29:19; John 8:41. 9:15, 16, 17; Heb. (u) Matt. 1:16, 18.V. (i)(e) John 4:42; I Thess. 4:13. (b) Matt. Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of husband and wife,(b) for the increase of mankind with a legitimate issue, and of the Church with an holy seed;(c) and for preventing of uncleanness. (p) Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only. 65:16. 6:3; Jude ver. (a)(a) Eph. 1:22. This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father;(b) upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ;(c) the abiding of the Spirit, and of the seed of God within them;(d) and the nature of the covenant of grace:(e) from all which ariseth also the certainty and infallibility thereof. 7:29; Ruth 4:12. 1:9; Jer. (l)(i) Eph. (d) Ps. 12:2; Heb. (d)(c) Ezek. 25:41, 42, 43, 45; Matt. 21:1; I Kings 22:22, 23; I Chron. (b) Rom. (b) Matt. (x) Deut. 12:32; Matt. 6:30; Matt. 14:13. 8:20; Acts 15:15; John 5:39, 46. 13:25, 26, 27; Mal. 7:15; Matt. Q: What is God? Marriage is to be between one man and one woman: neither is it lawful for any man to have more than one wife, nor for any woman to have more than one husband; at the same time. (n) Luke 1:35; Col. 2:9; Rom. 119:68; Jer. 4:4; Job 34:20. 6:4, 1 Cor. (q) I John 5:16.V. 147:5. 77 to ver. 18:24, 25, 26, 27, 28. (z) Gen. 4:5 with Heb. 7:14, 17, 18, 23; James 3:2; Prov. 20:7; I Cor. 1:15; Amos 5:22, 23; Hosea 1:4; Rom. In the unity of the Godhead there be three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. 13:12; Matt. 7:29; Job 28:28.II. (e) All which were common also to believers under the law. 1:6; I Pet. 12:12, 13; Ps. 2:5.III. (m) Gen. 17:7, 9, 10 with Gal. 3:2; II Pet. (u)(t) II Chron. 1:7. 4:11; Col. 2:11, 12; I Cor. (g) Isa. God hath appointed a day, wherein He will judge the world in righteousness, by Jesus Christ,(a) to whom all power and judgment is given of the Father. Truly, though perhaps also tritely, history is his story! (k)(k) Ps. 44:25, 26. (x) Deut. Marriage ought not to be within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity forbidden by the Word;(h) nor can such incestuous marriages ever be made lawful by any law of man or consent of parties, so as those persons may live together as man and wife. 110:1; I Cor. 1:3, 4; I Tim. 28:18, 19, 20.II. 2:13, 14; Matt. (r)(p) Matt. 13:20, 21; II Cor. 53:4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12. 31:35; Exod. (m)(f) Phil. (e) Acts 15:18; Ps. 23:3; I Pet. 8. (l) So that, to believe such doctrines, or to obey such commands, out of conscience,(m) is to betray true liberty of conscience: and the requiring of an implicit faith, and an absolute and blind obedience is to destroy liberty of conscience, and reason also. 19:10; Rom. 9:32, 33; I Sam. (u)(n) I John 3:4. 2:11, 12, 14; II Cor. 4:15, 16; John 4:24, with Luke 24:39. To them also, as a body politic, He gave sundry judicial laws, which expired together with the State of that people; not obliging any other now, further than the general equity thereof may require. 3:9. 15:3; Ps. 34:1. 73 throughout; Ps. 2:14, 15; Rom. 13:25; Ezra 10:5.III. 3:7; Acts 10:2. On the Westminster Confession framing it is an act (even “enjoyment” is stated in the verbal form: “to enjoy God”). (b) Exod. (h) Heb. 6:16; Eph. 12:13. (e) Rom. 135:6; Acts 17:25, 26, 28; Job 38 to 41 chapters. I. (d) Prov. 7:23. 4:10; Amos 9:8, 9; Rom. From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good,(h) and wholly inclined to all evil,(i) do proceed all actual transgressions. (d)(b) Gen. 7:6.Chapter XXX.Of Church Censures.I. 5:21; Matt. (c) I Thess. Works done by unregenerate men, although, for the matter of them, they may be things which God commands, and of good use both to themselves and others:(y) yet, because they proceed not from a heart purified by faith;(z) nor are done in a right manner according to the Word;(a) nor to a right end, the glory of God;(b) they are therefore sinful, and cannot please God, or make a man meet to receive grace from God. (z) Nah. (c)(b) Eccles. 2:14, 16, 17; Heb. 24:36, 42, 43, 44; Mark 13:35, 36, 37; Luke 12:35, 36; Rev. 1:19, 21; II Tim. 58:13; Matt. (a)(a) I Cor. (f) I Kings 8:31; Neh. 6:14.IV. 3:14, 16; Rom 3:21, 22, 23, 30; Ps. 17:12; Acts 4:27, 28; John 19:11; Prov. 1:10, 11. 132:2, 3, 4, 5.VII. (b) I Cor. (p) Ephes. What other conclusion could be reasonably drawn? 14:4; Ps. (d) John 14:16, 17; I John 2:27; I John 3:9. 12:21, 22, 23 with Luke 16:25, 26; Rev. (e) John 4:23, 24. (r)(q) John 3:5, 8. 