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What does “Reformed” mean in the name St. John’s Reformed Church?

 
 
This is a great question and one that is asked often.   
 
Reformed is kind of a misleading term today.  But historically it was very descriptive and helpful.
 
“Reformed” identifies our church tradition and the particular doctrines (teachings) we believe.  
 
Tradition
The Reformed tradition traces their historical roots to the Protestant Reformation in the 1500’s.  The reformers stressed 5 things:
 
    • Scripture Alone: This means the Bible is God’s inspired word. It is the ultimate authority in our life and guides all aspects of our life.
    • Christ Alone: This means that Christ is the only way to that one can be saved and have an eternal relationship with God.
    • Grace Alone: This means  that salvation comes by God’s grace or “unmerited favor” only.  It is a completely free gift and not based on anything done by us, the sinners.
    • Faith Alone: This means that our righteousness and  justification (things we need to have a relationship with God) is received by faith in Jesus Christ alone.
    • Glory To God Alone: This means that all glory is to be due to God alone, since salvation is accomplished solely through His work, will, and action
 
St. John’s affirms both the Nicene Creed and the Apostles Creed as well as the Heidelberg Catechism.  
 
 
Teachings
Every church has a theology that guides it.  Many people think theology is something that only pastors or professors do, when in reality, if you think about God, you’re doing the work of theology.  The word theology comes from the Greek word “Theos,” which means God, and “logos,” which means discourse or study. In other words, theology is simply the study of God. 
 
 
The Bible tells us that love rejoices in the truth. Jesus said “the truth shall set you free”.   St. John’s Reformed Church humbly believes that the reformed faith is the set of teaching closest to that found in God’s Word and as taught by the Lord Jesus and the apostles.   
 
 
Reformed Theology stresses five points.  
 
Fallen Humanity: All of humanity and our entire world are affected by sin. Internally, personally, all people sense they are “not right”—not at peace, not whole, not everything they could be. Externally, we’re all surrounded by evidence that the world is not right. 
 
Adopted by God: With a heart full of love, someone brings that child home to cherish and raise, to make him or her a part of the family. That’s just what God does for the lost, fallen, and wandering people of this world. Adopted children do not do anything to merit their adoption. Likewise, we do not (indeed, cannot) take the initiative in being chosen by God. We are dependent on God’s electing love.
 
Intentional Atonement: The good news of the gospel is that Jesus did for us what we are unable to do for ourselves. Because we are fallen—tainted with sin—we cannot offer ourselves as a pure, blameless sacrifice needed to atone (pay the price) for our sin. But because Jesus was without sin, he could be such a sacrifice. And he was. His death on the cross paid the price for “the sin of the world”
 
Transformed by the Holy Spirit: God loves us and draws us to himself. The Holy Spirit enables us to see and hear the good news that we have been saved from sin (John 9:35-41). The Holy Spirit replaces our rebellious, stony hearts with warm, receptive hearts (Ezek. 36:26). He opens our hearts to receive the things of God (Acts 16:14). He gives us the gift of faith, enabling us to believe (Eph. 2:8-10). The Holy Spirit renews us so that we desire God and God’s will (John 3:1-8).
 
Held by God: The joyous conclusion of all this is that we are held eternally secure in the good hands of God. Because we are in God’s grip, we cannot lose our salvation. The Bible teaches that our eternal security does not depend on our hanging on to God, but on God hanging on to us.
 
 
 
 
Our Pastor is always happy to take time to answer any particular questions you may have about the Reformed tradition and St. John’s Reformed Church.  
 
Rev. Robert Ziehmer
rszmatt107@gmail.com
484 650 6082