- the inspiration, authority, inerrancy and sufficiency of Holy Scripture (John 10:35; II Tim. 3:16-17), including the literal teaching of Genesis 1-11 (I Tim. 1:4).
- God's sovereign, unconditional and particular election, redemption, call, preservation and glorification of His people in Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:28-39; Eph. 1:3-14).
- God's infinite, eternal and unchanging love for His elect in Christ (Rom. 8:35-39; Eph. 3:18-19), which excludes a love of God for the reprobate (Ps. 5:4-6; 11:5-7; Rom. 9:13).
- the unconditional establishment, maintenance, and realization of the covenant of grace through Jesus Christ with believers and their elect seed, requiring infant baptism for the children of believers (Gen. 17:7; Acts 2:39; 16:14-15; Col. 2:11-12; Rom 9:6-8).
- faithful preaching by qualified and ordained men, as opposed to lay-preaching and women office-bearers and missionaries, is the voice of Jesus Christ and the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16; 10:14-15; I Cor. 14:34-35; I Thess. 2:13; I Tim. 2:11-3:13).
- the Most High, and not man, determines how He must be worshipped (John 4:24; Col 2:23), including reverent congregational singing of God-breathed Psalms (Ps. 95:2; II Sam. 23:1-2; James 5:13), and all worship of human invention is despicable idolatry (Exo. 20:4-6; Lev. 10:1-3; Exo. 32:1-5; Mal. 1:6-14; Heb. 13:15).
- marriage is a life-long unbreakable bond (Gen. 2:24), the earthly symbol of the union of Christ and His church (Eph. 5:22-33), and that remarriage while one's spouse is living is adultery (Matt. 5:32; Mark 10:11-12; Luke 16:18; Rom. 7:2-3; I Cor. 7:39).
- the Triune God calls His people to be spiritually separate from the world in thought and life (Rom. 12:1-2; II Cor. 6:14-7:1).
- the Holy Supper, which is the communion of the blood and body of Christ (I Cor. 10:16; Eph. 5:29-32), wherein our souls are truly fed by Him through faith (John 6:26-69; Heb. 3:14; Phil. 3:20; Eph. 3:17; I Cor. 2:14), in remembrance of Christ's body broken and blood shed for us (I Cor. 11:23-26; Luke 22:19-20; Matt. 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Rom. 5:9; Heb. 9:12), ought to be overseen and administered only by lawfully appointed office-bearers (I Peter 5:1-5; Heb. 12:15-16; Acts 20:28-31) who must guard the Lord's table by Christian discipline (I Cor. 5:6-13; Matt. 18:15-18; Ps. 101:1-8), and warn of the terrible judgments for the whole congregation if any eat or drink unworthily (I Cor. 11:27-34; Lev. 10:1-3; Josh. 7:1) so that we are not of one body with wicked unbelievers, hypocrites and the impenitent (I Cor. 10:17; I Cor. 10:20-22; II Cor. 6:11-18; Eph 5:3-11; Exo. 12:43, 48) to partake of their sins (I Cor. 5:11; II Thess. 3:6; II Thess. 3:14; Rev. 18:4), and therefore the negligence and pollution of unguarded open communion is an abomination to God (Eze. 34:1-31; Isa. 1:14; Matt. 15:3-9; Jer. 2:7-13; 10:20-21; Jer. 23:1-4; Zeph. 3:3-4; Zech. 11:17).
- the gifts of miracle-working, healing, prophecy, and tongues which were appointed as signs (II Cor. 12:12; Mark 16:14-18; Heb. 2:1-4; I Cor. 14:20-22; Rom. 15:18-19; I Cor. 9:2) for confirming and communicating new revelation of previously hidden mysteries (Eph. 3:3-6; I Cor. 14:2; Col. 1:25-29; Rom. 16:25-27; I Cor. 2:7) ceased with the passing of the apostolic age along with the extraordinary offices, at which time the foundation of Holy Scripture and the church was completed (Eph. 2:20; I Cor. 3:10-11; Rev. 21:14; Dan 9:24; Deut. 18:20; Jer. 14:14-15; Eze. 13:3-9) and that modern fabrications of these are despising the more sure word of prophecy (I Pet. 1:19-21) and an attempt to quench the Spirit (I Thess. 5:19-21; Eph. 4:29-30; Jer. 23:30-32; Matt. 15:7-9) who now speaks only through the Holy Scriptures and the preaching thereof (Heb. 4:12; Eph 2:17; John 14:26), and is also a sign of the coming judgment on the wicked who received not the love of the truth that they might be damned (II Thess. 2:9-12; Jer. 27:10, 15; Matt. 24:4-5, 11, 24; Rev. 13:11-14; Rev. 19:20).
