The Confession of the English Congregation at Geneva
with Scripture Proofs from the Geneva Bible
During the reign of Bloody Mary, many English Protestants were compelled to flee their homeland, seeking refuge on the Continent. In October 1555, a group of these Protestants made their way from Frankfurt to Geneva, where they formed a congregation which left an enduring legacy for English-speaking Protestants everywhere. This was the congregation which produced the famous Geneva Bible; this was the congregation which was pastored by John Knox and Christopher Goodman.
In 1556, the congregation published their book of church order which, as duly noted on the title page, was "approved by the famous and godly learned man, John Calvin." The book contained the following Confession of Faith, as well as the order of worship used by the congregation.1
The Confession of Faith employs the Apostles' Creed as a general outline, in order to provide an expanded statement of the principal doctrines of the Christian faith. The Confession stresses the sovereignty of God in the salvation of men, and it explains the person and work of Christ in a warmly devotional manner. The Confession also gives an enlarged exposition of the doctrine of the church, treating the marks by which the true church is discerned. Since the Confession of the English Congregation at Geneva was subsequently approved by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, it forms part of the confessional testimony of Scottish Presbyterianism.
In the original edition of the Genevan Book of Order, the marginal notes included references to the scriptures, historical authors, and apocryphal books; marginal notes functioned simply as footnotes in the publishing format of the 16th century. The references to apocryphal writings were included for the sake of comparison, but a note placed at the beginning of the Apocrypha in the Geneva translation states clearly that the apocryphal books "were not received by a common consent to be read and expounded publicly in the church, neither yet served to prove any point of Christian religion, save inasmuch as they had the consent of other scriptures called canonical to confirm the same, or rather whereon they were grounded: but as books proceeding from godly men, were received to be read for the advancement and furtherance of the knowledge of the history, and for the instruction of godly manners...."
The scripture references in the present edition are reproduced from the text of the Geneva Bible (1560), with modernized spelling. In the original edition of the Confession, scripture texts are referenced by book and chapter numbers; yet, since the common versification of the Bible was not yet in use, it is sometimes difficult to identify the precise verse numbers which correspond to the scripture references given with the Geneva Confession.2 For this reason, the present publisher makes no claim of producing a definitive or critical edition of the references supplied with the text. It is hoped, however, that by bringing together the testimony of the Confession with the text of the Geneva Bible, readers will gain a greater appreciation of the legacy left to us by our faithful forefathers who gathered together as a refugee congregation over four centuries ago.
Footnotes for Publisher's Note
1. Readers interested in the order of worship and polity practiced by the congregation may consult the loose-leaf reprint, The Genevan Book of Order: The Form of Prayers and Ministration of the Sacraments, etc., Used in the English Congregation at Geneva (1556; rpt. Dallas: Presbyterian Heritage Publications, 1993).
2. The present publisher consulted William Dunlop's Collection of Confessions of Faith (2 vols., Edinburgh, 1719-21) as an additional resource for the scripture references. Dunlop's edition of the Genevan confession was helpful; nevertheless, Dunlop's Collection is not a definitive source for the confessional texts contained within it.
The Confession of the English Congregation at Geneva
I believe and confessa my Lord God eternal, infinite, immeasurable, incomprehensible, and invisible, b one in substance,c and three in person, d Father, Son and Holy Ghost, who, by his almighty power and wisdom,e has not only of nothing created heaven, earth, and all things therein contained,f and man after his own image,g that he might in him be glorified; h but also by his fatherly providence,i governs, maintains, and preserves the same, according to the purpose of his will.k
a. Rom. 10:10. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth man confesseth to salvation.
b. Gen. 17:1. When Abram was ninety year old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am God all sufficient, walk before me, and be thou upright. Ps. 63:1 ff. vvs. 1-3. O God, thou art my God, early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee: my flesh longeth greatly after thee in a barren and dry land without water. Thus I behold thee as in the Sanctuary, when I behold thy power and thy glory. For thy lovingkindness is better than life: therefore my lips shall praise thee. Ps. 139:1-16 throughout.
c. Gen. 1:1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Eph. 4:6. One God and Father of all, which is above all, and through all, and in you all.
