is absolutely sovereign in creation, providence and salvation, holding all things in absolute control and directing all things to His everlasting glory, including sin and its affects. (See Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 8:19; Romans 11:36; Proverbs 16:4; and Hebrew 1:1-3)
We believe that the universe is not the product of chance or evolution but that it is the special creation of the Almighty God in the space of six days. (See Genesis 1:1; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 11:3; and Revelation 4:11)
The Bible teaches that all men being sinners are under God's wrath and thereby stand in need of salvation. Jesus said, "Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of heaven." We believe that Jesus Christ alone is the way, the truth, and the life, and that one cannot come to God except through Him. Thus we preach Christ as the only means of salvation. For God tells us in His word, "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (See John 3:36, 3:3, 14:6, and Acts 4:12)
- The Church
We believe the church is made up of God's elect from the beginning of time to the end of the world, who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ. The church is not wood and stone but sinners who have been born again.
We are not a body of "perfect" people. Indeed we struggle with sin and weakness like all others. Because of this struggle we see the church as most necessary in the life of Christians for our mutual encouragement in living the Christian life, as we are taught in Holy Scripture. "And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching." (Hebrews 10:24,25)
We invite you to join with us as we serve our Lord and Savior.
Please examine our doctrine and our practice in the light of God's Word.
We are here to serve.
A warm welcome awaits you at Grace Reformed Church.