About Us2019-09-01T19:47:41+10:00

What We Believe

We are a community of people who come from all walks of life and cultures, young and old, who gather together because we share a common faith by grace.

We believe that it is only through faith by grace in Christ that we can be saved.

We believe that the Bible is our only authority and the Christ is our sole mediator between God and man.

As we fellowship with one another and with God, we seek to encourage one another, grow in our knowledge of God and that God would also use us to reach others for Jesus in the local community of the Blue Mountains and further afield, wherever we may go.

Statement of Faith

To help us understand the teaching of Scripture a few statements have been formulated regarding the…



The Bible points people to Jesus Christ. He died a cruel death on a cross, has been resurrected and exalted to reign over the universe. He accomplished this for the sins of all those who place their trust and hope in Him. In our church community we proclaim Jesus to be the Lord and Saviour. We teach that ultimately no one can come to God and hence eternal life, except through Jesus Christ.



People will only come to faith in Jesus Christ by the gracious work of God’s Holy Spirit. He convicts people of their sin and their need for forgiveness through the work of Jesus as the perfect sacrifice. The Holy Spirit produces thankfulness in the believer’s heart and thereby changes a person’s heart so that they leave their life of disobedience to God and become more and more obedient to God. This process of new life and obedience continues until God takes His believers to be with Him.



God’s people are not confined to one denomination, one nation or one time. Every person who serves Jesus as Lord by the Holy Spirit is a son or daughter of God, the Father. In our church community we welcome people who love the Lord, and desire to worship with us, irrespective of their particular traditions.



The Gospel of God in Jesus Christ should be preached in keeping with Christ’s command.  We believe that the Holy Spirit is able to convict people of their sin and cause them to turn from their sins and believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. In our church community we call people to faith and send people into the world to proclaim this Good News.



God calls people to believe in Jesus so that they may live a life of holiness and love to the glory of God. In our church community we urge each other to do the good works which God has intended us to do.



A person who believes in Jesus Christ has been ‘born again’ and is therefore destined for eternal life. Such a person is delivered from the meaninglessness that is so often part of life, and from the eternal punishment of hell. Such a person is adopted by God as His child, is indwelt by the Holy Spirit and is assured of a home in heaven. In our church community we rejoice in this certain hope of life forever with our God.



Jesus has told people to be baptised in His Name and to remember Him at the Lord’s Supper. In our church community we receive these signs of God’s love with faith and joy to strengthen us.



God is pleased when people respond to His Word with joyful hearts and obedient service. In our church community we seek to make God’s message as plain as possible and to encourage a response of gratitude.

If this has raised questions for you, or want some clarification, check out our FAQs or use the enquiry form on the contact us page.

The Doctrines of Grace

The Doctrines of Grace are also known as the Five Points of Calvinism, with the acronym TULIP. The five points are as follows:

T – TOTAL INABILITY: In our natural state of spiritual death, we are unable and unwilling to come to Christ (Jeremiah 17:9; Mathew 15:19; Romans 3:10-18)
U– UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION: God’s choice in salvation is not dependent on human will or ability, or any foreseen traits (Ephesians 1:4,5; Romans 5:8; Romans 5:10; Romans 8:30)
L – LIMITED ATONEMENT: Christ fully paid the sin debt of His people and accomplished salvation on their behalf (Acts 13:48; Romans 9:13;  Romans 9:15; 2 Corinthians 6:2; John 17:20)
I – IRRESISTIBLE GRACE: Those whom God elected He draws to Himself through irresistible grace. God makes man willing to come to Him (John 6:37 & 44; Galatians 3:14; 2 Peter 1:3,4)
P– PRESERVATION OF THE SAINTS: None whom God elected will be lost, they are eternally secure (John 10:28-29; Romans 8:1; Romans 8:31-39)

The Doctrines of Grace were defined by the Synod of Dort (1618-1619) and is also known as The Five Points of Calvinism with the acronym of TULIP. The statements formulated to correct to five unbiblical points of teaching that are identified as Arminian teaching.

Arminius erroneously taught that the sovereign will of God is limited by the will of His creatures; that God’s decree of election proceeded from God’s prior knowledge of men’s free decision to repent and accept Christ, so that it is really man, and not God, who determines which persons shall receive eternal life.

Synod of Dort called these teachings out to be contrary to Scripture’s teaching and formulated the statement that became known as the Five Points of Calvinism.

The Five Solas (The Five Alones)

These five biblical truths were defined in the great Reformation through which the Protestant churches came about. These defined in stark contrast the issues the reformers had with the then Roman Catholic Church.

