If you remember from the first Friday in January —This year, on the first Friday of the month, I am sharing some resources that you may use, either for your own growth and encouragement, or resources that may be useful in sharing with friends and family.
I mentioned this booklet last November right before Reformation Day. We have copies of this booklet at the Church building in the foyer, or you may read it online here: http://www.opc.org/books/eBooks/Reformed_Faith.pdf
From the introduction, “The Reformed faith is the Christian religion in its most consistent expression. This is not to claim that others, who do not hold to the Reformed confessions, are not Christians. It is simply to insist that there is only one true religion and that the most consistent expression of it is the Reformed faith.”
We believe this to be true, or we would not be members of a Reformed Church. If we did not believe this to be true, we would seek someplace else to worship and serve. This booklet can help you, in a very short and simple form, articulate the basics of Reformed faith and thought.
The booklet is divided into four parts:
Part one, Reformed Principles: The Reformed faith is Bible-based, God-Centered, and Covenantally Ordered. In this section there is a review of the doctrines taught in the TULIP acronym (Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, Perseverance of the Saints). These doctrines, while foundational to Reformed thought, are just a portion of what it means to be Reformed.
Part two, Reformed Practice: This section covers the law of God and the application of the Ten Commandments, with an emphasis on the fourth (sabbath ordinance), sixth (sanctity of life) and seventh (marriage) commandments, as well as a brief look at evangelism.
Part three, Reformed Church Government: This section deals with the corporate nature of the Church, the government of the Church, the discipline of the Church, and the ecumenical calling of the Church.
From page 29, “And there are also true churches that are basically one in faith with us, and yet are divided from us for various reasons. Thus, one of the tasks that we see, as a church, is to strive as much as possible to overcome these sad divisions. It is the strong conviction of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, however, that this does not mean that we should seek organizational unity where there is no unity in doctrine and practice… We will continue to seek visible unity with other churches, but only on the basis of genuine adherence to the biblical confessions in doctrine and practice.”
As our denomination works towards ecumenicity with other Reformed denominations, they seek to do so based on a Biblical form of unity. To read more, go to the following link: http://www.opc.org/relations/unity.html
Part four, Reformed Worship: This section covers thoughts on private and family worship, and corporate worship. Worship is a topic we are exploring more on Wednesday evenings and with our bulletin inserts and my review of the book, With Reverence and Awe.
I hope you take advantage of this short booklet to learn more about our Reformed faith and that you share it with others. By understanding and being comfortable with our identity as a Church, we can better serve one another, serve our community, and reach out with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I hope you enjoy our studies on worship this year, and it helps you to better understand part of what makes us Faith Bible OPC. If you have any questions about worship along the way, don’t hesitate to ask myself or one of the session members.