At Sunrise Church, our faith in Jesus as our Savior is the most important thing.
Every church, even non-denominational ones, has a theological perspective that guides it. This theology informs the way it interpret the Bible, preaches and what things are most important to it. Sunrise is a Reformed Church. This may be a newer term to you so we have provided the following brief introduction.
What Does Reformed Mean?
The term “Reformed” was two different connotations. It can refer to a particular way of interpreting the Bible. This is often referred to as Reformed theology. Reformed Theology is a particular way of interpreting the Bible. It stresses the sovereignty of God in all things and the centrality of faith in Christ.
It can also refer to particular tradition or branch of the Christian churches. These churches have their historical roots to the Protestant reformation in the 1500’s and are based on the teachings of John Calvin. The reformer stressed 5 things (solos) when they split from the Roman Catholic Church:
- Scripture Alone (Sola Scriptura): This means the Bible is God’s inspired word. It is the ultimate authority in our life and guides all aspects of our life.
- Christ Alone (Solus Christus): This means that Christ is the only way to that one can be saved and have an eternal relationship with God.
- Grace Alone (Sola Gratia): This means that salvation comes by God’s grace or “unmerited favor” only. It is a completely free gift and not based on anything done by us, the sinners.
- Faith Alone (Sola Fide): This means that our righteousness and justification (things we need to have a relationship with God) is received by faith in Jesus Christ alone.
- Glory To God Alone (Soli Deo Gloria): This means that all glory is to be due to God alone, since salvation is accomplished solely through His work, will, and action
Sunrise Church fits into both of these categories (Reformed Theology and Tradition). However, we have people who come from a variety of different traditions that are a part of our church.
What are the main aspects of Reformed Theology?
People often use different acronyms to describe five main points of reformed theology.
Fallen Humanity: All of humanity and our entire world are affected by sin. Internally, personally, all people sense they are “not right”—not at peace, not whole, not everything they could be. Externally, we’re all surrounded by evidence that the world is not right. It’s filled with crime and hunger and bloodshed.
Adopted by God: With a heart full of love, someone brings that child home to cherish and raise, to make him or her a part of the family. That’s just what God does for the lost, fallen, and wandering people of this world. Adopted children do not do anything to merit their adoption. Likewise, we do not (indeed, cannot) take the initiative in being chosen by God. We are dependent on God’s electing love.
Intentional Atonement: The good news of the gospel is that Jesus did for us what we are unable to do for ourselves. Because we are fallen—tainted with sin—we cannot offer ourselves as a pure, blameless sacrifice needed to atone (pay the price) for our sin. But because Jesus was without sin, he could be such a sacrifice. And he was. His death on the cross paid the price for “the sin of the world”
Transformed by the Holy Spirit: God loves us and draws us to himself. The Holy Spirit opens our sin-darkened eyes and sin-stopped ears, enabling us to see and hear the good news that we have been saved from sin (John 9:35-41). The Holy Spirit replaces our rebellious, stony hearts with warm, receptive hearts (Ezek. 36:26). He opens our hearts to receive the things of God (Acts 16:14). He gives us the gift of faith, enabling us to believe (Eph. 2:8-10). The Holy Spirit renews us so that we desire God and God’s will (John 3:1-8). Do you desire God and the things of God? That’s the Holy Spirit at work in your life. Salvation is God’s gracious work—outside and inside.
Held by God: The joyous conclusion of all this is that we are held eternally secure in the good hands of God. Because we are in God’s grip, we cannot lose our salvation. The Bible teaches that our eternal security does not depend on our hanging on to God, but on God hanging on to us.
It is the desire of Sunrise Church and Reformed Churches to baptize two groups of people.
- The first group consists of men, women, and children who demonstrate a genuine faith in Jesus Christ, renounce their sinful brokenness and desire to join the church family and have not been baptized (i.e., “believer’s baptism”).
- The second group consists of the infants and children of Sunrise Church members. This practice is commonly referred to as “Covenant baptism” or infant baptism, and celebrates the entrance of a new-born child of Christian parents into the Covenant Community of God’s people. Those baptized as infants are not “saved” by this baptism, however. Covenant baptism recognizes and celebrates the blessings and benefits of being born into Christ’s Church but it must still lead one day to a personal and public profession of faith in Jesus alone for salvation.