Christ Alone (Solus Christus)

To proclaim Jesus Christ and Him crucified. That Christ is the only way of salvation for mankind. This truth is central to the message of the Bible. 2 Timothy 3: 15 – 17; Acts 15

Christ Alone

The focus of this statement was not as a rejection of the view held by the Roman Catholic Church on the doctrine of the person of Christ, but rather the work of Christ.
The statement Solus Christus is a rejection of the sacramental system that was constructed in the RCC in which the grace of Christ was mediated via sacramental works and an elaborate system of priests controlling a Christian’s whole life – from birth to death and beyond.

Scripture Alone (Sola Scriptura)

Scripture is to be understood as the sole source of divine revelation, the only inspired, infallible, final, and authoritative norm of faith and practise. 2 Timothy 3: 15 – 17; Acts 15

Scripture Alone

Scripture is to be interpreted in and by the church, and it is to be interpreted within the hermeneutical context of the rule of faith.
This statement of Sola Scriptura came as a response to and rebuttal of the perceived error within the Roman Catholic Church that over the course of many centuries the Roman Catholic Church – ruled from Rome – had adopted a view the final authority of the relation between the Church, Scripture, and Tradition was placed somewhere other than the Word of God.

Faith Alone (Sola Fide)

Faith is the sole instrument of justification, and that even this faith is a gift of God. It is by Grace. Romans 3: 21 – 28; Ephesians 2: 8 – 9; as well as Hebrews 11:1; Matthew 5: 48; 2 Corinthians 5:21

Faith Alone

This statement of SOLA FIDE came in response to and rebuttal of the view held by the Roman Catholic Church – as they stated in Decree of the Council of Trent 1547 – that justification is not by faith alone because hope and charity (i.e. love) must be added. Further, that in order for a person to be declared righteous before God, he or she first has to be made righteous by God. The person cooperating with grace, therefore, has an inherent righteousness. One can lose this state of grace through mortal sin.

Grace Alone (Sola Gratia)

A sinner’s salvation is an act of pure grace, and grace alone, on the part of God. Ephesians 2: 8 – 9; as well as Romans 3: 10 – 12; Ephesians 2:1

Grace Alone

The statement of Sola Gratia came in response to and rebuttal of the Roman Catholic Church having taken on a type of semi-Pelagianism. This being a belief in essence that Adam’s sin had only affected Adam, and that if God commanded something then man was naturally (apart from grace) able to do it.
The justification of the sinner was seen as a kind of synergistic, co-operative work between God and the sinner.

Glory to God Alone (Sola Deo Gloria)

This sola forms the “book ends” to the other four. The Holy Spirit inspired the Scriptures to the glory of God Alone. Christ humbled Himself to the point of death and was raised and exalted to the right hand of the Father to the glory of God alone.Grace and mercy are offered to rebellious sinners to the glory of God alone. Justification is by faith alone to the glory of God alone.

Glory to God Alone

Soli Deo Gloria, therefore, is central.
Acts 7:2; 1 Corinthians 2:8.
There are many passages in Scripture that call on all creation to give all glory to God alone.
See Exodus 14:4ff; Psalm 8:1; 19:1; Psalm 24:7ff; Psalm 29:1ff; Psalm 57:1ff; Psalm 73:25-28; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Romans 11:36; Revelation 1:6; Revelation 4:11 and many, many others.

We hold to the creeds of the Western Church known as the Ecumenical Creeds – The Apostle’s Creed, The Nicene Creed and the Athanasian Creed.
To further assist us we also have the detailed understanding of the Christian faith that is set out in three confessions: The Belgic Confession, The Heidelberg Catechism, and the Canons of Dordt.

Creeds can be challenged – unlike Scripture. If a person believes that a creed expresses something contrary to Scripture, the matter can be raised in what is called a ‘gravamen’ to the courts of the CRCA. Such a process begins within the local church and elders discussing the ‘gravamen’ and where no agreement or resolution is able to be agreed upon, it can be brought to Classis of that church and then, if necessary, to the CRCA Synod.

Our Local Story

Members from the St Marys CRCA church who were living in the lower Blue Mountains established a Christian Reformed church in their local area in the 1970s. The group began meeting at Mt Riverview Anglican Church and then at the Wycliffe Christian School before moving to its current location in East Blaxland and became formally instituted by the CRCA in 1980 as the “Christian Reformed Church of Blaxland”.

