What We Believe
We call ourselves the Christian Reformed Church in North America. What does that mean?
We call ourselves Christian because we are followers of Jesus Christ. We believe that Jesus was the Son of God and that he is the center of human history. We’re called Reformed because we grow on a branch of the church tree that emerged from the Protestant Reformation in sixteenth-century Europe. We’re a Church because we believe God has called us together to be a people who belong to him and live for him. North America tells you where we are situated; but it also tells you we’re connected with other Reformed denominations in other places around the globe. What unites these diverse people across North America? What binds them into one entity?
Among other things, we agree on certain core beliefs. That is one of the reasons we gather to worship and to work, pursuing God’s plan for this world. We believe in the Bible as the authoritative Word of God. And we speak with a Reformed accent.
What We Believe.
The bulk of what we believe we hold in common with the Christian church around the world and throughout the ages. Three creeds adopted by the worldwide church centuries ago summarize the most important tenets of our faith: the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed.
To summarize these common beliefs, we’ll use the text of the Apostles’ Creed. But first an explanation. Despite its title, the Apostles’ Creed was not written by the apostles or disciples who walked and talked with Jesus in the first century. Instead it is a compilation of what believers in the first centuries knew from written and oral testimony, which was then distilled into the essentials of the Christian faith. This creed was reworked by successive councils of the early Church. It was adopted in its present form before the end of the fourth century.
A quick look at the structure of the Apostles’ Creed reveals one of the bedrock truths of the Christian faith: the Trinity. The creed is divided into three parts: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. All Christians believe that the Bible reveals one God in three “persons.” In other words, God is a perfect community of love.
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