First Reformed Church

What We Believe

First Reformed Church is a historic, reformed, covenantal church. We confession the creeds, and affirm that the Heidelberg Catechism, Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dordt to faithful witnesses to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Historic - We believe that that church has been established upon the gospel of Jesus Christ, handed down through the apostles, and preserved throughout all history by the Holy Spirit.

Reformed - We believe that that church has been established upon the gospel of Jesus Christ, handed down through the apostles, and preserved throughout all history by the Holy Spirit.

Covenantal - Scripture traces the history of God's covenant of salvation from the Old Testament into the New Testament. Covenants are "promises" made by God which reveal his plan for salvation. These covenants have been fulfilled in the life, death, resurrection, ascension and (future) return of Jesus Christ.

About God

God - We believe God is the source of all being and life. Everything was created by God. And Everything was made to live in perfect relationship with God. Today, God is at work to restore creation from what our sin has broken. We believe that God is sovereign, holy and infinite. God is the highest and most supreme of all beings, and by His very nature, worthy of our praise and worship.
The Triune God - We believe the whole of Scripture reveals that the One True God is eternally Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Deuteronomy 6:6; Matthew 3:16-17; Athanasian Creed;
God the Father - is the first person of the Trinity. He created the World out of His own good and free will and continues to care and preserve all things for His glory. We call God Father, because Jesus taught us to view God as our heavenly Father.
John 17:5;
God the Son - We believe that Jesus of Nazareth is Saviour of the world. We believe he is coequal and coeternal, sharing the same glory and majesty as the God the Father. 1 He is the Incarnate Word of God and is the perfect picture of God. 2 We believe Jesus lived a perfect life and died on the cross to atone for our sins; is bodily resurrected and ascended; and is seated at the right hand of God until His glorious and bodily return.
John 1:1-5; Colossians 1:15-17;
God the Holy Spirit - The Holy Spirit, the third "person" of the Trinity is God's presence in the world today. The Holy Spirit is our helper/comforter in all things in faith in life. We believe the Holy Spirit is the giver of faith. We believe that the Spirit is omnipresent. yet we receive the Spirit in a special way in the moment our salvation. The Holy Spirit sanctifies us every day to grow in faith and holiness.
John 14:16; 1 Corinthians 2:12; Acts 2:38;
Scripture - We believe that all 66 books of the Bible is the breathed out, revealed, infallible and inerrant Word of God. Scripture reveals to us, without fault or contradiction, everything that God intends to teach us regarding life and salvation.
2 Timothy 3:16;

The Church

The Church - We believe the church is the community of all who believe. The church exists to worship God and to encourage one another to grow in faith. We believe the church is also sent to proclaim the good news of salvation to those who do not yet believe, teaching all who would believe to obey all that God has instructed to us. We believe the true church will bear certain marks: namely the preaching of the gospel, the administration of the sacraments, exercising of church discipline.
Matthew 28;
Covenant - God relates to people through covenants. God enacts covenants for the purposes of His redemptive plan and they set the parameters for how the church is to live in a restored relationship with God. The covenant of God was first spoken to Adam, renewed in the day of Noah after the flood. Confirmed in Abraham. Sealed in the days of Moses, Renewed in King David. And ultimately fulfilled in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. While each covenant is distinct to a time in history, all of them are ultimately a part of God's one eternal covenant. We today find ourselves as a part of the same covenantal history. Because of this, we believe that salvation is achieved not on the basis of our own works, or the merit of our own confessions, but only by the covenantal saving grace of God.
Genesis 3:16-21; Genesis 9:11; Genesis 15:18; Exodus 24:7; 2 Samuel 7:11-16; Hebrews 13:20;
Sacraments - we believe sacraments are signs and seals of God's one eternal covenant of salvation. The two sacraments are Baptism and The Lord's Supper. Jesus commands the church to observe the sacraments, because they are special reminders of God's saving grace. Though the sacraments minister to us special grace, they themselves can never save us. Sacraments seal the promise that it is God alone who saves sinners.
Matthew 28; Matthew 26:26-30;

Our Life Together

"In essentials unity; in non-essentials liberty; in all things charity" - the foundation of our life together is that we are unified through our salvation in Jesus Christ. While there may be things we hold near and dear to the hear, if they are not core to the gospel, it requires freedom and charity towards each other as brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ.
Why infant Baptism - as a reformed community of faith, we believe in the baptizing of infants AND adults who come to saving faith who had not been baptized as an infant. We baptize infants as it is the sign of God's covenant of redemption which is promised to "you and your children, and for all who are far off - for all whom the Lord our God will call".
Acts 2:38;
Sin - we believe that all humanity has been born in sin. Sin is more than moral failings, it is ultimately the hearts dispositions against God. We believe sin affects all of creation. Thus, everyone and all creation, needs salvation from sin.
Romans 5:12; Isaiah 29:13; Romans 3:9-10;
Salvation - We believe that salvation is the benefit of Jesus' death and resurrection applied to the life of believers. Sinners' in their own hearts are unable to turn themselves back to God. But by the grace of God alone, the Holy Spirit awakens us to faith to be able to trust in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour
Ephesians 2:1-10;
Service - Jesus said that the world will know the disciples by their love. The essence of the Christian life is one of mutual service. In all we do we serve God out of loving obedience. This same love calls us to serve one another. Learning to serve is called discipleship.
John 13:35;
Marriage - We believe that marriage, as designed by God, is between one man and one woman. God's purposes of marriage are: procreation, the context of healthy sexual intimacy, the development and stability of society, and to be a unique, holy symbol of God's love for the church.
Genesis 1:28; Genesis 2:24; Genesis 4:1; Matthew 19:5; Ephesians 5:32;
Gender - We believe that all people, both male and female, are created in the image of God. God designed maleness and femaleness unique to and complimentary to one another, as a reflection of God's goodness. Gender is ultimately assigned to us by God, not at birth, any attempt to reassign is a sin against what God created good.
Genesis 1:27; Psalm 139:13;
Sex/Sexuality - We believe that sex is part of God's good design. We believe God created sexual intercourse, in all its degrees, to be experienced in an exclusive, monogamous relationship. Yet, sexuality is impacted by sin. In the church, all believers are called to flee from all forms of sexual sins (immorality, lust, promiscuity, adultery, infidelity, pornography, homosexuality) and are called to honour God with our bodies.
Genesis 4:1; 1 Corinthians 6:18-20;
Sanctity of Life - We believe that all life is a gift of God and is worth defending and protecting from conception to natural death.
Genesis 2:7;

Creeds and Confessions