d. Gen. 1:26. Furthermore God said, Let us make man in our image according to our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the heaven, and over the beasts, and over all the earth, and over everything that creepeth and moveth on the earth. 1 John 5:7. For there are three which bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. Matt. 3:16-17. And Jesus when he was baptized, came straight out of the water. And lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and John saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him. And lo, a voice came from heaven, saying, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Matt. 28:19. Go therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
e. Heb. 1:2. In these last days he hath spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath made heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds. Prov. 8:22-30 throughout.
f. Gen. 1:1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Jer. 32:17. Ah Lord God, behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power, and by thy stretched out arm, and there is nothing hard unto thee. Ps. 33:6-7. By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathered the waters of the sea together as upon an heap, and layeth up the depths in his treasures.
g. Gen. 1:26. Furthermore God said, Let us make man in our image according to our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the heaven, and over the beasts, and over all the earth, and over everything that creepeth and moveth on the earth. Eph. 4:24. And put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Col. 3:10. And have put on the new, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.
h. 1 Cor. 6:20. For ye are bought for a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit: for they are God's. John 17:1. These things spake Jesus, and lift up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father the hour is come: glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee. Prov. 16:4. The Lord hath made all things for his own sake: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
i. Matt. 6:26-32. Behold the fowls of the heaven: for they sow not, neither reap, nor carry into the barns: yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking care, is able to add one cubit unto his stature? And why care ye for raiment? Learn, how the lilies of the field do grow: they labour not, neither spin: yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore if God so clothe the grass of the field which is today, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not do much more unto you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or what shall we drink? or wherewith shall we be clothed? (For after all these things seek the Gentiles) for your heavenly Father knoweth, that ye have need of all these things. Luke 12:24-30 throughout. 1 Pet. 5:7. Cast all your care on him: for he careth for you. Phil. 4:6. Be nothing careful, but in all things let your requests be shewed unto God in prayer, and supplication with giving of thanks.
k. Eph. 1:11. In whom also we are chosen when we were predestinate according to the purpose of him, which worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.
I believe also and confess Jesus Christ the only Saviour and Messiah,a who being equal with God,b made himself of no reputation, but took on him the shape of a servant, and became man in all things like unto us (except sin),c to assure us of mercy and forgiveness.d For when through our father Adam's transgression we were become children of perdition,e there was no means to bring us from that yoke of sin and damnation, but only Jesus Christ our Lord: fwho giving us that by grace, which was his by nature,g made us (through faith) the children of God: h who when the fullness of time was come,i was conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost,k born of the virgin Mary (according to the flesh), and preached on earth the gospel of salvation,l till at length, by tyranny of the priests, he was guiltless condemned under Pontius Pilate,m then president of Jewry, and most slanderously hanged on the cross betwixt two thieves as a notorious trespasser, where taking upon him the punishment of our sins,n he delivered us from the curse of the Law.
a. Matt. 1:21. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. Acts 4:12. Neither is there salvation in any other: for among men there is given none other name under heaven, whereby we must be saved. 1 Tim. 1:15. This is a true saying, and by all means worthy to be received, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
b. John 1:1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and that Word was God. Phil. 2:6-7. Who being in the form of God, thought it no robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took on him the form of a servant, and was made like unto men, and was found in shape as a man. 1 Tim. 3:16. And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness, which is, God is manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of Angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, and received up in glory. 1 John 5:20. But we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us a mind to know him, which is true: and we are in him that is true, that is, in his Son Jesus Christ: this same is very God, and eternal life. Rom. 9:5. Of whom are the fathers, and of whom concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is God over all blessed for ever, Amen.
c. Heb. 2:16-17. For he in no sort took the angels, but he took the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it became him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be merciful, and a faithful high priest in things concerning God, that he might make reconciliation for the sins of the people. Phil. 2:7-8. But he made himself of no reputation, and took on him the form of a servant, and was made like unto men, and was found in shape as a man. He humbled himself, and became obedient unto the death, even the death of the cross. 1 Pet. 2:22. Who did no sin, neither was there guile found in his mouth. 1 John 3:5. And ye know that he appeared that he might take away our sin, and in him is no sin.
d. Rom. 8:32ff. Who spared not his own Son, but gave him for us all to death, how shall he not with him give us all things also? Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's chosen? It is God that justifieth, who shall condemn? It is Christ, which is dead, yea or rather, which is risen again, who is also at the right hand of God, and maketh request also for us.... 1 John 2:1. My babes, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not: and if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the Just.
