Grace is one of the pivotal truths revealed in Scripture. God shows his grace to us in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul writes, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
As much as we like to think that all people are basically good, we know deep in our hearts that this isn’t true. The Bible teaches that all of us are affected by the guilt and power of sin.
Instead of seeking God as our Creator, Redeemer, and Friend, we attempt to set up ourselves as our own gods. We worship our own independence, desperately fight to be our own arbiter of truth, and frantically grasp at being the creator of our own destiny.
It is in this desperate state of “sin and misery” that God’s grace finds us. Because God is holy, good, and just, he cannot tolerate sin. “The wages of sin is death,” writes Paul (Romans 6:23).
This is most clearly seen in the vivid sacrifices that God required in the Old Testament. But the sacrifices of animals could never cancel the guilt that crushes us. Rather, those sacrifices were pictures to point us to the Savior who would come to be the final sacrifice that fulfills the just requirements of God’s law.
This Savior is Jesus Christ. Paul continues in Romans 6, “but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The grace of God in Jesus Christ calls all sinners to come and find find rest for your souls, forgiveness for your guilt, peace for your shame, and hope for your despair. It is freely offered to all who turn to God in faith.
John Newton said it well, “Amazing grace! How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.”
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As a reformed church, we recognize the biblical truths that were articulated during the protestant reformation of the sixteenth century. These truths are summarized by the five solas. These five statements teach us that all of life, both physical and spiritual, comes from and belongs to God alone.
The doctrine of Scripture Alone teaches us that the Bible alone, and the Bible in its entirety is the only infallible revelation of God to his people. As such, it is the sole source and authority for us to know who God is and who we are.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism reads, “The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him.”
Within the pages of Scripture God reveals to us our need of a Savior, the substitutionary death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and our eternal hope in Christ.
God’s revelation to us climaxes in Jesus Christ. Christ alone is the only redeemer of God’s people.
In John 14:6 Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
It is in Christ alone that God’s work of salvation is accomplished. There is no other path to God except through Jesus Christ.
It is by the grace of God alone that salvation is freely offered. There is nothing inherent in God’s people that causes God to love them. It is simply that he has chosen a people for himself on which to lavish every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1:3-10).
It is God’s grace alone that drove Jesus Christ, the Son of God to take on human nature, live a life of temptation and suffering, and die on the cross. All this was done so that we who are dead in our sins might know true life in Christ.
“O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!” (Nettleton).
Faith in Jesus Christ alone is the means by which God accomplishes the salvation of his people. Faith is setting aside all other things and placing all our trust and hope in Jesus Christ.
The power of faith does not come from within us, but is found in Jesus Christ alone, “the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 1:2).
The promise of the gospel is that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13). There is no uncertainty to this promise for it offers certain hope for all who turn to Christ by faith. No matter who you are or what you have done, come and find rest in Jesus Christ.
To God Alone Be the Glory
The glory of God is the only motivator and goal of all of life and creation. The first answer of the Westminster Shorter Catechism instructs us, “Man’s chief and is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.”
There are many things that call us away from glorifying God. We are frequently and often subtly urged to worship our pride and independence. When these things usurp the place of God, they become gods themselves. But unlike the God of Scripture, these false gods will ultimately fail us, leaving us empty and alone.
As Christians, we must seek to glorify God by living our lives according to our calling in Christ. This means we forsake all other claims on our lives and live for God alone.
God did not intend his church to exist as individual islands of unconnected churches, but to be the united body of Christ. Christ is the head of the church and the church exists for his worship, the edification of believers, and the proclamation of the gospel.
As a presbyterian church, we are governed by a plurality of elders who are mutually accountable to other elders in the regional church, called a presbytery. Presbytery meets twice a year to lead and serve the church through the cooperation of elders. All presbyteries gather together on a yearly basis for a General Assembly of the church.