The Reformed faith, also called Calvinism, is true biblical Christianity that was reclaimed during the Protestant Reformation of the 16th and 17th centuries.
A brief summary of the doctrines that are characteristic of the Reformed faith are described as follows:
The Bible is the inspired, inerrant word of God. It is entirely trustworthy and the only source of special revelation for the church today.
The Bible is the only basis of what we are to believe and how we are to live our lives.
The God of the Bible is the one true God.
He is entirely self-sufficient.
He upholds and governs the heavens and earth according to his will.
He is completely sovereign and in absolute control of all things. "He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him 'What have you done? '" (Daniel 4:35).
The Reformed faith lifts up God and gives glory to him alone.
God established two covenants with man:
The Covenant of Works: God promised life to Adam and his posterity upon the condition of perfect obedience. Adam broke the covenant and lost eternal life.
The Covenant of Grace: God delivered man through grace by Jesus Christ. Salvation is a work of grace by the three persons of the Godhead. This saving work is summarized below:
Total Depravity--Man in his natural state is dead in trespasses and sins, hostile to God and incapable of doing anything to bring about his salvation.
Unconditional Election--Those who will be saved were sovereignly chosen by God the Father.
Limited Atonement--Jesus Christ died only for those whom the Father had given to him (the elect).
Irresistible Grace--The elect are drawn to believe in Christ by the Holy Spirit and salvation is effectually applied to them.
Perseverance of the Saints--The truly saved will never be lost.
Excerpted from "What is the Reformed Faith?" by the Committee on Christian Education of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.