The local church has sought in various ways to witness to the local community through word and action. For many years the church ran the popular Noah’s Ark Holiday Club with up to 120 children attending. We thank God for this and other opportunities we have had to serve our local community. Our current activities are listed in the Ministries page.

The church is a strong supporter of Christian Education with members being involved in the establishment of Wycliffe Christian School and Nepean Christian School (NCS).  For nine years NCS had temporary accommodation on the churches grounds. The church also works collaboratively with other local denominations in providing SRE (Special Religious Education) to the local primary schools and Blaxland High School.

Our Connections

The Christian Reformed Church of Blaxland is one of many congregations of various sizes scattered across Australia that are collectively known as the Christian Reformed Churches of Australia (CRCA). Commencing in 1951, churches were instituted in Sydney and Wollongong in NSW, and Ulverstone and Penguin in Tasmania. The denomination has grown to over 58 congregations with approximately 8,000 members.

The CRCA is part of a family of Reformed and Presbyterian Churches that have spread worldwide. These churches trace their roots back through to the Protestant Reformation – a 16th century reform movement in church and society led by people such as Martin Luther and John Calvin – back to the beginnings of the Church at the time of Jesus. Thus share an important part of the history and beliefs of the whole Christian Church.

Christian Reformed Churches are confessional churches that uphold the confessions of the Reformation including the Heidelberg Catechism, Belgic Confession, Canons of Dort and Westminster Confession.

Migrants from the Netherlands, having come to Australia weary of war and church strife had no wish to begin another church. Some joined the Free Presbyterian Churches but the ‘unaccompanied singing and Psalms only’ worship was difficult for them. Others went to the Presbyterian Church of Australia and found at the time the denomination was battling liberalism and toleration of elders and ministers being members of secret societies such as The Masonic Lodge.

In 1952 the new, fledgling denomination held its first Synod and decided on the name Reformed Churches of Australia. The name sought to do justice to the importance and autonomy of each local church even as they agreed to work together as a denomination. A Church Order (guidelines for how the church operates and conduct itself) was adopted which was a modified version of the one used by the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA). Similarly, the first hymn book and catechism teaching material came from the CRCNA.

At the CRCA Synod of 2000 it was agreed by the churches to identify the denomination as the Christian Reformed Churches of Australia.

CRCA Governance

Our churches are individually autonomous and “presbyterian” in governance, with each congregation being led by a Session (or Council) consisting of Elders and Deacons.

It is not “congregational” in structure – that is, totally democratic, as found in many evangelical and Pentecostal churches, with authority vested in the congregation as a whole.

Neither is it of the “pyramid” kind with a hierarchy of bishops and archbishops.
The “presbyterian” model is what we find modelled in scripture in the books of Timothy and Titus.

The CRCA operates with three levels of governance:
The Session– a local congregation is guided by elected suitable Elders and Deacons who form the Session (Council).
The Session is the prime authority base within the CRCA. Individual members of the Session do not hold authority on their own.
The pastor is one among the members of the session and holds the Teaching Elder role.

The Classis– is the gathering of the Christian Reformed Churches in a particular state or area.
In NSW – combined with the ACT – thirteen churches meet once every three months, with each church represented by two delegates from their Session.
A Classis only has authority when it meets, that is, binding decisions cannot be made outside of it.

The Synod– is the gathering of all the Classes of the CRCA once every three years.
At Synods policies are formulated, directions are weighed up and new ways forward are explored.
As with a Classis, Synod only has authority when it meets, that is, binding decisions cannot be made outside of it.
The affairs of the CRCA are administered by the Synodical Business & Finance Committee and other matters affecting the church, as a whole, are looked after by the Synodical Interim Committee. Both only acting on decisions already made.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do we mean by “to have faith” and what is it exactly?2019-08-06T23:17:20+10:00

A dictionary definition of faith is, “the theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God’s will.”
For a Christians it is a way of life, and not to be confused with being just words on a page.
Faith is the acceptance of what cannot be seen but we know deep within our hearts.
It is a belief that one-day we will stand before our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Scriptures’ definition of faith is “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” Hebrews 11:1.

