Reformed churches identify with the protestant reformation – a movement in the 1500-1600s – which saw churches strive to ground their faith and life completely in God’s word, as opposed to church tradition or human reason.
Churches in the reformed tradition share several key values. These are Christ alone, grace alone, faith alone, Scripture alone, and the over arching commitment that all of life should be directed to God’s glory alone.
When we talk about the value ‘Christ alone’, we are saying we rely solely on Jesus Christ and what he has done for our acceptance with God our Father. Jesus is the only way to God, and the only mediator between God and people.
God only has one reason for loving and rescuing people, and that is sheer grace. Nothing we do and nothing we are could ever be valid grounds for God to accept us and love us. It is a challenge for us to accept this, but it is also a wonderful comfort. God’s love and life in Jesus is full and free.
God’s saving grace is a free gift. God commands us to use our will (which he enables) and our mind (which he cleanses) to accept his grace in Jesus. This can only happen by faith alone. Sin and the fall penetrate every aspect of who we are. For this reason, our deeds, our reputation, our high moral standards, even our greatest acts of sacrifice can never be the basis of God declaring us right with him.
At different times in church history, church rules and traditions were given as much weight as Scripture. At other times – much like the present day – human ideas and thought were given more authority than Scripture. Church traditions and human reason are important, but we believe Scripture has ultimate authority. Because it is God breathed, Scripture is the only authoritative rule for faith and practice.
To God Alone Be the Glory
Living for God’s glory alone means we will live and work for the sort of world that God would delight in. We seek to bring his transformation of all things in Christ to concrete expression in any and every life context. Only the Lord is worthy to receive this glory and honour. So in response to all we have received in Jesus Christ, we happily dedicate our lives to God’s glory alone.
When we call ourselves ‘reformed’ these are the primary faith and life values we are referring to. These convictions shape our worship, our witness and our daily lives. They have also given rise to the historic statements of faith (the various Reformed Confessions) that we hold to. You can read these statements here (link to ‘What we believe’)