WHAT DO WE BELIEVE?
WHAT DOES "CHRISTIAN REFORMED" MEAN?
We are Hope Christian Reformed Church a member of the many Christian Reformed Churches of North America. Well, you asked about us so here goes..........
 
The Christian Reformed Church calls itself "Christian" because it forms one small part of Christ's church on earth. It recognizes as fellow-Christians all people who accept the teachings of the Bible as they are so beautifully summarized in the Apostles' Creed. This includes believers from many denominations such as Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran, Baptist, Presbyterian, and Pentecostal.
 
We may disagree with these believers on some practices or teachings. But we recognize them as brothers and sisters in Christ if they believe in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and if they confess that Jesus died for their sins, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven.
 
The CRC calls itself "Reformed" because it stands in the tradition of the Reformed churches. These churches follow the teachings of the sixteenth-century church reformer John Calvin. Calvin struggled valiantly to return Christianity back to its biblical roots. CRC teachings are closely akin to Presbyterian and other Reformed churches, and it enjoys solid relationships with many of them.
 
The term "Reformed" or "Reformation" for our churches comes from the international reformational movement of the 16th Century when Bible believing Christians tried to reform the Roman Catholic church. The mottos of the reformation included "Scripture alone" as the only source of knowledge for salvation, "Christ alone" as the way of salvation, through God's "grace alone" and not by our flawed, sinful works, and through "faith alone" in God's son, Jesus Christ, as the only way to receive that salvation.
 
When the desired reformation failed to happen in the Roman Catholic church, many Reformed and Lutheran churches formed, which still exist to this day, some which remain faithful to these Scriptural mottos and some which do not. As for whether we believe in the whole Bible, yes, it was and remains the goal of the Reformation to let the entire Bible guide and direct our lives.
 
We believe that "all Scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16, The Bible). While it may be true that we don't always live up to our ideal to believe in the whole Bible, it is our goal to submit all of our lives to the teaching and instruction of Scripture."
God speaks to us though the Bible. The spirit of God guided the Bible writers so that they wrote without error. The Bible contains all we need to know about God, about ourselves, and about life here and hereafter. It contains good news and bad news.
 
Bad News
 
God requires that we love God more than anyone or anything else, and that we love other people with the same kind of love we normally have for ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40).
 
Our first parents, Adam and Eve, failed to meet this requirement. Although God had created the first humans with the ability to be good (like he is), they chose rather to disobey God. Thus they spoiled their natural goodness and the perfect world in which God placed them - taking the whole human race into sin with them. The results of their disobedience - suffering, death, and judgment - were passed on to all their descendants, including you and me (Genesis 1-3, Romans 5:12).
 
Good News
 
All through Old Testament times the prophets told of God's plan for a Saviour. Finally, God sent his Son into the world by causing the miraculous pregnancy of a virgin woman. The son to whom Mary gave birth was and is the sinless Son of God (Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 1:26-35).
 
This divine/human person was named Jesus, which means Saviour, "because he will save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). Jesus endured the justified anger of God against sin by his humiliating and painful death on the cross. Also according to God's plan, Jesus arose from the grave and then ascended into heaven as our living Saviour.
 
Believe
 
A well-known Bible verse is John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." God will forgive my sins only when I believe that Jesus truly suffered and died in my place and I surrender my life to him.
 
The ability to believe comes from God. Just as the saving work of Jesus is the work of God, so our personal response of faith is the work of God in our hearts (Ephesians 2:8). What is more, through regular study of the Bible - alone and with other Christians - God will make our faith in Jesus strong and sure.
The basic meaning of the word church is people - people who believe in Jesus as their Saviour and Lord. The Christian Reformed Church is part of the great church that Christ is gathering together out of the entire human race from the beginning of the world to its end. The Christian Reformed Church embraces people of many different nationalities and races - American, Canadian, Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, French, Black, Hispanic, Filipino, North American Native.
 
When we belong to this great family of God, we also belong to each other as brothers and sisters under God. We are to pray for one another, serve each other in love, and together serve the Lord.
 
God has given us the Bible to strengthen our faith. He further strengthen our faith by means of baptism and the Lord's supper.
 
Christ also cares for his church through the service of local church leaders: ministers, evangelists, elders, and deacons. These leaders are selected by the local congregation.
 
Two or more times per year, each congregation delegates a minister and an elder to a regional assembly called a classis. Once annually each classis in the United States and Canada delegates two ministers and two elders to the denomination's broadest assembly, the synod.
 
Parents and Promises
 
Children of believers are members of Christ's church and receive baptism as a sign of that membership. Children become full-fledged members upon public profession of faith. This profession is preceded by careful Christian training. Responsibility for such training begins with parents, who are to train their children by personal instruction and Christian example. The church takes part in the training of children and youth through careful instruction in the Bible and through clubs for various ages and interest groups.
Parent-operated Christian schools and colleges supplement the Christian training of the home and the church in most communities served by Christian Reformed Church.
Three creeds adopted by the worldwide church centuries ago summarize the most important tenets of our faith...

1. Apostles' Creed
This creed is called the Apostles' Creed not because it was produced by the apostles themselves but because it contains a brief summary of their teachings.
 
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2. Nicene Creed
The Nicene Creed, also called the Nicaeno-Constantinopolitan Creed, is a statement of the orthodox faith of the early Christian church in opposition to certain heresies, especially Arianism.
 
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2. Athanasian Creed
Apart from the opening and closing sentences, this creed consists of two
parts, the first setting forth the orthodox doctrine of the trinity, and the second dealing chiefly with the incarnation and the two-natures doctrine.

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We also subscribe to three Confessions or Forms of Unity. They are (click on any of them for more information):
 
Belgic Confession
 
The Canons of Dort
 
The Heidelberg Catechism
All Christians take part in telling the good news about salvation in Jesus, in order that others presently outside the church may be welcomed into its fellowship.
 
Each local Christian Reformed congregation is eager to tell the good news to the people of its own community. In addition, the Christian Reformed Church sponsors mission programs throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as in many other countries. The Christian Reformed radio voice to your local community - and to the world - is the Back to God Ministries.
Jesus Christ is Lord over all. His lordship is to be honored in every aspect of life - individual and social. Living under his lordship, we are to marry in the Lord and are to train our children in the Lord; we are to speak to the conscience of society for the Lord. He is Lord of the marketplace, the capitol building, the university, the sports stadium.
As soon as Jesus returned to heaven, angels told his followers that some day he would return in the same way as they saw him leave (Acts 1:11). Some day - and only God the father knows the day or the hour - Jesus will come again to judge all the people and to bring about a new heaven and a new earth. The unknown time of Christ's return and the uncertainty of life itself urge us to believe in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord today!
 
As Christians we look forward to Christ's return with eagerness, for we know that "he who began a good work in [us] will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6). To God be the glory!
 
Thanks for coming with us on this little tour. We hope that you enjoyed the visit and that what you saw helps you to feel that you know us. We would be happy to learn more about you if you care to tell us. In any event, be assured that we will be glad to see you again when you return. And we'll be delighted if you decide to stay.