We are a reformed church with a Pentecostal experience. Reformed means that we insist that the Word of God is the ultimate source of appeal in matters of faith, doctrine and practice. We stand on the Biblical doctrines of grace. Pentecostal experience refers to the New Testament experience in the Upper Room where believers received the filling of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2). It also refers to the gifts of the Spirit being evident in the life of the believer. (1 Corinthians 12: 4-12)

The Doctrines of Grace are commonly known as the five points of Calvinism or T.U.L.I.P which is an acronym for:
T-Total depravity (Humanity’s radical corruption)
U-Unconditional election (God’s sovereign choice)
L-Limited atonement (Christ’s purposeful atonement)
I-Irresistible grace (The Spirit’s effective call)
P-Perseverance of the saints (God’s preservation of the saints)

This doctrine insists that salvation is by grace from beginning to end. Salvation is a gift, in every sense of the word; it is God’s gift for undeserving sinners who cannot be redeemed apart from God’s saving grace. The gift is given to those to whom God chooses to give it; and although it is offered to everyone, it is not given to everyone. When God does choose to grant this gift, however, He effectively places it in the hands of his child; and once it is received, it can never be lost, stolen, or damaged. Truly, it is the gift that keeps on giving!

Total depravity (inability):
The Doctrine of Inability: “Man by his fall into a state of sin has wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation; so as a natural man, being altogether averse from good, and dead in sin, is not able by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.”

It is also a fact that all mankind sinned in Adam and that all men are without excuse (Romans 2: 1). Without Christ, we are dead in trespasses and sins, we are estranged from God, and we are helpless. We are not sinners because we sin; we sin because we are sinners.

In Ephesians 2: 12, Paul reminds the Ephesian Christians that before they received the Gospel, they were separated from Christ. Notice the five-fold emphasis Paul uses to stress this truth:
1. “Without Christ”
2. “Aliens from the commonwealth of Israel”
3. “Strangers from the covenant of promise”
4. “Having no hope”
5. “Without God in the world”

(1 Corinthians 2: 14; Romans 3: 10-12; Romans 5: 12; 2 Corinthians 1: 9; John 6: 53 and Proverbs 30: 12)

Unconditional Election:
The Doctrine of Unconditional Election: “Because of humanity's total depravity, God of necessity, in eternity past, chose certain people to be saved. There was nothing inherently better or different about the chosen people which caused God to choose them. God was totally free in His decision to show grace and mercy to some sinners who deserved nothing but His wrath.”

• Election is a sovereign free act of God, through which He determines who shall be made heirs of heaven.

• The elective decree was made in eternity.

• The elective decree contemplated the race as already fallen.

• God in His sovereignty could regenerate all men if He chose to do so.

• Election is not based on foreseen faith or good works, but only on God’s sovereign pleasure.

• The elective decree leaves others who are not elected-others who suffer the just consequences of their sin.

(ref. Ephesians 1: 4-5; Romans 5: 8; Romans 8: 29-30; Romans 9: 11-16, 19-21; John 15: 16 and Psalm 65: 4)

Limited Atonement:
The Doctrine of Limited Atonement: “…Wherefore they who are elected being fallen in Adam, are redeemed in Christ, are effectually called unto faith in Christ by His Spirit working in due season; are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by His power through faith unto salvation. Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.”

• The atonement of Christ was limited only in the sense that it was intended for, and is applied to, particular persons; namely for those who are actually saved.

• The value of the atonement was sufficient to save all mankind, and efficient to save only the elect.

• Christ’s work was a perfect fulfillment of the Law. He took our place before the Law and did for us what we could not do for ourselves.

• Jesus Christ came to give His life a ransom for many.

• Jesus Christ died for His people, His Church.

