As we gather together each week to worship our risen Lord, we’ve given our local and particular expression of Christ’s body a name, and I want us to think about what our church’s name means, and what it tells us and the world about who we are. Our name is often the first contact people have with us, and a good name will provide people with a clear understanding of who we are, and what we value.
We believe that Christ Reformed Evangelical Church is a wonderful name, one that makes our identity and mission clear. Each word in our name gives us new information, which connects us with our Christian history, and reveals the theological and ecclesiastical inheritance that we have been entrusted with. Understanding each word should enable us to appreciate and understand who we are and what we love, and our name can provide a helpful tool to help us explain those things to others. So, beginning with “Christ”, we’ll be asking questions of our church’s name in order to get to know her better.
Christ – When you encounter the name of our church, the first word you encounter tells you everything you need to know about what is most important to us. Christ Jesus is the object of our worship, the foundation of our church, the reason for our church, the head of our church, and the life of our church. Without Christ, we would not be meeting together as a church under any name.
Now, as a church, we are Trinitarian in our doctrine. We believe that God has revealed Himself to man as one God, existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Using “Christ” in our name doesn’t mean that we think more highly of Christ than we do of the other two persons of the Godhead. But the Bible presents Christ as having a unique relationship to the Church: the Church is not the bride of the Holy Spirit or the Father, and Christ alone is said to be the head of the Church. There is no jealousy within the Godhead: the Father and the Spirit are not slighted when Christ is exalted. Rather, because of the special union of the Trinity, they are included, and share in that praise.
Notice also that before we are “Reformed”, and before we are “Evangelical”, we are Christians. We strive to be as catholic as Jesus is, and we think it is more important to be in Christ than it is to be Reformed or Evangelical. Now, we believe that following Christ according to His Word leads to both of those things, but we would encourage you to come and worship Christ with us even if you’re not sure about what those other words mean.
Ultimately, we are Christ Reformed Evangelical Church because Christ is worshiped here.