What do we mean when we say, “you need to be saved?” “Saved from what?”2019-08-06T23:17:43+10:00

The result of Adam’s rebellion against God the Creator was God’s judgment through many curses (Genesis 3).
God cursed the ground, which mankind had governed and cared for (Genesis 1:28). He sentenced the man and woman to die, as he said would happen in Genesis 2:17. He also cursed the animals as well as the serpent. Humans (i.e., you and me, descendants of Adam) inherit this “original sin.”
In layman’s terms, it means that we are sentenced to die – we are prone to sin because we were “in Adam” when he sinned. In effect, God removed some of His sustaining power, and so the creation was no longer maintained in a perfect state (Romans 8: 21).
That results in us now suffering things like cancer, sickness, hardship, aging and finally, death.
The good news is that despite our sin, God loved us so much that He had already planned a way for us to return to a perfect relationship with Him. (John 3: 16; Romans 3: 9-12; Romans 5: 12; Romans 6: 23; Psalm 14: 2-3).

What is the “Bible”? – also referred to as “Holy Scripture”2021-08-10T21:58:16+10:00


This means:
• We believe that the Holy Bible, both the Old and New Testament, are the infallible Word of God.
• We believe that God has spoken with Authority and in a reliable way through the Bible.
• We acknowledge the Bible to be the rule for our faith and behaviour.
• We believe that the Word of God, through the work of the Holy Spirit, is able to make all people wise unto salvation.
• We believe the Bible (from the Greek word biblos, Greek for ‘book’), to be a collection of ancient writings setting out God’s revelation to mankind, telling the story of God’s relationship with people the crown of his creation. We believe the Bible has been ‘God-breathed’ – that God inspired the writers as they recorded his words.
We believe this to be foundational to the Christian faith. Through the Bible people can learn more about God and the unfolding of his eternal plan to restore all people and the entire world to himself, by sending his son Jesus Christ to live on earth.

There are two sections to the Bible – the Old Testament made up of writings before the time of Jesus and the New Testament containing writings from during and after Jesus’ life on earth.
We accept the bible cannon as 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament, as listed in the Belgic and Westminster Confessions –  links to CRCA website)

The Bible was written over a period of more than 1,000 years, by more than forty different people and written in several different types of writings. The Old Testament has historical books, law, poetry, wisdom and prophetic books. The New Testament has four Gospels, one history book, 21 letters and one prophetic book.
It is the world’s best-selling book.

What is a “mediator” and why do I need one?2021-08-10T21:56:36+10:00

A chasm exists between men and God. [God is represented as “Light – pure and holy” Mankind in his sinful state is represented as “Darkness”.  The two cannot be together and remain in the original state]. That distance between Creator [God] and creation [man] needs to be bridged by one who is mutually representative. People are fallen humans in need of a mediator between ourselves and God. People need him [mediator] to represent us judicially. People are all corrupted with the guilt of Adam and are born with sin-enslaved souls. Moral offense separates mankind from God and requires reconciliation on the grounds of atonement by the Messiah. Jesus Christ is that Mediator between God and man. [Heidelberg Catechism Q&As 15-19  – link to CRCA website)

“For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2: 5);  “For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”(Hebrews 9: 15)

Who is “God”? (The Holy Trinity)2021-08-10T21:55:41+10:00

God is the Creator and Ruler of the Universe. He has eternally existed in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God, as described in Genesis 1:26 – 27; 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; and 1 Peter 1:2. (See also Belgic Confession Article 8 & 9  – link to CRCA website)

Who is the Father? God is Father is revealed throughout Scripture.    Revealed to Pharaoh as the father of Israel (Exodus 4:22–23). The New Testament gives a fuller picture of God as Father, Jesus frequently referred to the God of Israel as His Father (John 5:18), and tells us to address God as “our Father” when we pray (Matt. 6:9–13). The first person of the Trinity, who is fully God, is our Father. God the Father is Father not to all people, but only to those who trust in Jesus (John 1:12–13). God the Father, who made all things, takes us who believe as His dearly beloved children in Christ. (See also Belgic Confession Article 8 –  link to CRCA website)

Who is Jesus Christ?   Jesus Christ is the Son of God who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He is co-equal with the Father.  He is the incarnate Son and second person of the Trinity, is fully God and is our Brother (Heb. 2:11). Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again someday to earth to reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, as shown in Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:22 – 23; John 1:1-5,14:10-30; Acts 1:9-11; Romans 1:3 – 4; 1 Corinthians 15:3 – 4; 1 Timothy 6:14 – 15; Titus 2:13; and Hebrews 4:14 – 15. (See also Belgic Confession Article 8 & 10 – link to CRCA website)

Who is the Holy Spirit / Holy Ghost?    The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ.  He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, is fully God and is our Helper (John 14:26; Acts 5:3–4). As Christians we seek to live under His control daily. This is depicted in John 16:7-13; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; 2 Corinthians 3:17,14:16 -17; Galatians 5:25; and Ephesians 1:13 (See also Belgic Confession Article 8 & 11  – link to CRCA website)

