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Who Are We?           
Grace Reformed Church in Willows

GRACE – “Grace” is God’s unmerited favor, which He gives to His creatures that never earned it nor deserve it (Rom. 11:36). Our creation by God is a gift of His grace, for we did not will ourselves into existence (Acts 17:25). How much more is our salvation from our sinful rebellion against God by the work of Jesus Christ. Because we have rebelled against our Creator, defining good and evil for ourselves, we deserve nothing but the punishment of death and eternal, conscious torment. Just one sin is an everlasting insult to our Holy, Just, and Good God. And we sin every moment of every day in our thoughts, words, and actions, for our hearts are “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jer. 17:9; cf. Gen. 6:5). That is why God’s plan to redeem us, His enemies, is a gift of grace. In love and grace, God the Father sent His eternally-begotten Son to be an obedient servant who would suffer the eternal, conscious torment we deserve for our sins (John 3:16; Phil. 2-5-8). In grace, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day for our justification, that we would be declared “righteous” and “holy” before God in Him (Rom. 4:25). In His ascension to heaven, He sends the Holy Spirit to bring us, His enemies, into a new life in Jesus. As the Apostle Paul says, “By grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9). We exist as a church in Willows by the grace of our Triune God, who made us, redeemed us, and sanctifies us until Jesus comes again.

REFORMED – "Reformed” ties back to our history as a church from the Protestant Reformation of the 1500s. Our fathers and mothers in the faith sought to reform their teaching, worship, and life according to the Word of God alone (Sola Scriptura) and not according to the opinions of men or the councils of the Church. The Reformation, in this way, was a “back to the Bible” movement that wanted to return to the “gospel” that our Lord and His apostles taught from the beginning. This gospel teaches that we are saved by grace alone (Sola Gratia), through faith alone (Sola Fide), in Christ alone (Solus Christus), and for the glory of God alone (Soli Deo Gloria). As a “Reformed” church, we also subscribe to creeds and confessions such as the Apostle’s Creed (4th century), the Nicene Creed (381), the Athanasian Creed (6th century), the Heidelberg Catechism (1563), the Belgic Confession of Faith (1561), and the Canons of Dordt (1619). While these confessions are subordinate to the Word of God, our infallible rule of faith and life, they are nevertheless faithful summaries of what we believe the Word of God to teach. As we use these summaries of the gospel in our worship and our discipleship, we seek to be “reformed” in our hearts, our minds, and our lives to reflect the gospel of Jesus, who loved us and gave Himself for us.

CHURCH – "Church” means “assembly” or “called together” in the Bible. It refers to the chosen communion of redeemed sinners, from the beginning to the end of the world, whom Jesus Christ, by His Word and Spirit, gathers, defends, and preserves for Himself to eternal life (Heidelberg Catechism #54). We confess that we are a part of that universal body of believers in Jesus Christ who are being gathered from all nations to worship and serve our Redeemer forever. Our fellowship with our brothers and sisters throughout the ages is reflected in many ways. We hear the same Word of God read, preached, prayed, and lived out in worship and service that our fathers in the faith received (2 Tim. 3:16-17). We worship the same God and Father in the Name of His Son, Jesus Christ, through the working of the Holy Spirit as fellow believers have since the beginning (cf. John 4:24; 2 Cor. 13:14). We conduct our worship services in a pattern that follows what earlier believers did: Call to Worship, Confession of Sins and Forgiveness,

Consecration by the Word, Communion in the Supper, and Commission to be a Blessing (cf. Ex. 24:1-11; 2 Chron. 5-7; Acts 2:42-47). We sing the Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs composed by Moses, David, Bernard of Clairvaux, Martin Luther, Isaac Watts, John Newton, and many others. In these ways and more, we confess that we are part of a larger body of redeemed sinners being gathered by our Lord Jesus Christ for worship and service to our God forever.

We sincerely invite you to come and join us in our Sunday morning worship services, Sunday School classes (September-May), and fellowship opportunities as we glorify our God and enjoy Him forever in Jesus Christ. Join us to confess our only comfort in life and death: that we belong, body and soul, to our faithful Savior, Jesus Christ (Heidelberg Catechism #1).

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