22:14. 13:5; Tit. The chapters on God and his relation to his creation in the Westminster Confession of Faith (I have in mind here chapters 2-7, but in reality the whole confession is about this) reveal to us a Triune God who actively rules this universe and interacts with his creatures. 51:8, 12, 14; Eph. 7:22; Luke 22:20; I Cor. 8:9 compared. 25:21; Acts 3:19; II Thess. 4:19, 20; Matt. All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, He is pleased in His appointed and accepted time effectually to call,(a) by His Word and Spirit,(b) out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ;(c) enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God,(d) taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them a heart of flesh;(e) renewing their wills, and, by His almighty power determining them to that which is good,(f) and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ:(g) yet so, as they come most freely, being made willing by His grace. 13:15, 16, 17.Chapter XXIV.Of Marriage and Divorce.I. 2:6, 7, 8.III. (q) Gal. (i) Gal. (i)(h) Rom. Whosoever taketh an oath ought duly to consider the weightiness of so solemn an act; and therein to avouch nothing, but what he is fully persuaded is the truth. 4:11, 12; I Cor. 22:37, 38, 39, 40.III. 22:7, 8, 9, 10, 11.IV. (i) Matt. 145:3. (s) Gal. (b) Rom. 3:24; Eph. 4:1, 2; Rom. 26, 27 chapters. 5:1, 2. (h) Heb. This infallible assurance doth not so belong to the essence of faith, but that a true believer may wait long, and conflict with many difficulties before he be partaker of it:(k) yet, being enabled by the Spirit to know the things which are freely given him of God, he may without extraordinary revelation, in the right use of ordinary means, attain thereunto. (p)(g) Matt. 5:21; Matt. 2:4; Rev. (e)(a) Rom. (t) II Pet. 1:19. (s) Prov. 26:29.VI. (q) I Cor. 1:11, 14; John 17:2; Heb. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves in His providence, that it extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men;(o) and that not by a bare permission,(p) but such as hath joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding,(q) and otherwise ordering and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to His own holy ends;(r) yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceedeth only from the creature, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is, nor can be, the author or approver of sin. 5:2; Rom. Of the Holy Scripture. 8:1. 7:22; Matt. 3:10 to 19.III. This covenant of grace is frequently set forth in Scripture by the name of a Testament, in reference to the death of Jesus Christ the Testator, and to the everlasting inheritance, with all things belonging to it, therein bequeathed. Church censures are necessary, for the reclaiming and gaining of offending brethren, for deterring of others from the like offences, for purging out of that leaven which might infect the whole lump, for vindicating the honour of Christ, and the holy profession of the Gospel, and for preventing the wrath of God, which might justly fall upon the Church, if they should suffer His covenant and the seals thereof to be profaned by notorious and obstinate offenders. 18:15, 16, 17; I Tim. 3:18. (l)(l) Eph. 10:10, 14; Dan. 12:36, 37.II. (o)(m) Luke 18:15, 16, and Acts 2:38, 39 and John 3:3, 5 and I John 5:12 & Rom. 9:32, 33. (l) And therefore it is the duty of everyone to give all diligence to make his calling and election sure;(m) that thereby his heart may be enlarged in peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, in love and thankfulness to God, and in strength and cheerfulness in the duties of obedience, the proper fruits of this assurance:(n) so far is it from inclining men to looseness. The Westminster Confession of Faith The Westminster Confession of Faith is perhaps the most notable expression in c reedal form of the truths of the Bibl e. It was the work of that assembly of divines which was calle d together by Parliament and met in London , at Westminster Abbey, du ring the years 1643 - … 5:2, 3, 6; Ps. 15:4.IX. 1:24; Matt. 7:18, 23; Phil. 2:10, 11, 12. 4; I Pet. 2:15, 16; Isa. 2:13, 14.II. 8:34; Acts 13:42; Luke 4:16; Acts 2:42.VII. The light of nature showeth that there is a God, who hath lordship and sovereignty over all, is good, and doth good unto all, and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and served, with all the heart, and with all the soul, and with all the might. (n) Which person is very God, and very man, yet one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man. 26:26, 27, 28. 