e. Gen. 3:1-7. Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field, which the Lord God had made: and he said to the woman, Yea, hath God indeed said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden, but of the fruit of the tree, which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. Then the serpent said to the woman, Ye shall not die at all, but God does know, that when ye shall eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. So the woman (seeing that the tree was good for meat, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to get knowledge) took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also to her husband with her, and he did eat. Rom. 5:16-18. Neither is the gift so, as that which entered in by one that sinned: for the fault came of one offence unto condemnation: but the gift is of many offences to justification. For if by the offence of one, death reigned through one, much more shall they which receive the abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteousness, reign in life through one, that is Jesus Christ. Likewise then as by the offence of one the fault came on all men to condemnation, so by the justifying of the one the benefit abounded toward all men to the justification of life. Eph. 2:3. Among whom we also had our conversation in time past, in the lusts of our flesh, in fulfilling the will of the flesh, and of the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, as well as others. Gal. 3:10, 13. For as many as are of the works of the Law, are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every man that continueth not in all things, which are written in the book of the Law, to do them.... Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, when he was made a curse for us (for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on tree).
f. Acts 4:12. Neither is there salvation in any other: for among men there is given none other name under heaven, whereby we must be saved. 1 Pet. 2:6. Wherefore it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I put in Sion a chief corner stone, elect and precious: and he that believeth therein, shall not be ashamed. Isa. 28:16. Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will lay in Zion a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation. He that believeth, shall not make haste. Rom. 9:33. As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumbling stone, and a rock to make men fall: and every one that believeth in him, shall not be ashamed.
g. John 1:14. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we saw the glory thereof, as the glory of the only begotten Son of the Father) full of grace and truth. Heb. 1:5. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day begat I thee? and again, I will be his Father, and he shall be my son? Rom. 1:4. And declared mightily to be the Son of God, touching the Spirit of sanctification by the resurrection from the dead. Ps. 2:7. I will declare the decree: that is, the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son: this day have I begotten thee.
h. Gal. 3:26. For ye are all sons of God by faith, in Christ Jesus. Rom. 8:14. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. John 1:12. But as many as received him, to them he gave power to be the sons of God, even to them that believe in his Name. Eph. 1:5. Who hath predestinated us, to be adopted through Jesus Christ unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will. Gal. 4:4. But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son made of a woman, and made under the law. Acts 2:22. Ye men of Israel, hear these words, Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you with great works, and wonders, and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know.
k. Isa. 7:14. Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and she shall call his name Immanuel. Luke 1:31,35. For lo, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bear a son, and shall call his name Jesus.... And the angel answered, and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God. Rom. 1:3. Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord (which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh...).
l. Acts 10:36. Ye know the word which God hath sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ, which is Lord of all. Rom. 1:5. By whom we have received grace and apostleship (that obedience might be given unto the faith) in his name among all the Gentiles.
m. John 7:32. The Pharisees heard that the people murmured these things of him, and the Pharisees, and high priests sent officers to take him. John. 11:47-48, 53. Then gathered the high priests, and the Pharisees a council, and said, What shall we do? For this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place, and the nation.... Then from that day forth they consulted together, to put him to death. John 12:10-11,42. The high priests therefore consulted, that they might put Lazarus to death also, because that for his sake many of the Jews went away, and believed in Jesus.... Nevertheless even among the chief rulers many believed in him: but because of the Pharisees, they did not confess him, lest they should be cast out of the synagogue. Matt. 12:14. Then the Pharisees went out, and consulted against him, how they might destroy him. Matt. 27 throughout. Luke 23 throughout.
