What We Believe

our reformed theology

From the RCA website: rca.org/about/theology

Reformed Christians sometimes say we’re “Reformed and always reforming.” This means we never stop asking whether we’re being faithful to God’s vision and reforming the church to follow God’s will. We do this because we believe humans are broken. And we know how easy it is for our sinful nature to corrupt God’s church.

Scripture is the highest authority on our faith and its practice. Statements of belief called creeds and confessions also shape our faith and root us in Reformed theology. While people often associate the Reformed tradition with Calvinism, there’s more to our Reformed beliefs than the five points of Calvinism you may have heard about.

Overview of Key Reformed Beliefs

Each of these are expanded upon at the RCA's website


  • Read these creeds and confessions on the RCA's website
  • Creeds: Along with most Christian churches, the RCA affirms three creeds that were written in the first few centuries after Jesus’s death: the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed.
  • Reformed Confessions: Four statements of belief, known in the RCA as Standards of Unity, express what the Reformed Church believes: the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, the Canons of Dort, and the Confession of Belhar. In 1978, the RCA approved Our Song of Hope as a contemporary statement of faith.


  • The Triune God: God is creator, redeemer, and sustainer
  • The sovereignty of God: God is sovereign over the universe
  • God's self-revelation: How we know God
  • The Bible is the Word of God


  • God’s intention for creation: God created all things and called them good


  • Why we need salvation: Human beings are broken and sinful


  • Atonement through Christ alone: Jesus died to atone for our sins
  • Justification through faith alone: Faith in Jesus is all we need to be saved
  • Salvation through grace alone: God gives us the faith to receive salvation
  • Sanctification through the Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit makes us more like Jesus over time


  • The body of Christ: The church is Christ’s body on earth
  • Proclamation of the gospel: The church is called to embody the gospel of Jesus in Word and deed
  • Sacraments: The sacraments are signs and seals of God’s heavenly promises
  • There are two sacraments in the Reformed church: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
  • Church discipline: The church wants to restore people who stray
  • Unity in Christ: The church is one body drawn together from the entire human family


  • From the garden to the new city: We await new heaven and new earth