Hope Reformed Church meets in Powassan, which is about twenty minute drive south of North Bay, Ontario.
The best way to learn about our church is to come and join us for Christian worship on Sunday, to listen, and to ask questions. But if you’d like to read more about what we believe, the following is an explanation of some of the beliefs that we hold to and teach: we are a Christian church, an evangelical church, a Reformed church, and specifically, a Free Reformed Church.
A Christian Church
We believe that the church is the body of Christ on this earth, which is being gathered, defended, and preserved by Jesus Christ the Son of God through the work of the Holy Spirit and his Word. We believe that the foundational beliefs of this church are confessed with the church of all ages and places with the words of the Apostle’s Creed, which is a creed that has for many centuries distinguished the true church from the false:
“I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell; The third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From there He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe a holy catholic church; the communion of saints; The forgiveness of sins; The resurrection of the body; And the life everlasting. AMEN.”
An Evangelical Church
The reason that we call ourselves an evangelical church is not to identify ourselves with a broader movement, but in order to keep our place as a gospel-centered church. We strongly believe that the true preaching of the gospel, the good news that Jesus Christ saves sinners, is a main mark of the true church. We believe that the promise that whoever believes in Christ will not perish but have everlasting life, along with the command to repent and believe should be declared and published in all places, and to all persons freely. Being a gospel-centered church also means that we have a very high view of the Bible as the Word of God. We believe that the 66 books of the Old and New Testament are the inspired, error free, authoritative, and trustworthy Word of God.
A Reformed Church
As a Reformed church, we have our roots in the Reformation of the church in the 1500s. The Reformation began when reading and preaching of the Bible in ordinary languages was blessed by the Holy Spirit. This recovery of the Word of God exposed that the Roman Catholic institution had fallen into false teaching and corruption so serious that it could no longer be called a true church. As Reformed Churches we believe in the five “alone” statements of the Reformation that distinguish us from the Roman Catholic institution. They are (1) that we trust in Christ alone for salvation, (2) believe in scripture alone, (3) are saved by grace alone, (4) are saved through faith alone, and (5) live for God’s glory alone.
As Reformed churches, we are also confessional churches. This means that we hold to what are known as the Three Forms of Unity as statements of our faith and doctrine which bind us together. We believe that these confessions are helpful, dependable, and authoritative summaries of Bible truth which have stood the test of time. These confessional statements are the Belgic Confession of Faith, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Canons of Dort. Please do take the time to read them carefully, and you will soon see that their content and often their actual words are taken directly from the Bible.
A Free Reformed Church
The “Free” in Free Reformed emphasizes our historical position on the need for freedom from outside influences, especially the control of government or other earthly powers, which have attempted to use the church as a way to gain influence and money. As a church, we have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ from the powers of this world. We believe that the church of Christ is at the very centre of God’s plan for this world, and that it should not serve any end other than the promotion of His kingdom.
One of our distinctives as Free Reformed Churches is also our understanding of the Biblical theme of covenant. We believe that God’s promises of freedom are, and always have been, extended to believers and their families. (Acts 2:39, 1 Cor. 7:14) This means that children of believers should be baptized as infants. Though we do not presume that children are born again, we emphasize that the children of believers are covenant children, that they live under the blessings of God’s promises, and also are under a special responsibility to respond to his promises.
Finally, as Free Reformed churches we also confess that though believers are born again, in this life they are not yet perfected. We are in constant need of renewal and reforming by the work of the Holy Spirit and by means of the Word. As a body of believers, we need one another for accountability, encouragement, and the lifting up of one another in prayer. We believe that it is by grace alone that we may be preserved until the last day.