n. Gal. 3:13. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law, when he was made a curse for us (for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on tree). Isa. 53:6-10. All we like sheep have gone astray: we have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet did he not open his mouth: he is brought as a sheep to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearer is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken out from prison, and from judgement: and who shall declare his age? for he was cut out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he plagued. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no wickedness, neither was any deceit found in his mouth. Yet the Lord would break him, and make him subject to infirmities: when he shall make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed and shall prolong his days, and the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
And forasmuch as he, being only God, could not feel death; neither, being only man, could overcome death, he joined both together, and suffered his humanity to be punished with most cruel death: feeling in himself the anger and severe judgment of God, even as if he had been in the extreme torments of hell,o and therefore cried with a loud voice, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? p Thus of his free mercy,q without compulsion, he offered up himself as the only sacrifice to purge the sins of all the world, so that all other sacrifices for sin are blasphemous and derogate from the sufficiency hereof. The which death, albeit it did sufficiently reconcile us to God;r yet the scriptures commonly do attribute our regeneration to his resurrection;s for as by rising again from from the grave the third day,t he conquered death,u even so the victory of our faith stands in his resurrection, and therefore without the one, we cannot feel the benefit of the other: For as by death, sin was taken away,x so our righteousness was restored by his resurrection. And because he would accomplish all things,y and take possession for us in his kingdom, he ascended into heaven,z to enlarge that same kingdom by the abundant power of his Spirit,a by whom we are most assured of his continual intercession toward God the Father for us.b And although he is in heaven,c as touching his corporeal presence, where the Father has now set him on his right hand,d committing unto him the administration of all things,e as well in heaven above as in the earth beneath; yet is he present with us his members,f even to the end of the world, in preserving and governing us with his effectual power and grace, who (when all things are fulfilled which God has spoken by the mouth of all his prophets since the world began)g will come in the same visible form in the which he ascended,h with an unspeakable majesty, power, and company, to separate the lambs from the goats, the elect from the reprobate,i so that none, whether he be alive then or dead before, shall escape his judgment.k
o. Acts 2:27. Because thou wilt not leave my soul in grave, neither wilt suffer thine holy one to see corruption. 1 Pet. 2:24. Who his own self bare our sins in his body on the tree, that we being delivered from sin, should live in righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. Isa. 53:4-5, 7, 10. Surely he hath borne our infirmities, and carried our sorrows: yet we did judge him, as plagued, and smitten of God, and humbled. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was broken for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed.... He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet did he not open his mouth: he is brought as a sheep to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearer is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.... Yet the Lord would break him, and make him subject to infirmities: when he shall make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed and shall prolong his days, and the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
p. Ps. 22:1. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me, and art so far from mine health, and from the words of my roaring? Matt. 27:46. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabacthani? that is, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
q. Isa. 53:1ff. Who will believe our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? But he shall grow up before him as a branch, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath neither form nor beauty: when we shall see him, there shall be no form that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men: he is a man of sorrows and hath experience of infirmities: we hid as it were our faces from him: he was despised and we esteemed him not. Heb. 9:12,14, 25-26, 28. Neither by the blood of goats and calves: but by his own blood entered he in once unto the holy place, and obtained eternal redemption for us.... How much more shall the blood of Christ which through the eternal Spirit offered him self without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works, to serve the living God.... Not that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entered into the holy place every year with other blood, (for then must he have often suffered since the foundation of the world) but now in the end of the world hath he appeared once to put away sin, by the sacrifice of himself.... So Christ was once offered to take away the sins of many, and unto them that look for him, shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. Heb. 10:10, 12, 14. By the which we are sanctified, even by the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once made.... But this man after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, sitteth for ever at the right hand of God.... For with one offering hath he consecrated for ever them that are sanctified. Gal. 1:4. Which gave him self for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world according to the will of God even our Father. Rom. 4:25; 5:8-10. Who was delivered to death for our sins, and is risen again for our justification.... But God setteth out his love toward us, seeing that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 1 John 1:7. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, and we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
r. Col. 1:20. And by him to reconcile all things unto him self, and to set at peace through the blood of his cross both the things in earth, and the things in heaven.
s. Rom. 10:9. For if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart, that God raised him up from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 1 Pet. 1:3. Blessed be God even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
t. Matt. 28:5-8. But the angel answered, and said to the women, Fear ye not: for I know that ye seek Jesus which was crucified: he is not here, for he is risen, as he said: come, see the place where the Lord was laid, and go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead: and behold, he goeth before you into Galilee: there ye shall see him: lo, I have told you. So they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy, and did run to bring his disciples word. Acts 10:40. Him God raised up the third day, and caused that he was shewed openly. 1 Cor. 15:4. And that he was buried, and that he arose the third day according to the scripture.
u. Hosea 13:14. I will redeem them from the power of the grave: I will deliver them from death: O death, I will be thy death: O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance is hid from mine eyes. 1 Cor. 15:26, 55-57. The last enemy that shall be destroyed, death.... O death, where is thy sting! O grave where is thy victory! The sting of death is sin: and the strength of sin is the law.
