An Overview of Reformed Theology
There are many ways to interpret the Bible, but not all frameworks for understanding the Bible are equal. While every person has the right to believe whatever they choose to believe, the truth has been clearly revealed in Holy Scripture. The Apostle Paul wrote this in 1 Thessalonians 2:13, “We constantly thank God because of this: that when you received the word of God that you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as what it really is, the word of God (which is at work in you believers).” Therefore, any framework that leads a person to believe anything outside of what has been revealed through Holy Scripture is incorrect, and was likely born from a spirit of deception.
When you read the content on this website, please do NOT accept my words as true based on my word alone, but consider the source (the Bible) and pray about it. Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 to “examine them all and hold on to what is good.” Therefore, we are all encouraged to discover the truth for ourselves by allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us and confirm what is truthful and correct.
So then, the most important aspect of, arguably, is the emphasis on the sovereignty of God. Why? Because it demands that we accept His nature, His authority, as the Creator of all things, and requires that we submit to His will. When the Lord Jesus Christ taught His disciples to pray in Luke 11, He said, “When you pray, say: Our Father, who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. May Your kingdom come. May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.”
How often do we think to pray for God’s will to be done? And how often do we pray for our will to be done? You see, our will is not greater than the will of our Creator, and prayer for our own will to be exercised without discernment as to the will of the Father, suggests that we do not truly know Him or respect His sovereignty. Therefore, only one authority exists, through whom all things were made, and His plan for salvation trumps all manmade plans. The Bible tells us that “human effort counts for nothing,” (John 6:63) yet we try constantly to effect our will on others and the world, as if we can manifest thought and action into our desired outcome.
Doctrine of Grace
This doctrine is defined by the gift of faith (Ephesians 2), which is received from the Holy Spirit upon regeneration, given freely by Him, without condition, because of His generosity, to those called “,” who are underserving of it, receive it unexpectedly, according to God’s will and to His everlasting glory. Because God is sovereign, He alone has chosen, since before the foundation of the world was laid, those who would be, and ultimately are, chosen and blessed to receive clemency and eternal life, thus the term “ .” The destiny of all who are called by God to be saints is to be set aside, preserved, and only those He preserves will enter His kingdom. All those who are not called are not predestined for glorification; they are not regenerated by the Holy Spirit; and they are not justified by free gift of faith.
Luke 18:25 is a verse known to the whole world. It says, “For it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a wealthy person to enter the kingdom of God.” But few can quote verses 26 & 27, (“Those who heard this asked, ‘Then who can be saved?’ Jesus replied, ‘What is impossible for people alone is possible with God.”) and fewer still understand their meaning — proof of the concept of election (see below), God’s sovereignty, and the necessity for grace.
The Five Points
is often maligned by pastors and theologians. However, he was a great , whose views on carried the movement forward, and those views are still relevant today. The “ ,” as they are known, which separate from Evangelicalism and Roman Catholicism are:
The acrosticis formed as result, which makes these distinctive doctrines easier to remember. While some struggle with the finer points of these doctrines, such as the concept of predestination, each can be found in Holy Scripture. Some of those verses are listed at the bottom of this document.
Closely related to the(Foreknowledge > Predestination > Calling > Justification > Glorification), found in Romans 8:28-30, which states: “And we know that God works all things together for good for those who love Him, for those who are called according to His purpose; for those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son so that His Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those He predestined He also called; those He called He also justified; and those He justified He also glorified.”
Justification By Faith Alone
Justification by “Faith Alone” is the most important of the Five Solas:
= Faith Alone
= Grace Alone
= Christ Alone
= Glory to God Alone
= Scripture Alone
The reason it is the most important is because, as Martin Luther stated, it is the “article on which the Church stands or falls.” Faith plus work, or faith plus anything, results in a denial of God’s sovereignty, is antagonistic to the concept of “,” and produces an arrogance that we cooperate with God’s will and contribute something of value towards our salvation.
The Apostle Paul spoke of it this way, “Now to anyone who works to earn an income, their wages are not credited to them as a gift but are credited as an obligation for their work. But anyone who doesn’t work to be justified, but who trusts Him who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited to them as righteousness.” (Romans 4:4-5) Do you trust the Lord enough NOT to work for your salvation? As it is written, “Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will not count against them,” which demands that we trust in the complete works of Christ.
Firstly, let’s look at how the Lord Jesus Christ described the condition of the world at the moment ofin Matthew 24:37-42: “For just like it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark. They did not understand what was happening until the flood came and took them all away. That’s how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and one left. Therefore be alert, because you don’t know on what day your Lord is coming.”
Secondly, let’s look at the signs signify that end times are approaching (found in Matthew 24):
— Many will come in My name;
— You will hear of wars and rumors of wars;
— Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom;
— There will be famines and earthquakes in various places;
— They will hand you over to be persecuted;
— You will be hated by all nations because of my name;
— Many will fall away from God and will betray one another;
— Many false prophets will rise up and deceive many;
— Many people’s love will grow cold because of the increase of wickedness;
— This good news of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations.
“Then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)
Doctrine of Election
The term “” appears numerous times in the Bible, and is defined as “chosen” or “selected,” but it is NOT used as a verb. It is a noun derived from the Hebrew “elegit” (Old Testament) and Greek “eklektos” (New Testament). The following verses support the concept of election:
“For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
“For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”
“For there will be a tribulation in those days such as never has been experienced from the beginning of the creation God created until now; and it will never be again. Unless the Lord cuts short those days, not one life will be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom He chose, He has shortened them.”
“False messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, the chosen ones.”
“And He will send His angels with a great trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other end.”
“And he will send His angels, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.”
“Won’t God bring about justice for His chosen ones who cry out to Him day and night? Will He delay long over them?”
“I am not speaking of all of you, for I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled.”
“I no longer call you servants, because the servant does not know what their master is doing. Rather, I have called you friends, for I’ve made known to you everything that I learned from My Father. You didn’t choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for in My name.”
“If the world hates you, know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own. But because you do not belong to the world — for I have chosen you out of the world — the world hates you.”
“It is God who justifies. So who will dare bring any charges against those whom God has chosen?”
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, which he has freely given [to] us in the Beloved One.”
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”
“We ought to always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters beloved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning to be saved through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth. To this He called you, through our gospel, that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
“From Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s chosen ones and the knowledge of the truth that matches up with godliness, in hope of eternal life, promised by the never-lying God before time eternal. He revealed the message at His own chosen time through my preaching, with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior.”
“Listen, beloved brothers and sisters: Hasn’t God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich with regard to faith and heirs of the kingdom of God that He promised to those who love Him?”
“From Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ. To God’s chosen ones living as exiles, scattered throughout the Roman provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, in accordance with the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ, and for sprinkling with His blood. May grace and peace abound to you.”
“You, however, are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s possession, that you may declare the virtues of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.”
“They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will conquer them, because He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings; and those who are with Him are called and chosen and faithful.”