When asked, “What does the Bible teach?” we respond with a unified voice by referring to the historic Creeds and Confessions of the Reformed Church which faithfully summarize the truths of Scripture. In other words, it is our concern to have the Church define what we believe from the Bible and through our Creeds and Confessions.
In addition to the Apostles, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds, we affirm and teach the biblical doctrine which is set forth in our Confessional Standards known as the Three Forms of Unity: the Belgic Confession of Faith, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Canons of Dort. These function in the life of the church as faithful summaries of what the Bible teaches, serving as our extensive statement of faith (please refer to rcus.org for a full overview).
The following serves to represent some distinctive points of biblical doctrine:
Holy Scripture: The Bible, consisting of the sixty-six books in the Old and New Testaments, is the infallible, inerrant, inspired word of God. It is our ultimate authority in all matters of faith and life, not the traditions of the church or the opinions of men.
The Trinity: There is one God, eternal and self-existing, distinguished in three persons co-essential and co-eternal – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – who are to be equally loved, honored, and worshiped.
Creation: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth in six normal days which were chronological periods of light and darkness as recorded in the book of Genesis.
Covenant of Works and Original Sin: All mankind participated in Adam's fall from his original righteous and sinless state in the Covenant of Works, and are thus dead, totally depraved, and lost in sin.
Sovereign Election: God, for no other reason than His sovereign grace and unfathomable love, has chosen in Christ particular sinners from every nation to be redeemed by the atoning death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Regeneration and Conversion: Those sinners whom the Holy Spirit quickens by the word of God are born again, and as a result repent of their sins and come to believe in Christ as Savior and Lord, become children of God, and will persevere in true faith to the end.
Justification: God declares elect sinners righteous in His sight by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, apart from any works of man. Through faith alone we are united to Christ in all His saving benefits, receive His perfect righteousness imputed to us, and are granted eternal forgiveness and eternal life.
Sanctification: Being distinct from, yet necessarily following and arising out of justification, practical holiness in the life of true believers is manifested in the fruit of good works, which proceed by God’s grace from true faith, and are done according to God’s law unto His glory.
Covenant of Grace: God relates to His people by way of a covenantal relationship based on His word of promise, whereby He promises His saving grace to believers and their children through a true faith in Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ is the sole Mediator of the Covenant of Grace.
Sacraments: God in Christ has appointed only two sacraments as visible, holy signs and seals of the promise of the gospel, Holy Baptism and the Lord's Supper.
Water Baptism is a sign and seal of God's Covenant of Grace, signifying cleansing from sin by the blood and Spirit of Christ, and is properly administered to children of believers in their infancy as well as to those who come as adults to trust in Christ.
The Lord’s Supper commemorates Christ’s once-for-all atoning sacrifice, and is a sign and seal of our union and communion with Him in all His saving benefits. It is to be received only by those who personally confess faith in Christ, having come to an age of maturity after being instructed in biblical doctrine, and who are able to properly examine themselves according to the admonition of Scripture.
Last Things: At death the Christian's soul passes immediately into the presence of God and the unbeliever's soul is eternally separated from God unto condemnation, awaiting the bodily resurrection on the last day, wherein body and soul will enter into eternal salvation in heaven for Christians, or eternal damnation in hell for unbelievers.
Jesus Christ will return to earth, visibly and bodily at a time when He is not expected, and the number of the Elect is complete, so as to consummate history and the eternal plan of God.
Great Commission: The gospel of God's salvation in Jesus Christ must be published to all the world as a witness before Jesus Christ returns.