The Apostles’ Creed which very closely resembles-the Nicene Creed is commonly divided into 12 articles. This is done, for example, by the Heidelberg Catechism in Lord’s Day 7, where the Apostles’ Creed is called the “articles of our catholic undoubted Christian faith.” In like manner it is also possible to divide the Nicene Creed into 12 articles. This is done, for example, by Philip Schaff in his The Creeds of Christendom (cf. Vol. 1 pages 27, 28). For the sake of convenience and reference we too will so divide the Nicene Creed into 12 articles.
In the seventh chapter of the Confession, the Westminster Assembly gives its presentation of the covenant. The first two sections treat God’s relationship to man before the fall, while the remaining four sections deal with God’s relationship to the believer in Christ after the fall. In this issue we will treat only the first two sections.
In the eight sections of this chapter the Westminster Confession treats the office and work of Christ as Mediator of His people. Let us recall that the Confession has already taught that God from eternity unconditionally elected some men and angels in Christ unto salvation and glory out of His free grace and that God has foreordained all the means to that salvation and glory (Chapter III). In this issue we consider the first four sections.
Chapter VIII—Of Christ the Mediator Sections 5-8 The first four sections of this beautiful chapter presented us with the truths of the office of the Mediator and Christ’s eternal appointment thereto, of His two distinct natures and their perfect relationship, and of His states of humiliation and exaltation. Now we consider the remaining four sections on the Mediator.
Article 1: I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. It is quite obvious that the formulation of this article as well as the next article is based on I Corinthians 8:6: “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of Whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom are all things, and we by Him.” Notice the similarity.
Through chapter VIII the Confession has dealt with salvation in its outward and objective aspects. In the next chapters the Confession is concerned with salvation in its application and experience.
Our readers will recall that we have been treating the first two sections of Chapter VII of the Westminster Confession, which chapter bears the title “Of God’s Covenant with Man,” These first two sections deal with the subject of God’s relationship with Adam before the fall. This relationship is identified in section two as “the covenant of works, wherein life was promised to Adam, and in him to his posterity, upon condition of perfect and personal obedience.”
The previous two chapters of the Westminster Confession have dealt with creation and providence. The Confession next treats, in Chapter VI, the fall of man into sin. God’s relationship to man before the fall is saved for Chapter VII, sections 1 and 2. Let us now consider, with the Westminster Confession, man’s fall into sin.
Article 1 (cont’d) The Nicene Creed confesses in Article 1 faith in the one true God. This one God is further identified as the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.