Since all of God’s people throughout history receive salvation through the redemptive work of His Son, Jesus Christ, our local church does not proclaim a unique Gospel. The doctrines to which we subscribe were upheld by God’s servants the prophets in Old Testament times and by the Apostles in the New Testament. These doctrines have been upheld by God’s people throughout the history of man. During the first centuries after Christ’s birth and death, the early Church Fathers, often referred to as ‘The Patristics’, began to formulate doctrinal statements and creeds to which orthodox churches subscribe to this very day. Men such as Jerome, Augustine, Tertullian, Athanasius and many others were enlightened to declare the rich truths of God’s Word in a clear and orderly way. Their writings, based on the Bible, have stood the test of time and were rediscovered during the 16th Century Reformation by men such as Luther, Zwingli, Knox, Calvin and others. Previous to this Reformation the church was by and large steeped in Roman Catholic idolatry during the Middle Ages which taught that man could attain salvation through his activities. Moreover, the Catholic Church of that time believed that it could control who should be given entrance into heaven. However, by God’s grace, in 1517 Martin Luther rediscovered the Biblical doctrines of salvation, including justification by faith, while John Calvin was especially used to delineate a whole host of Biblical truths in his Institutes of the Christian Religion in 1559. As a result, orthodox churches are often referred to as Calvinists. Our local Free Reformed Church is also a ‘five point’ Calvinist which is often represented by the acrostic TULIP. This acrostic summarizes the essential doctrines of grace in the following truths: Total Depravity (of man), Unconditional Election (by God), Limited Atonement (opposing universal salvation), Irresistible Grace (not man’s free will to be restored to God), and Preservation of the Saints (none of God’s children will perish).