You may be visiting Dayspring’s website and might be unfamiliar with the Reformed tradition that informs our faith. Being Reformed doesn’t mean that we are liberal or changing something. To understand, and appreciate what it means to be Reformed, it is best to go back to the source. You see, the group of churches that have been called Reformed have existed since the 16th Century, and they still go by this name throughout the world. They have been distinguished by a set of doctrinal standards that give a full orbed view of Scripture and the Christian life.
These documents give Reformed churches their distinct existence and identity. The first thing to understand is that, at the time of the Reformation (16th century), the Reformed were not starting something new but were recovering what was old. As an historic Christian Church we trace our heritage from the Old Testament, through the Apostles of Jesus Christ, through the ancient Church Fathers to these Protestant Reformers. They were called “Reformed,” because they sought to reform the Western Church according to Scripture. Man made, extra-biblical traditions like “seven sacraments” were pared back to the biblical practice of the Ancient Church. Other aspects of worship were also recovered, like congregational singing and delivering sermons and prayers in the language of the people. But it wasn’t all change; it was a recovery of all that is taught in the Old and New Testaments, which are the inspired Word of God. And so at the heart of Reformed churches are the Ancient Creeds, which express Scripture’s teaching concerning the Trinity and the Person of Christ: the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Definition of Chalcedon, and the Athanasian Creed.
In the face of persecution and confusion, these churches received confessions and catechisms to educate their congregations and to demonstrate to their oppressors that they were simply following the teaching of Scripture. On mainland Europe, these documents were the Three Forms of Unity: The Belgic Confession (1561), the Heidelberg Catechism (1563), and the Canons of Dort (1618-19). In the United Kingdom, Reformed churches were called “Presbyterian” and confessed the Westminster Standards. By summarizing the teaching of Holy Scripture, the truths in these documents structure the worship of Dayspring Reformed Church and the lives of its members. By faith, we have received grace in the gospel, Christ has obeyed the law and borne its curse on our behalf. Therefore, we respond in gratitude, striving to worship and obey our risen King.