What follows is a brief summary of the beliefs of the Free Reformed Churches of North America.
A High View of the Bible
We hold to a high view of the Bible. The Scriptures do not merely contain the Word of God; they are the Word of God.
We regard the Scriptures as the revelation of God and His infallible Word. “All scripture,” every text of Scripture, has been inspired by the Holy Spirit, “and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). The Spirit kept the Bible writers from error and ensured they wrote precisely what God wanted them to write. The Bible is totally true and trustworthy. God gave the Bible to the church to give clear direction on all matters of faith and life for every period of time. Our ears must therefore always be open to the Bible’s summons to repentance, faith, worship, obedience, and perseverance. Therefore, the church can be recognized by its faithful declaration and obedient receiving of the Scriptures as the Word of God.22).
Some of Our Custom
We have prescribed forms for Baptism, Marriage, Public Confession of Faith, the Lord’s Supper, Excommunication, Ordination and Installation of office bearers, and so on. We commemorate the great facts of salvation, such as the birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus, as well as the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, in special worship services.
We have the required custom on each Lordsday to preach in one of the services the points of doctrine treated successively in the fifty-two Lord’s Days of the Heidelberg Catechism. This practice was introduced in the sixteenth century and made mandatory by the Synod of Dordt, 1618/19.
The well-known experiential character of the Heidelberg Catechism has made it a fit instrument for this purpose. We wish to emphasize in our worship that worship is addressed to God and not to people. We believe that our worship services are not for entertainment. God is to be the focus of all true worship. We are called into His presence to exalt, honour and please Him. We come before Him as His people, filled with awe by His glory and majesty, humbled by His grace, joyful for His mercy. We join together in singing the Psalms, hearing His Word read and preached, casting ourselves upon Him in prayer with supplication and thanksgiving. In our worship services we use the New King James Version of the Bible.
We make use of the Psalter for our public praise. The Psalms are part of God’s revelation, inspired by the Holy Spirit. They display the whole range of the emotions, aspirations, and struggles of faith which become formative for our experience of spiritual life.
Christ’s Second Coming
The Bible directs us to expect our Lord Jesus Christ to come again (Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16). He will come with the clouds of heaven. He will come as the One risen and ascended and exalted in majesty. Jesus’ Second Coming will be in marked contrast to His first coming, which was in humiliation. The majesty of His divinity will no longer be laid aside. We shall see Him as He is, majestic, glorious and adorable.
Christ’s Second Coming is to be followed directly by the final judgment. For many the Day of the Lord will be darkness and not light (Amos 5:18). Only those who by a true faith have become righteous in Christ can and may face the great white throne without terror.
The sacrifice of Christ is the object of our faith. The Second Coming of Christ is the object of our longing. We look back in faith to the crucified Saviour; we look upwards in love to the living Saviour; we look forward in hope to the glorious Redeemer.
This looking forward in hope is not of minor importance. Without this expectation we are not believers. We are saved by hope (Romans 8:24). In looking forward we look not only to the Second Coming itself, but also to the events associated with it – the resurrection of the dead, the general judgment and the acquittal and acknowledgement of the believers. Above all, we look forward to the day when “at the Name of Jesus every knee shall bow … and … every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (see Philippians 2:10,11). “Maranatha” (1 Corinthians 16:22).
The Church as Community
The Bible doesn’t picture the church as a church building that is put up somewhere. Rather, the church is portrayed as a community of people who assemble to worship God in holy love and godly fear, with singing, calling upon and confessing His name, reading and listening to Scripture, preaching and administering the sacraments. The Old Testament term for the church, the congregation of the Lord, expresses the idea of community.
The Church as a Community of Believers in Christ
The church is not merely a community of people who happen to think alike on matters of religious experience. But the church is a community of people who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ! They are people who believe all that the Bible says concerning His Person and work and who trust in Him as their Saviour and Lord.
The Church as an Instrument of Outreach for Evangelism
The Lord has given the church a vital task to perform in connection with man’s salvation. He calls the church to the work of evangelism in the community where it is located and beyond. Moved, therefore, by the misery of the lost people around us and the glory and command of the Gospel, we wish to bring the message of the Gospel to people in our community and to those on mission fields. We desire to invite outsiders, such as our neighbours and other unbelievers, to assemble with us to hear the Gospel. We desire that in this way men and women, young people and children, may come to know and believe in the only true God and Jesus Christ Whom He has sent.
Church’s Ministry to it’s Members
The members of the church need to come to know and believe in the triune God. This applies to those who are nominal believers, as well as to the children of the believers who must yet come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Once they have come to that saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, there must be further ministry of the Word. In Ephesians 4:11f. Paul writes that the Lord gave pastors and teachers to the church “for the perfecting of the saints, … for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a Perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
The growth and edification of those who have come to a saving union with the Lord Jesus Christ takes place in the fellowship of the church. We do not grow in isolation. We depend on what is supplied by every part of the body when it works effectually. We desire to be a living, Biblically-conformed and organized Christian church in which the redeemed members may thrive and flourish and rejoice in what the Lord has done for them.