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Reformed Theology

For from him and through him
and to him are all things.
To him be glory forever. Amen.

Romans 11:36

One of the fundamental doctrinal distinctives of Redeeming Grace Church is that we are theologically Reformed. When we speak of being Reformed in this context, we are referencing our doctrinal unity with the Protestant Reformers of the 16th century. Foremost among them would be Martin Luther (Germany), John Calvin (France and Switzerland), Ulrich Zwingli (Switzerland), John Knox (Scotland), and Thomas Cranmer (England). While there were differences among the Reformers on some doctrinal issues, they were in agreement about The Doctrine of Salvation (Soteriology). We, likewise, would agree with their soteriological position, but would disagree with the Reformers on some other points (such as the timing and mode of baptism, the nature and place of Spiritual gifts, and certain aspects of church government.

The core of Reformed Theology is the belief that God is the Lord of all of Life and Sovereign over the whole universe. Reformed theology stresses the over-arching, sovereign lordship of God over all creation, over all His creatures’ endeavors, over every aspect of the Christian’s life. The centerpiece of God’s sovereignty for us is His sovereignty in the salvation of sinners. The Bible teaches that Salvation is by faith alone (sola fide), by Christ alone (solo Christo), by grace alone (sola gratia), and for the glory of God alone (soli deo gloria). God saves sinners.

Specifically, the main elements of the reformed doctrines of salvation are summarized in the “Five Points of Calvinism,” (though John Calvin did not write them). These five points can be defined with the acronym T.U.L.I.P.

Total Depravity or Total Inability
Unconditional Election
Limited Atonement or Particular Redemption
Irresistible Grace or Efficacious Calling
Perseverance of the Saints

Some consider Calvinism and the “five point” to be controversial, some only hold to some of the points. However, we find that when properly understood the five points all hang together and maintain the centrality of the glory of God in the gospel of Christ. The following resources may also be helpful if you have not studied these doctrines before.

More resources on reformed theology.

Our Sermon, “Calvinism.”
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Chosen for Life, Sam Storms
Five Points: Towards a Deeper Experience of God’s Grace, John Piper