As Free Reformed Churches in Australia, we want to be first of all; a Christian Church. We accept Jesus Christ as Lord of the Church and we believe that our churches are part of the one, holy, universal, Christian Church which Jesus Christ, as Son of God, gathers in this world.
The term “Free” comes from Galatians 5:1:
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage”
It describes our desire to be free from human hierarchy, free from the slavery of sin, free from the dominion of the devil; and therefore, now free for the service of the LORD. We honour the position of the local church as the only ecclesiastical assembly which has received authority from Christ, and which answers to Christ alone.
The word “Reformed” indicates that our churches bear the stamp of the Reformation that took place in the sixteenth century. That Reformation was an extensive movement in Europe to reform the existing church, with reformers such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Ulrich Zwingli.
The Reformation was a reaction against the power of tradition in the church and strongly promoted the validity of the Bible as God’s Word for our complete personal, church and social life.
The Bible text, “The just shall live by faith” (Habakkuk 2:4) became a focal point among those following the Reformation.
We accept everything that is written in the Bible to be the Word of God and this results in the following three characteristics:
- There is great reverence for the reliability of the Bible.
- Great care is taken for a good explanation of the Bible where every personal thought and feeling must be compared with and submitted to the original text.
- The Bible is accepted as the only rule of conduct for everyday life.
The Christian Church
Further characteristics of these churches that could be mentioned are:
- The church consists of sinful people who time and again are called to return to the Lord and His Word.
- The church maintains the reformed confessions that summarise the doctrine of the Bible.
- The church maintains good order in church life by adhering to the commonly accepted Church Order.
- The church is also responsible for what happens in society and must extend a helping hand. She must warn society when society ignores God’s commandments blatantly.
- The church has a calling to pass on the riches of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to others by means of mission and outreach.
- The church aims to be united with those churches who want to serve the Lord obediently according to His Holy Word.