(ref. Acts 20: 28; Matthew 20: 28; John 10: 14-15; John 15: 13; Ephesians 5: 25)

Irresistible Grace (efficacious):
The Doctrine of Irresistible Grace: “All those whom God has predestinated unto life, and those only, He is pleased, in His appointed and accepted time, effectually to call, by His Word and Spirit, out of that state of death, in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly, to understand the things of God; taking away their heart of stone, and giving them a heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and by His almighty power determining them to that which is good; and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ, yet so as they come most freely, being made willing by His grace.”

• Man in his natural state is radically corrupt, and he can never become holy and happy through any power of his own.

• Man must be born again from above (John 3: 3).

• An inward change is wrought by supernatural power (2 Corinthians 5: 17).

• The effect of this change is that the person loves righteousness and trusts in Christ for salvation.

• The Lord, by His Spirit, irresistibly draws His elect to Himself, raising them to spiritual life and making them willing to trust in Jesus.

(ref. Matthew 11: 28-30; John 6: 37; Ephesians 1: 12, 19; Psalm 110: 3; 2 Thessalonians 1: 11)

(The) Perseverance of the Saints:
The Doctrine of The Perseverance of the Saints: “They whom God hath accepted in His Beloved, effectually called and sanctified by His Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace; but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved.”

• Perseverance is not dependent on our own good works, but on God’s grace. (Roman 5: 8-10).

• If the believer had been once truly saved, he cannot fall away completely from grace. “If we have it, we never

lose it. If we lose it, we never had it.”

• An outward profession of righteousness is not always proof that the person is a true Christian. (Matthew 7: 22-23; 1 John 2: 19)

• The doctrine is not to be taken as a license to continue in sin. The believer is not free to act in any way he chooses now that he is eternally secure in Christ Jesus.

• The believer perseveres to the end because they were chosen in the beginning.

(ref. Jeremiah 32: 40; Ezekiel 11: 19-20; Romans 8: 35-39; John 6: 47, 51; Philippians 1: 6; Hebrews 10: 14) The Five Solas of the Reformation

The “Five Solas” of the Reformation
(“sola” is the Latin word for “alone”): five foundational truths that are the core of the Christian faith.

1. Sola Scriptura: by Scripture alone
Sola scriptura is the teaching that the Bible is the only inspired and authoritative Word of God. Scripture and Scripture alone is the standard by which all teachings and doctrines of the church and Christian behavior are to be measured. The Bible does not stand alone apart from God, but it is the instrument of God by which He reveals Himself for salvation through faith in Christ. (2 Timothy 3: 14-17)

2. Sola Fide: by Faith alone
Sola fide is the teaching that justification is received by faith only, without any mixture of or need for good works. We need God to continually destroy self-righteous faith and to replace it with the life of Christ. We need the faith that comes from God through law and gospel, word and sacraments. (Habbakuk 2: 4; Romans 4: 5; 10: 9-10; Galatians 3: 6-11)

3. Sola Gratia: by Grace alone
Sola gratia is the teaching that salvation comes by God’s grace or unmerited favor only; not as something merited by the sinner. This means that salvation is an unearned gift from God for Jesus’ sake. (Romans 3:24; Ephesians 1: 3-8; 2: 8-10)

4. Sola Christos: Christ alone
Sola Christos is the teaching that Christ is the only mediator between God and man, and that salvation is found in Christ alone. His sinless life and substitutionary atonement alone is sufficient for our justification and reconciliation to God the Father; there is salvation through no other. (John 14: 6; Acts 4:12; 1 Corinthians 8: 6; Galatians 3: 20; Colossians 1: 13-18; 1Timothy 2: 5, 6; Hebrews 4: 14-16; 8: 6; 9: 15)

5. Soli Deo Gloria: glory to God alone
Soli Deo Gloria is the teaching that all glory is due to God alone. Because salvation is accomplished solely through His will and action, not only the gift of the all-sufficient atonement of Jesus on the cross, but also the gift of faith in that atonement, created in the heart of the believer by the Holy Spirit. (Romans 11: 36; Ephesians 3: 21; 1 Peter 4: 11; Revelation 1: 5, 6; 4: 11)

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