Our Basic Beliefs
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three persons: the Father (God over us), the Son (God with us) and the Holy Spirit (God in us). These three are coequal and are one God. Genesis 1:1, 26, 27; 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; I Peter 1:2; II Corinthians 13:14.
We are all made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. We are the supreme object of God’s creation. Although human kind has tremendous potential for good, we are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin”. This attitude separates us from God. Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1-2.
We all were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or in union with God through forgiveness and salvation. The place of eternal separation from God is called Hell. Heaven is the place of eternal union and eternal life with God. John 3:16; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:15 (Hell); Matthew 25:41; Revelation 21:27 (Heaven).
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all by dying on the cross. He arose from the dead after three days, demonstrating His power over sin and death. He was seen by over 500 people and returned to the Father to prepare a place for us. Matthew 1:22, 23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5; John 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14,15; I Corinthians 15:3,4; Romans 1:3,4; Acts 1:9-11.
Salvation is a gift from God to humankind. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can we be saved from sin’s penalty. Eternal life begins the moment we receive Jesus Christ into our life by faith. Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8, 9; John 14:6, John 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:21.
The Christian is called to live out the Great Commandment – to love God with all our heart and soul and our neighbors as ourselves; and the Great Commission – to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey all Jesus commanded us. This is called discipleship, and it is what every Christian is called to. It simply means following after Jesus. Matthew 28:18-20; Matthew 22:37-40.
Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the believer is secure in this salvation for eternity. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and “keeping power” of God that gives this security. John 10:29; II Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25; 10:10-14; I Peter 1:3-5.
The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son (of God). He is present in the world to make humankind aware of our need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. The Christian seeks to live under his control daily. II Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13; 14:16,17; Acts 1:8; I Corinthians 2:12; 3: 16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:1.
The Bible is God’s word to all humankind. It was written by human authors who were under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit so that what they wrote is the Word of God. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:20,21; II Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:105, 160; Psalm 126; Proverbs 30:5.
We are a covenant keeping church. God enters into a covenant (special binding agreement) with those whom he calls to be his sons and daughters. Covenant people have a special relationship with God and have a special responsibility. We keep covenant with God by living our lives as his children, by keeping covenant with our spouses and family and by keeping covenant with all believers regardless of race, age, gender or marital status. Genesis 17:7; Jeremiah 32:38-40; II Corinthians 6:16-18; Romans 8:12-17; Acts 2:39; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Galatians 3:28-29; Ephesians 4:1-6.
The Church is the living Body of Christ on earth. He is the head and the source of its life. We believe that all true believers want to be a part of the Church so they can grow in their faith, worship and fellowship with other believers, and make a united impact upon society. Ephesians 5:23; Romans 12:4-8; I Corinthians 12; Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:1-16; Colossians 1:15-20.
We believe there are two sacraments given by Christ to strengthen our faith as members of His Church. The first is Holy Baptism which is a sign and seal of God’s eternal covenant of grace for us and our children. Baptism symbolizes the washing away of our sins through the blood of Christ.
The second is the Sacrament of Holy Communion. The bread symbolizes the body of Christ given for us. The cup symbolizes the blood of Christ poured out at the Cross for our salvation ushering in a new covenant with all God’s people. Christ is spiritually present in the bread and juice. When we celebrate Holy Communion our strength is strengthened. Genesis 17: 1-10; Deuteronomy 7:9; Matthew 19:13-15; 28:19; Acts 16:14-15; 30-33; Mark 14:22-25; I Corinthians 11:23-26; I Corinthians 1:16.
The End of Time
When history has run the course laid out for it in God’s plan, Jesus Christ will return in power and glory to judge the world and to complete the total victory over sin, death and Satan. At that time those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord will enter heaven to be with him forever. Those who have not believed will be eternally separated from God. Acts 1:6-11; Mark 13:24-27; Revelation 1:7; I Peter 4:5; Matthew 24:29-31; 25:31-46.
What does it mean to be Reformed?
We generally go by “Orangewood Community Church,” officially we are a joint ministry of the Reformed Church in America and the Christian Reformed Church in North America. We’re part of a group of churches that connects back to the 1500s when there was a great renewal in the churches in Europe. That period was called the Reformation – a time when a lot of Christians reformed their spiritual lives in order to get reconnected with God through the scriptures.