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

The Calling of the Church

Finally, an additional tenet of the Reformed tradition is that we, as members of Christ’s body, have particular calling in the world.

“Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him” (BOC, The Heidelberg Catechism, 4.001).

To discern our calling, we look to Christ:

The life, death, resurrection, and promised coming of Jesus Christ has set the pattern for the church’s mission. … His service to [human beings] commits the church to work for every form of human well-being (BOC, The Confession of 1967, 9.34).

The particular tasks to which we are called might range from taking care of our own children and households, to “prayers, fasting and almsgiving” (BOC, The Second Helvetic Confession, 5.250), to “delivering the message of the free grace of God to all people in Christ’s stead”(BOC, The Theological Declaration of Barmen, 8.26).

Any work engaged in faithful obedience is “holy and truly good” (BOC, Second Helvetic, 5.250), but provisional in the sense that redemption will not be complete until Christ’s Second Coming. The church lives and acts, therefore, “even as we watch for God’s new heaven and new earth” (BOC, A Brief Statement of Faith, 11.4, Lines 75–76).

For Reflection and Discussion:

You have been called by God. Reflect upon what this call has meant in your life. How might you explain your call to an unchurched friend?