- Jesus Christ, the sovereign Lord of history, orders all things in creation, the world, and the church, including the signs of His coming, for His glorious bodily return at the end of the age to judge the righteous and the ungodly and to usher in the new heavens and the new earth (Matt. 24-25).
- the Greek Received Text (I Tim. 5:18; II Pet. 3:15-16; Col. 4:16) and Hebrew Masoretic Text, which have been preserved by God throughout the ages in His church (Matt. 5:18; 24:35; Luke 16:17; John 10:35; I Tim. 3:15; Matt. 16:18; John 8:32; John 16:7-15), are Holy Scripture, as Christ held the preserved and standard Hebrew text of the Old Testament as Scripture (Luke 4:16-21), and so other texts ought to be rejected for we are not wiser than God (Jer. 2:9-13).
- there are dire warnings for trying to add or subtract from God's Word (Prov. 30:6; Rev 22:18-19), and that each word of Scripture is important (Gal 3:16; Matt. 22:43), and so only translations by “formal equivalence” ought also to be accepted as God's Word (Rom 9:17; 10:11), but only insofar as they are accurate to the original, for which we hold the KJV to be currently the best translation in English and God's authoritative Word (Acts 8:30-35).
The Absolute Sovereignty of God
We believe in the absolute sovereignty of God. Few speak of it. Others pay but lip-service to it. Yet this is a fundamental truth upon which rests all doctrine. That God is sovereign means:
- He is in complete control over all things without exception (Dan. 4:35; Ps. 135:6; Isa. 46:9-10).
- He eternally decreed all events in creation, including earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis and even the snow and the rain (Job 37:6; Ps. 97:5; 147:15-18; Isa. 29:6; Rev. 6:12).
- He rules over all illnesses and death of every individual (Ex 9:1-16; Job 1:21; Isa. 38).
- He governs all men, both good and evil (Ps. 2; Prov. 21:1; Isa. 45:7; Acts 2:23; 4:27-28).
- He reigns over the devil and the fallen angels (Job 1:12; 2:6; Rom. 16:20).
- Thus nothing happens by chance or accident (Gen. 50:20; I Sam. 6:9; Mt. 10:29-30; Rom. 8:28).
This truth has important implications for the proclamation of the gospel of cross of Christ. The sovereign God must not be presented in the preaching as a great beggar pleading with the sinner to accept Jesus. The Most High is the Almighty Creator, who speaks and it is done, and commands and it stands fast (Ps. 33:9)
The incarnate, crucified and risen Son of God sits on the throne of the universe; how can He be portrayed as pleading for admittance into the sinner's heart? God forbid! Could a sovereign God earnestly desire (yet fail to affect) the salvation of everybody, including the reprobate? Then His will is frustrated! If our God is the absolute Sovereign, why then do so many in our day present Him in the above manner? We are speaking, you understand, not about mere man but about the true and living God! For “our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased” (Ps. 115:3). We are not free to minimise His greatness nor compromise His power. God must remain God in our evangelism, as well as in our consciousness and in our worship.
The sovereign God eternally predestinated His people to salvation in Christ (Rom. 8:29-30; Eph. 1:4). In time, He gives His elect to Christ and draws them so that they come to Him (John 6:37, 44). The Holy Spirit opens the heart of elect sinner so that he believes (Acts 16:14). We are called to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, for Scripture reminds us that it is God who works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Phil. 2:12-13). The good works of all the elect are eternally foreordained by the Lord that we should walk in them (Eph. 2:10). The unchangeable Jehovah preserves all His people, infallibly bringing them to glory (Phil. 1:6).
Do you believe the clear testimony of Holy Scripture to God's absolute sovereignty? The Limerick Reformed Fellowship invites you to worship the God of all grace with us: “In [Christ] we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all thing after the counsel of his own will: that we should be to the praise of his glory” (Eph. 1:11-12).