x. Rom. 4:25. Who was delivered to death for our sins, and is risen again for our justification.
y. Eph. 4:10. He that descended, is even the same that ascended, far above all heavens, that he might fill all things. John 14:2-3. In my Father's house are many dwelling places: if it were not so, I would have told you: I go to prepare a place for you. And though I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto my self, that where I am, there may ye be also. Eph. 2:4-7. But God which is rich in mercy, through his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead by sins, hath quickened us together in Christ, by whose grace ye are saved, and hath raised us up together, and made us fit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that he might shew in the ages to come the exceeding riches of his grace, through his kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
z. Mark 16:19. So after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received into heaven, and sat at the right hand of God. Luke 24:51. And it came to pass, that as he blessed them, he departed from them, and was carried up into heaven. Acts 1:9, 11. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up: for a cloud took him up out of their sight.... This Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come, as ye have seen him go into heaven.
a. Luke 24:49. And behold, I will send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. John 14:16-17, 26. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him: for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.... But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, which I have told you. Acts 2:4. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
b. Rom. 8:34. Who shall condemn? It is Christ, which is dead, yea or rather, which is risen again, who is also at the right hand of God, and maketh request also for us. Heb. 7:25. Wherefore, he is able also perfectly to save them that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth, to make intercession for them. Heb. 9:24. For Christ is not entered into the holy places that are made with hands, which are similitudes of the true sanctuary: but is entered into very heaven, to appear now in the sight of God for us. 1 John 2:1. My babes, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not: and if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the Just.
c. Acts 1:9-11. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up: for a cloud took him up out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven, as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing into heaven? This Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come, as ye have seen him go into heaven. Acts 3:21. Whom heaven must contain until the time that all things be restored, which God had spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
d. Col. 3:1. If ye be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God. Rom. 8:34. Who shall condemn? It is Christ, which is dead, yea or rather, which is risen again, who is also at the right hand of God, and maketh request also for us. Heb. 1:3. Who being the brightness of the glory, and the engraved form of his person, and bearing all things by his mighty word, hath by himself purged our sins, and sitteth at the right hand of the majesty in the highest places. Heb. 10:12. But this man after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, sitteth for ever at the right hand of God. Heb. 12:2. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, and despised the shame, and is set at the right hand of the throne of God.
e. Eph. 1:20-22. Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and domination, and every name, that is named, not in this world only, but also in that that is to come, and hath made all things subject under his feet, and hath he appointed him over all things to be the head of the church. Phil. 2:9. Wherefore God hath also highly exalted him, and given him an name above every name. Col. 2:10. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.
f. Matt. 28:20. Teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, until the end of the world, Amen.
g. Acts 3:21. Whom the heaven must contain until the time that all things be restored, which God had spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
h. Acts 1:11. This Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come, as ye have seen him go into heaven.
i. Matt. 25:46. And these shall go into everlasting pain, and the righteous into life eternal. Phil. 3:20. But our conversation is in heaven, from whence also we look for the Saviour, even the Lord Jesus Christ.
k. Matt. 24:30-31. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the kindreds of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man come in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect, from the four winds and from the one end of the heaven unto the other. Acts 10:42. And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify, that it is he that is ordained of God a judge of quick and dead. 1 Cor. 15:22-23. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive, but every man in his own order: the first fruits Christ, afterward, they that are of Christ, at his coming shall rise again. 1 Thess. 4:16-17. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, and with the voice of the Archangel and with the trumpet of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then shall we which live and remain, be caught up with them also in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 2 Thess. 1:7-10. And to you which are troubled, rest with us when the Lord Jesus shall show him self from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, rendering vengeance unto them, that do not know God, and which obey not unto the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, which shall be punished with everlasting perdition, from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power, when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be made marvelous in all them that believe (because our testimony toward you was believed) in that day. 2 Tim. 4:1, 8. I charge thee therefore before God, and before the Lord Jesus Christ, which shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing, and in his kingdom.... For henceforth is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous judge shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
Moreover, I believe and confess the Holy Ghost, God equal with Father and the Son,a who regenerates and sanctifies us, rules and guides us into all truth, persuading most assuredly in our consciences that we are the children of God,b brethren to Jesus Christ, and fellow heirs with him of life everlasting. Yet notwithstanding it is not sufficient to believe that God is omnipotent and merciful; that Christ has made satisfaction; or, that the Holy Ghost has this power and effect, except we do apply the same benefits to ourselvesc which are God's elect.d
a. Matt. 3:16-17. And Jesus when he was baptized, came straight out of the water. And lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and John saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him. And lo, a voice came from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 1John 5:7. For there are three, which bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 1 Pet. 1:2, 22. Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father unto sanctification of the Spirit, through obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you.... Seeing your souls are purified in obeying the truth through the Spirit, to love brotherly without feigning, love one another with a pure heart fervently. 1 Cor. 6:11,19. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.... Know ye not, that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, whom ye have of God? and ye are not your own. John 16:7-13. Yet I tell you the truth, It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you: but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. Of sin, because they believe not in me: of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye shall see me no more: of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye can not bear them now. Howbeit, when he is come which is the Spirit of truth, he will lead you into all truth: for he shall not speak of him self, but whatsoever he shall hear, shall he speak, and he will show you the things to come.