2:8, 9; Tit. Sacraments are holy signs and seals of the covenant of grace,(a) immediately instituted by God,(b) to represent Christ and His benefits; and to confirm our interest in Him;(c) as also, to put a visible difference between those that belong unto the Church, and the rest of the world;(d) and solemnly to engage them to the service of God in Christ, according to His Word. 6:1. (d) On the third day He arose from the dead,(e) with the same body in which He suffered,(f) with which also he ascended into heaven, and there sitteth at the right hand of His Father,(g) making intercession,(h) and shall return to judge men and angels at the end of the world. in all its fullness to as many people as possible. nor deriving any glory from them, but only manifesting his own glory in, by, unto, and 23. 12:7; I Cor. (e) Yet is it the duty of Christians to marry only in the Lord:(f) and therefore such as profess the true reformed religion should not marry with infidels, papists, or other idolaters: neither should such as are godly be unequally yoked, by marrying with such as are notoriously wicked in their life, or maintain damnable heresies. 13:1, 2, 4. 34:14. (m) II Pet. (b) Matt. 19:6. 10:10. 4:6. 10:10, 14; Heb. 18:17, 18; John 20:21, 22, 23; II Cor. 2:5; Eph. 6:14, 15, 16. 8:4–6) living, and true God, (1 … 2:1. To put it another way, God is the Lord of history. What do the Scriptures principally teach? 8:9, 14; Rom. (h) Rom. 18:30, 31; Ezek. (g)(e) Gal. 3:16, 17, 18, 19; John 1:16; Eph. 8, 9, 10, 11. (f) John 20:25, 27. Yet notwithstanding, the persons of believers being accepted through Christ, their good works also are accepted in Him,(u) not as though they were in this life wholly unblamable and unreproveable in God’s sight;(w) but that He, looking upon them in His Son, is pleased to accept and reward that which is sincere, although accompanied with many weaknesses and imperfections. Men ought not to content themselves with a general repentance, but it is every man’s duty to endeavour to repent of his particular sins, particularly. (d) Gen. 2:17; Eph. 6:3, 4, 5, and Tit. 2:13. God gave to Adam a law, as a covenant of works, by which He bound him and all his posterity to personal, entire, exact, and perpetual obedience; promised life upon the fulfilling, and threatened death upon the breach of it: and endued him with power and ability to keep it. (r) Gal. 1:6; Rom. 51:4, 5, 7, 9, 14; Ps. (r) The promises of it, in like manner, show them God’s approbation of obedience, and what blessings they may expect upon the performance thereof;(s) although not as due to them by the law, as a covenant of works. (r) Luke 17:10. (p) Ps. (d) Rom. 113:5, 6; Ps. Synods and councils are to handle, or conclude, nothing, but that which is ecclesiastical: and are not to intermeddle with civil affairs which concern the commonwealth; unless by way of humble petition, in cases extraordinary; or by way of advice, for satisfaction of conscience, if they be thereunto required by the civil magistrate. The doctrine as believe by the reformed community is specified in the Westminster confession: "In the unity of the Godhead there be three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. 10:6, 7.III. 25:22, 32, 33, 34; Ps. 33:10, 11. For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore are ye sons of Jacob not consumed. 6:16, 17, 18.II. (y) Isa. (x)(r) Matt. 15:13; Eph. 10:1, 2, 3, 4; Heb. 20:15; Eph. 5:5, 6. 2:9 to 12. 2:1, 2; John 17:20; II Sam. 5:19; Heb. (t) So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God,(u) and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the Gospel. 2:12; I John 4:13; Heb. (b) Gal. 55:4, 5; I Cor. 64:5, 7, 9; II Sam. 11:32.Chapter XVIII.Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation.I. 5:17, 18, 19; James 2:8; Rom. 10:28. Of the Communion of the Saints. The sacrament of Baptism is but once to be administered unto any person. (b) Exod. A lawful oath is a part of religious worship,(a) wherein, upon just occasion, the person swearing solemnly calleth God to witness what he asserteth, or promiseth, and to judge him according to the truth or falsehood of what he sweareth. The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men. The first covenant made with man was a covenant of works,(b) wherein life was promised to Adam, and in him to his posterity,(c) upon condition of perfect and personal obedience. 