When we say “reformed” we are referring to the Protestant Reformation that took place in Europe in the sixteenth century. The Protestant Reformation was the movement which encouraged Christians to study the Bible and trust God’s Word as the sure and only rule for faith and life.
The “Reformers” were faithful men who protested against the false doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church and so were called protestants. They did not intend to leave the church but rather to reform it according to the Bible. The Roman Catholic Church, however, was unwilling to reform and it persecuted the reformers and excommunicated them from the Church of Rome. In response the Reformers started new churches based on the Word of God. These included the Reformed Churches in Europe, the Anglican Church in England and the Presbyterian Church in Scotland.
The “Reformed churches” are based completely on the Word of God as the written revelation of God rather than depending on the tradition of man or on supposed new revelations of the Spirit.