b. Rom. 8:13-17. For it ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye mortify the deeds of the body by the Spirit, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the Sons of God. For ye have not received the Spirit of bondage to fear again: but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The same Spirit beareth witness with our Spirit, that we are the children of God. If we be children, we are also heirs annexed with Christ, if so be that we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified with him. Gal. 4:6-7. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, which crieth, Abba, Father. Wherefore, thou art no more a servant, but a son: now if thou be a son, thou art also the heir of God through Christ.
c. Hab. 2:4. Behold, he that lifteth up him self, his mind is not upright in him, but the just shall live by his faith. Rom. 1:17. For by it the righteousness of God is revealed, from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. Rom. 10:9ff. For if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart, that God raised him up from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth man confesseth to salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth in him, shall not be ashamed.... 1 John 3:23. This is then the commandment, That we believe in the Name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave commandment.
d. John 17:2-3. As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to all them that thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they know thee to be the only very God, and whom thou hast sent, Jesus Christ.
I believe therefore and confess one holy church,e which (as members of Jesus Christ,f the only head thereof)g consents in faith, hope, and charity,h using the gifts of God, whether they are temporal or spiritual,i to the profit and furtherance of the same. Which church is not seen to man's eye, but only known to God:k who of the lost sons of Adam, has ordained some, as vessels of wrath, to damnation, and has chosen others, as vessels of his mercy, to be saved;l the which also, in due time, he calls to integrity of life and godly conversation, to make them a glorious church to himself.m
But that church which is visible, and seen to the eye,n has three tokens, or marks, whereby it may be discerned. First, the word of God contained in the Old and New Testaments,o which as it is above the authority of the same church,p and only [alone] sufficient to instruct us in all things concerning salvation,q so is it left for all degrees of men to read and understand.r For without this word, neither church, council nor decree can establish any point touching salvation.s
The second [mark] is the holy sacraments:t to wit, of baptism and the Lord's Supper; which sacraments Christ has left unto us as holy signs and seals of God's promises. For as by baptism once received, is signified that we (as well infants as others of age and discretion) being strangers from God by original sin,u are received into his family and congregation, with full assurance, that although this root of sin lies hidden in us, yet to the elect it shall not be imputed;x so the Supper declares, that God, as a most provident Father,y does not only feed our bodies, but also spiritually nourishes our souls with the graces and benefits of Jesus Christ (which the scripture calls eating of his flesh and drinking of his blood).z Neither must we, in the administration of these sacraments, follow man's fantasy, but as Christ himself has ordained, so must they be ministered; and by such as by ordinary vocation are thereunto called.a Therefore, whosoever reserves and worships these sacraments, or contrariwise contemns them in time and place, procures to himself damnation.