29 and 30; Matt. There are only two sacraments ordained by Christ our Lord in the Gospel; that is to say, Baptism and the Supper of the Lord: neither of which may be dispensed by any but by a minister of the Word lawfully ordained. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions,(d) yet hath He not decreed anything because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions. (m) Matt. 8:9, 10; Acts 10:1, 2; Rev. 13:4; Matt. 12:28; Matt. (i)(h) Acts 2:23. 13:15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22. 11:32, 33, 34; II Sam. 3:14. 28:19. (k) I John 5:14. 8:23, 24, 25. (n) Rom. (w) Job. 11:32.II. (n)(k) Acts 27:31, 44; Isa. The will of man is made perfectly and immutably free to do good alone, in the state of glory only. a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions, immutable, immense, (w)(p) Ps. 3:24; Rom. 13:8.VII. (i) I Tim. 3:5. (g) Gen. 34:14; Exod. 1:5. 7:23; Matt. 15:9. 3:20. 11:3. 66:13, 14.VI. (b)(r) Acts 15:21; Rev. (e)(c) Gen. 3:6, 7, 8; Eccles. (i)(g) I Cor. 9:22, 23; Matt. (f)(a) Rom. (l) Lam. 5:7; II Cor. 9:15, 18. The bodies of men, after death, return to dust, and see corruption: but their souls, which neither die nor sleep, having an immortal subsistence, immediately return to God who gave them: the souls of the righteous, being then made perfect in holiness, are received into the highest heavens, 7:29; Rom. 20:4, 5, 6; Col. 2:23.II. 3:16, 17, 18, 19. (s) Gal. In the unity of the Godhead there be three Persons of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. (h)(h) Luke 24:27, 44; Rom. The Scriptures principally teach, what man is to believe … (o) I Tim. God hath all life, glory, goodness, blessedness, in and of himself; and is alone in 19:11, 12; I Cor. All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all:(p) yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation, are so clearly propounded and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them. (n)(l) Matt. 8:9.III. (l) Ps. 8:2; Eph. 7:1; Rom. 6:9. 23:23.Chapter XVII.Of the Perseverance of the Saints.I. 11:26, 27, 28; Matt. 15:9; Acts 17:25; Matt. (g) Mark 16:19. 9:8, 9, 10.V. 15:51, 52. (b) I Thess. (g) II Chron. (c) Ps. 3:17, 18, 19. 1:5, 6; Prov. Wherefore, all ignorant and ungodly persons, as they are unfit to enjoy communion with Him, so are they unworthy of the Lord’s table; and cannot, without great sin against Christ while they remain such, partake of these holy mysteries,(p) or be admitted thereunto. 1:30, 31; Rom. There is but one only,(a) living, and true God:(b) who is infinite in being and perfection,(c) a most pure spirit,(d) invisible,(e) without body, parts,(f) or passions,(g) immutable,(h) immense,(i) eternal,(k) incomprehensible,(l) almighty,(m) most wise,(n) most holy,(o) most free,(p) most absolute,(q) working all things according to the counsel of His own immutable and most righteous will,(r) for His own glory;(s) most loving,(t) gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin;(u) the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him;(w) and withal, most just and terrible in His judgments,(x) hating all sin,(y) and who will by no means clear the guilty. 1:13, 15.VI. (d) Rom. The reading of the Scriptures with godly fear,(r) the sound preaching(s) and conscionable hearing of the Word, in obedience unto God, with understanding, faith and reverence;(t) singing of psalms with grace in the heart;(u) as also, the due administration and worthy receiving of the sacraments instituted by Christ; are all parts of the ordinary religious worship of God:(w) beside religious oaths,(x) vows,(y) solemn fastings,(z) and thanksgivings, upon special occasions,(a) which are, in their several times and seasons, to be used in a holy and religious manner. I. 2:7, 8.II. 6:2; I John 2:3, 4, 7, 8. 