Sometimes you will come across a church who describes itself as being Reformed. What does this mean? Is it significant?
The answer to the latter question is Yes. And because it is significant to the identity of a church you might want to understand what it means to be "Reformed".
Reformed simply means getting back to the bible. To go back to the bible, to get the bible right in our thinking and living. Reformed theology is nothing other than biblical Christianity. Simply put: That God is bigger than you think he is. Humanity is more sinful than you think it is. God’s word can be trusted. That He is sovereign in salvation, and keeps his saints till they get to heaven. That faith (trusting God) of itself is a gift from God. And that while all humanity is called to respond to the gospel, only those given the eyes of faith do actualy tust God and accept the good news of Jeses (the gospel) and so move from death before God to life in good fellowship with God.
The term Reformed is taken from the time of the Reformation in the early 16th Century. This was when Protestants Christians broke away from the Roman Catholic Church due to the increasing excesses and corruption of theology during the middle ages.
It began with Martin Luther nailing 95 discussion points on the church door of his church at Whittenburg in Germany 31 October, 1517. This was a document outlining common church practices that were at odds with The BIble. That got the ball rolling. And the protestations of Luther and others spread across Europe and England.
Key to these protestors was the question of how sinful humans can be saved. Some said you could be made right with God based on doing saving acts. But the protesters taugh what bible teachers, which is that salvation is a gift from God, and that you can only be saved by trusting in Jesus.
A reformed church therefore is one that is always going back to the bible. That is, a church that is always re-forming all of its practices and teaching to the ways taught in the Bible.
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