The third mark of this church is ecclesiastical discipline,b which stands in admonition and correction of faults. The final end whereof is excommunication, by the consent of the church determined,c if the offender is obstinate. And besides this ecclesiastical censure, I acknowledge to belong to this church a political magistrate,d who ministers to every man justice, defending the good and punishing the evil; to whom we must render honour and obedience in all things, which are not contrary to the word of God.e
And as Moses, Hezekiah, Josiah, and godly rulers purged the church of God from superstition and idolatry,f so the defence of Christ's church appertains to the Christian magistrates, against all idolaters and heretics, as Papists, Anabaptists, with suchlike limbs of Antichrist, to root out all doctrine of devils and men,g as the Mass, Purgatory, Limbus Patrum, prayer to saints, and for the dead; freewill, distinction of meats, apparel, and days; vows of single life, presence at idol service, man's merits, with suchlike, which draw us from the society of Christ's church wherein stands only [alone] remission of sins, purchased by Christ's blood to all them that believe,h whether they are Jews or Gentiles and lead us to vain confidence in creatures, and trust in our own imaginations. The punishment whereof, although God oftentimes differs in this life,i yet after the general resurrection,k when our souls and bodies shall rise again to immortality, they shall be damned to unquenchable fire;l and then we which have forsaken all man's wisdom to cleave unto Christ, shall hear that joyful voice, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit ye the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world,m and so shall go triumphing with him in body and soul,n to remain in glory everlasting, where we shall see God face to face,o and shall no more need one to instruct another; for we shall all know him, from the highest to the lowest: To whom, with the Son and the Holy Ghost, be all praise, honour, and glory, now and ever. So be it.
e. Matt. 16:18. And I say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church: and the gates of hell shall not overcome it. John 10:3-5. To him the porter openeth, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he hath sent forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And they will not follow a stranger, but they flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. Eph. 5:25-27. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church, and gave him self for it, that he might sanctify it, and cleanse it by the washing of water through the word, that he might make it unto him self a glorious church, not having a spot or wrinkle, or any such thing: but that it should be holy and without blame. Rom. 8:28ff. Also we know that all things work together for the best unto them that love God, even to them that are called of his purpose. For those which he knew before, he also predestinated to be made like to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he predestinated, them also he called, and whom he called, them also he justified, and whom he justified, them he also glorified.... Song 2 throughout.
f. Eph. 1:10, 22-23. That in the dispensation of the fulness of the times he might gather together in one all things, both which are in heaven and which are in earth, even in Christ.... And hath made all things subject under his feet, and hath appointed him over all things to be the head of the church, which is his body, even the fulness of him that filleth all in all things. Col. 1:18. And he is the head of the body of the church: he is the beginning, and the first born of the dead, that in all things he might have the preeminence. 1 Cor.12:12-13. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of the body, which is one, though they be many, yet are but one body: even so is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Grecians, whether we be bond, or free, and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
g. Eph. 4:15-16. But let us follow the truth in love, and in all things grow up into him, which is the head, that is Christ, by whom all the body being coupled and knit together by every joint, for the furniture thereof (according to the effectual power, which is in the measure of every part) receiveth increase of the body, unto the edifying of it self in love.
h. Eph. 4:1-6. I therefore, being prisoner in the Lord, pray you that ye walk worthy of the vocation whereunto ye are called, with all humbleness of mind, and meekness, with long suffering, supporting one another through love, endevouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your vocation. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, which is above all, and through all, and in you all. Phil. 3:16. Nevertheless, in that whereunto we are come, let us proceed by one rule, that we may mind one thing. Col. 2:2. That in their hearts might be comforted and they knit together in love, and in all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to know the mystery of God even the Father, and of Christ.
i. Acts 2:41ff. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day, there were added to the church about three thousand souls. And they continued in the apostles' doctrine, and fellowship, and breaking of bread, and prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed, were in one place, and had all things in common. And they sold their possessions, and goods and parted them to all men, as every one had need. And they continued daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread at home, did eat their meat together with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and had favour with all the people: and the Lord added to the church from day to day, such as should be saved. Acts 4:32ff. And the multitude of them that believed, were of one heart, and of one soul: neither any of them said, that any thing of that which he possessed, was his own, but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them, that lacked: for as many as were possessed of lands or houses, sold them, and brought the price of the things that were sold, and laid it down at the apostles's feet, and it was distributed unto every man, according as he had need.... Rom. 12:4ff. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not one office, so we being many are one body in Christ, and every one, one another's members. Seeing then that we have gifts that are diverse, according to the grace that is given unto us.... 1 Cor. 12:1ff. throughout. Eph. 4:7,11-12. But unto every one of us is given grace, according to the measure of the gift of Christ.... He therefore gave some to be apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors, and teachers, for the gathering together of the saints, for the work of the ministry, and for the edification of the body of Christ.
