Some Essential Tenets of the Reformed faith, as Expressed in the Confessions

The Promise of Redemption

Reformed theology insists God will keep God’s promise to redeem all of creation. This central tenet is built on the others—that the sovereign God governs all things; that the event of Jesus Christ (including his life, death, resurrection, ascension, and Second Coming) reorients and transforms everything; and that the Holy Spirit’s renewing work is ongoing and pervasive.

“Already God’s reign is present as a ferment in the world, stirring hope in [people] and preparing the world to receive its ultimate judgment and redemption” (BOC, The Confession of 1967, 9.55).

Redemption includes, according to the confessions, the forgiveness of sins, the intercession of Christ on our behalf, knowledge of the “mysteries of salvation,” the working of the Spirit who assists the redeemed in believing and obeying, and even the “overcoming ...[of] enemies by [God’s] almighty power and wisdom” (BOC, The Westminster Confession of Faith, 6.050). It also looks ahead to the day when we will “behold the face of God in light and glory” and experience “the full redemption of [our] bodies” (BOC, The Larger Catechism, 7.196).

A theology student once shared in class, the feeling that “all of me is broken.” The promise to that seminarian—and to each and all of us—is that our healing will be whole and entire, body and soul (BOC, The Heidelberg Catechism, 4.026).