All Articles For Believing and Confessing

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Previous article in this series: April 1, 2017, p. 301. Introduction The six paragraphs of the fifth chapter of the Second Helvetic Confession are the Reformation’s trumpet blast against the false worship of the Roman Catholic Church. Rome’s false worship, particularly her veneration of the saints, is exposed and on the basis of Scripture condemned as idolatrous. But the fifth chapter is not only negative; it is also positive. In broad strokes Heinrich Bullinger, the author of the SHC, sets forth the fundamental principles of the true worship of God, the most important of which is that God is to...

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Lord’s Day 35 Question 96. What doth God require in the second commandment? Answer. That we in no wise represent God by images, nor worship Him in any other way than He has commanded in His Word. Question 97. Are images then not at all to be made? Answer. God neither can nor may be represented by any means. But as to creatures, though they may be represented, yet God forbids to make or have any resemblance of them either in order to worship them or to serve God by them. Question 98. But may not images be tolerated in...

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Previous article in this series: March 1, 2017, p. 250. The Scriptures of the Laity Furthermore, wherever we turn our eyes, we see the living and true creatures of God which, if they be observed, as is proper, make a much more vivid impression on the beholders than all the images or vain, motionless, feeble and dead pictures made by men, of which the prophet truly said: “They have eyes, but do not see” (Ps. 115:5). Chapter 4 of the Second Helvetic Confession (SHC) develops the biblical and Reformed objection to the use of images in the worship of God....

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Previous article in this series: November 1, 2016, p. 62. Images of God Since God as Spirit is in essence invisible and immense, he cannot really be expressed by any art or image. For this reason we have no fear pronouncing with Scripture that images of God are mere lies. Therefore we reject not only the idols of the Gentiles, but also the images of Christians. Having set forth the truth concerning who God is, the truth that He is the triune God who is one in being and three in persons, the Second Helvetic Confession (SHC) devotes an entire...

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Lord’s Day 34 Q. 92. What is the law of God? A. God spake all these words, Exodus 20, Deuteronomy 5, saying: I am the Lord thy God, which hath brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 2. Thou shalt not…. Q. 93. How are these commandments divided? A. Into two tables: the first of which teaches us how we must behave towards God; the second, what duties we owe to our neighbor. Q. 94. What doth God enjoin in the first commandment? A....

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Lord’s Day 33 Question 88. Of how many parts doth the true conversion of man consist? Answer. Of two parts: of the mortification of the old, and the quickening of the new man. Question 89. What is the mortification of the old man? Answer. It is a sincere sorrow of heart that we have provoked God by our sins, and more and more to hate and flee from them. Question 90. What is the quickening of the new man? Answer. It is a sincere joy of heart in God, through Christ, and with love and delight to live according to...

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Previous article in this series: March 15, 2016, p. 275. The third chapter of the SHC concerns the fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith, the doctrine of the Trinity. Convinced of this truth from the very beginning, the Christian church confesses that although God is one divine being, He exists as three distinct persons. Together the three divine persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are the one true and living God. In the first article on this chapter we concerned ourselves with the truth that God is one, “one in essence or nature [being], subsisting in himself, all sufficient in...

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Lord’s Day 32 Q. 86. Since then we are delivered from our misery merely of grace, through Christ, without any merit of ours, why must we still do good works? A. Because Christ, having redeemed and delivered us by His blood, also renews us by His Holy Spirit after His own image; that so we may testify by the whole of our conduct our gratitude to God for His blessings, and that He may be praised by us; also, that every one may be assured in himself of his faith by the fruits thereof; and that by our godly conversation...

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Lord’s Day 31 Q. 83. What are the keys of the kingdom of heaven? A. The preaching of the holy gospel, and Christian discipline, or excommunication out of the Christian church; by these two, the kingdom of heaven is opened to believers, and shut against unbelievers. Q. 84. How is the kingdom of heaven opened and shut by the preaching of the holy gospel? A. Thus: when according to the command of Christ it is declared and publicly testified to all and every believer, that, whenever they receive the promise of the gospel by a true faith, all their sins...

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God Is One Previous article in this series: January 1, 2016, p. 157. We believe and teach that God is one in essence or nature, subsisting in himself, all sufficient in himself, invisible, incorporeal, immense, eternal, Creator of all things both visible and invisible, the greatest good, living, quickening and preserving all things, omnipotent and supremely wise, kind and merciful, just and true. Truly we detest many gods because it is expressly written: “The Lord your God is one Lord” (Deut. 6:4). “I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods before me” (Ex. 20:2-3). “I am...

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