What We Believe
Covenant United Reformed Church is a CHRISTIAN church, confessing and believing that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the only Savior and hope for sinners. We believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, inerrant in its entirety, unchanging, and God’s revelation of Himself which reveals all that we need to know unto salvation and life.
At Covenant URC, we treasure the Word of God as more valuable than riches. When God speaks, we want to listen. So when the Apostle Paul reminds us that all Scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16), we take him seriously. The BIBLE is our highest rule and authority for what we believe and how we live. From ‘In the beginning’ in Genesis to ‘the last Amen’ of Revelation, we desire to make our lives conform to God’s Word because it points us to His Son, Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, many people twist the words of the Bible until they mean anything or almost nothing. As historic, worldwide REFORMED Christians, we want to “contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).
Therefore, we join with Christians – throughout history and the world – in explaining our faith through the following Creeds, Confessions and Catechisms. These manmade documents are not Scripture nor are they on par with God’s Word, but rather, they are faithful summaries of what Scripture teaches. These documents, created by Christ’s Church, help to explain the most basic and important doctrines taught in God’s Holy Word, and we eagerly and thankfully teach them, as well. They are helpful tools and resources.
Along with true Christians of all times and in all places, we adhere to the historic Christian creeds:
We use these creeds in our worship liturgy and believe them, along with our doctrinal confessions, to be an accurate summary of the Christian faith. We do not believe these creeds and confessions supplant the Word of God, but rather are accurate expressions of what Scripture teaches.
We are Reformed in our faith and practice according to the Scriptures as summarized during the sixteenth century Protestant Reformation in the Three Forms of Unity:
The Belgic Confession (1561)
The Heidelberg Catechism (1563)
The Canons of Dort (1619)
Reformed churches are PROTESTANT churches — from the 16th Century Churches that protested the authority and doctrines of the Roman Catholic church — claiming instead that Jesus Christ is the Head of his Church and that he rules and governs his Church by his Word and Spirit. Reformed churches teach that sinful humans are saved by grace alone, through faith alone. We believe God, the Holy Spirit, uses certain means to bestow grace upon and enliven the faith of His people — namely the preaching of the Word and the partaking of the Sacraments, baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
Covenant URC is born out the Reformation of the 16th Century. The Reformation reclaimed some very important truths that, over the previous centuries, had been obscured and nearly lost. We believe that these same issues, now after nearly 500 years since the Reformation, need to be reclaimed for our day. Sharing the conviction of faithful preachers and theologians who wrote the Cambridge Declaration in 1996, we labor for a modern reformation.
Why the Five Solas? The five solas of the Reformation, which distinguished the Reformers from the teachings of Rome, include sola scriptura (Scripture alone), solus Christus (Christ alone), sola fide (faith alone), sola gratia (grace alone), and soli Deo gloria (glory to God alone).
These five statements of the evangelical faith lay at the center of what distinguished the theology of the Reformation from the theology of the Roman Catholic church in the 16th century. Sola scriptura is the belief that because Scripture is God’s inspired Word, it is the only inerrant, sufficient, and final authority for the church. Solus Christus is the assertion that Christ alone is the basis on which the ungodly are justified in God’s sight. Sola fide maintains that the believer receives the redemption Christ has accomplished only through faith. Sola gratia proclaims that all of our salvation, from beginning to end, is by grace and grace alone. Because of these things, the Reformers held fast to the phrase soli Deo gloria, that only God receives glory for our salvation. (The five solas c/o Matthew Barrett)