11:3, 4; Rev. (h) Prov. (a)(a) Isa. 110:3; John 6:37; Rom. 3:10, 11, 12. (n) Rom. It was produced by the Westminster Assembly, which was called together by the Long Parliament in 1643, during the English Civil War, and met regularly in Westminster Abbey until 1649. The most wise, righteous, and gracious God doth oftentimes leave for a season His own children to manifold temptations, and the corruption of their own hearts, to chastise them for their former sins, or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption, and deceitfulness of their hearts, that they may be humbled;(t) and, to raise them to a more close and constant dependence for their support upon Himself, and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for sundry other just and holy ends. 2:20; Rev. (b) Therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal Himself, and to declare that His will unto His Church;(c) and afterwards, for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the Church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing:(d) which maketh the Holy Scripture to be most necessary;(e) those former ways of God’s revealing His will unto His people being now ceased. (x) Rom. 36:26, 27. 3:21.Chapter XXXIII.Of the Last Judgment.I. (l) I Cor. 6:4, 5. 24:1 with I Chron. 2:5. 4:28; Acts 5:4.Chapter XXVII.Of the Sacraments.I. (d) Gal. (d) Rom. 13:40, 41, 42; Jude ver. (m) Ezek. (c) Rom. 2:14; Rom. God, and of the Holy Trinity. 2:19. (q) John 15:26; Gal. (c) Matt. Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to His eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of His will, hath chosen, in Christ, unto everlasting glory,(i) out of His mere free grace and love, without any foresight of faith or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving Him thereunto:(k) and all to the praise of His glorious grace. 2:16; Rom. 8:12; Heb. 13:5, 6, 12; I Kings 18:4; I Chron. 3:16.III. 8:7; Eph. 26:69, 70, 71, 72; Ps. (b) Rom. (f)(a) I Cor. neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternall begotten of the Father; the Holy (p) Luke 22:32; John 10:28; Heb. 1:27. (o) I John 2:1, 2; Rom. (c) Jer. This covenant was differently administered in the time of the law, and in the time of the gospel:(i) under the law, it was administered by promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the paschal lamb, and other types and ordinances delivered to the people of the Jews, all fore-signifying Christ to come:(k) which were, for that time, sufficient and efficacious, through the operation of the Spirit, to instruct and build up the elect in faith in the promised Messiah,(l) by whom they had full remission of sins, and eternal salvation; and is called, the Old Testament. 2:5; II Cor. (t) Acts 10:38; Heb. (c) Heb. 2:17, 22, 26; Gal. 73:15; Ps. (y) Ps. 10:12; Ps. The Westminster Confession of Faith stands at the peak of a great devel­opment of English Reformed theology and represents a developed covenant theology that is true to Scripture and flows inherently out of the Reformed system of doctrine. (a) This their sin God was pleased, according to His wise and holy counsel, to permit, having purposed to order it to His own glory. 3:9, 14 and Col. 2:11, 12 & Acts 2:38, 39 & Rom. (i) John 7:38, 39; II Cor. (g) Ps. All synods or councils, since the Apostles’ times, whether general or particular, may err; and many have erred. 3:13. In this sacrament, Christ is not offered up to His Father; nor any real sacrifice made at all for remission of sins of the quick or dead;(b) but only a commemoration of that one offering up of Himself, by Himself, upon the cross, once for all: and a spiritual oblation of all possible praise unto God for the same:(c) so that the Popish sacrifice of the mass (as they call it) is most abominably injurious to Christ’s one, only sacrifice, the alone propitiation for all the sins of His elect. (g) Ps. 6:23. 4:5, 6, 7, 8; II Cor. There is a singular divine counsel, according to Ephesians 1:9-11, by which God works all things. 2:14; Tit. (g) Rom. (h) James 1:17; Mal. 10:15; Heb. (e)(c) Matt. 13:8.Chapter XII.Of Adoption.All those that are justified, God vouchsafeth, in and for His only Son Jesus Christ, to make partakers of the grace of adoption:(a) by which they are taken into the number, and enjoy the liberties and privileges of the children of God,(b) have His name put upon them,(c) receive the spirit of adoption,(d) have access to the throne of grace with boldness,(e) are enabled to cry, Abba, Father,(f) are pitied,(g) protected,(h) provided for,(i) and chastened by Him as by a Father;(k) yet never cast off,(l) but sealed to the day of redemption,(m) and inherit the promises,(n) as heirs of everlasting salvation. (t) Which office He took not unto Himself, but was thereunto called by His Father,(u) who put all power and judgment into His hand, and gave Him commandment to execute the same. 15:3, 4. (f) Heb. 103:13. 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