Who is “Man” (What does it mean to be Human?)2021-08-10T21:53:10+10:00

People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. People are the supreme object of God’s creation.  Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called ‘sin’. This attitude separates people from God and causes many problems in life, the story shown in Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a, 59:1-2; and Romans 3:23. (See also Belgic Confession Article 14 & 15  – link to CRCA website)

What are Sacraments, and what are they?2021-08-10T21:52:52+10:00

Sacraments are symbols used by God to connect with us in a unique way to reassure us of His forgiveness and love.
These symbols/sacraments are known as ‘signs’ and ‘seals’. Signs in that they are physical symbols of a spiritual reality, and Seals in that they guarantee that what is symbolized is real.

Sacraments inspire us to remember what Jesus has done for us on the cross, and remind us that Jesus promised to always be present with us. Christ instituted two sacraments, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

Scripture clearly teaches that the sacraments are only for those who can receive them in true faith. To be able to take part in the sacraments, we need to examine ourselves to confirm:
(1) we continue to deplore our sin,
(2) we are trusting in Jesus alone for our salvation,
(3) we are willing to live our life committed to God out of thankfulness and love for what He has done through Jesus Christ.
Scripture references: 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Ephesians 5:5; Colossians 3:5-10

What is Baptism? Do I need it? In Baptism the sign is water – which points to the blood of Christ. The seal is the guarantee that as surely as water washes away dirt, so surely Christ’s blood cleanses us from all our sins. We understand that all who believe in Jesus, and their children, ought to be baptised because they have entered into God’s covenant of Grace, pictured in Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:39; and 1 Peter 2:9 (See also Heidelberg Catechism Q&As 69 – 74  – link to CRCA website)

What is the Lord’s Supper? In the Lord’s Supper the sign of bread and wine point to the body and blood of Christ. The seal in the Lord’s Supper is the guarantee that as we share in the bread and wine we are reminded that his sacrifice paid the price for us to be in renewed relationship with our Creator God, represented in Isaiah 53:5; Matthew 6:26-29; John 10:11, 26-30; and 1Corinthians 11:24-26 (See also Heidelberg Catechism Q&As 75 – 82  –  link to CRCA website)

How does preaching the Gospel open and close the Kingdom of heaven?2021-08-10T21:24:19+10:00

According to the command of Christ: The kingdom of heaven is opened by proclaiming and publicly declaring to all believers, each and every one, that, as often as they accept the gospel promise in true faith, God, because of what Christ has done, truly forgives all their sins. The kingdom of heaven is closed, however, by proclaiming and publicly declaring to unbelievers and hypocrites that, as long as they do not repent, the anger of God and eternal condemnation rest on them. God’s judgment, both in this life and in the life to come, is based on this gospel testimony. (see Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 84)

What is true Faith?2021-08-10T21:29:09+10:00

True faith is not only a knowledge and conviction that everything God reveals in His Word is true. It is also a deep-rooted assurance, created in me by the Holy Spirit through the gospel, that, out of sheer grace earned for us by Christ, not only others, but I too, have had my sins forgiven, have been made forever right with God, and have been granted salvation.  (see Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 21)

What is involved in genuine repentance or conversion?2021-08-10T21:33:30+10:00

Two things: the dying-away of the old self, and the coming-to-life of the new.  (see Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 88)

  • What do you mean “dying-away of the old self”?  – It is to be genuinely sorry for sin, to hate it more and more, and to run away from it.
  • What is the coming-to-life of the new self?  – It is wholehearted joy in God through Christ and a delight to do every kind of good as God wants us to.
How are faith and repentance connected?2021-08-10T21:34:36+10:00

Repentance implies faith and faith implies repentance. One cannot exist without the other. Repentance and faith are two essential elements in conversion. They constitute twin graces that can never be separated. As John Calvin, the great Church Reformer, reminds us, this is true not only of the beginning but of the whole of our Christian lives. We are believing penitents (a person who repents of sin) and penitent believers all the way to glory in Christ.

We cannot separate turning from sin in repentance and coming to Christ in faith. In one instance (repentance), the person is viewed in relation to sin; in the other (faith), the person is viewed in relation to the Lord Jesus Christ. But the individual who trusts in Christ simultaneously turns away from sin. In believing he repents and in repenting, believes (Ferguson; Which Comes First: Repentance or Faith?).

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