k. Rom. 2:28-29?. For he is not a Jew, which is one outward: neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew which is one within, and the circumcision of the heart, in the spirit, not in the letter, whose praise is not of men, but of God.
l. Rom. 9:23. And that he might declare the riches of his glory upon the vessels of mercy, which he hath prepared unto glory. Eph. 1:4-6, 11-12. As he hath chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy, and without blame before him in love: who hath predestinated us, to be adopted through Jesus Christ unto him self, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherewith he hath made us accepted in his beloved.... In whom also we we are chosen when we were predestinated according to the purpose of him, which worketh all things after the counsel of his own will, that we, which first trusted in Christ, should be unto the praise of his glory.
m. Rom. 8:30. Moreover whom he predestinated, them also he called, and whom he called, them also he justified, and whom he justified, them he also glorified. Eph. 5:26-27. That he might sanctify it, and cleanse it by the washing of water through the word, that he might make it unto him self a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing: but that it should be holy and without blame.
n. Matt. 18:17. And if he will not vouchsafe to hear them, tell it unto the church: and if he refuse to hear the church also, let him be unto thee as an heathen man, and a publican. 1 Cor. 15:9. For I am the least of the apostles, which am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
o. Matt. 28:19-20. Go therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, until the end of the world, Amen. Rom. 10:14, 17. But how shall they call on him, in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him, of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? ... Then faith is by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 2 Cor. 3-4 throughout. Eph. 2:20. And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone. John 10:3-6. To him the porter openeth, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he hath send forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And they will not follow a stranger, but they flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. 2 Tim. 3:15-16. And thou hast known the holy scriptures of a child, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through the faith which is in Christ Jesus. For the whole scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable to teach, to improve, to correct and to instruct in righteousness. 2 Pet. 1:20-21. So that ye first know this, that no prophecy in the scripture is of any private motion. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
p. Eph. 2:19-21. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners: but citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom all the building coupled together, groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord. Matt. 17:5 ?. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud shadowed them: and behold, there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear him. John 10:3-8. To him the porter openeth, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he hath send forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And they will not follow a stranger, but they flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me, are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
q. John 20:31. But these things are written that ye might believe, that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God, and that in believing ye might have life through his name. 2 Tim. 3:15-17. And thou hast know the holy scriptures of a child, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through the faith which is in Christ Jesus. For the whole scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable to teach, to improve, to correct and to instruct in righteousness, that the man of God may be absolute, being made perfect unto all good works.
r. Josh. 1:7-9. Only thou be strong, and of a most valiant courage, that thou mayest observe and do according to all the law which Moses my servant hath commanded thee: thou shalt not turn away from it to the right hand, nor to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. Let not this book of the law depart out of thy mouth, but meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe and do according to all that is written therein: for then shalt thou make thy way prosperous, and then shalt thou have good success. Have not I commanded thee, saying, Be strong and of good courage? for the Lord thy God will be with thee, whithersoever thou goest. John 5:39. Search the scriptures: for in them ye think to have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me.
s. Eph. 5:17. Wherefore, be ye not unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Matt. 15:1-20 throughout.
t. Matt. 26:26-30. And as they did eat, Jesus took the bread: and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. Also he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it them, saying, Drink ye all of it. For this is my blood of the new testament, that is shed for many, for the remission of sins. I say unto you, that I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine until that day, when I shall drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom. And when they had sung a psalm, they went out into the mount of olives. Matt. 28:19. Go therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Rom. 4:11. After he received the sign of circumcision, as the seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had, when he was uncircumcised, that he should be the father of all them that believe, not being circumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also. Eph. 5:26?. That he might sanctify it, and cleanse it by the washing of water through the word.
u. Rom. 5:6-10. For Christ, when we were yet of no strength, at his time, died for the ungodly. Doubtless one will scarce die for a righteous man: but yet for a good man it may be that one dare die. But God setteth out his love toward us, seeing that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, shall we be saved from wrath through him. For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. Eph. 2:1-7. And you hath he quickened, that were dead in trespasses and sins, wherein, in time past ye walked, according to the course of this world, and after the prince that ruleth in the air, even the spirit, that now worketh in the children of disobedience, among whom we also had our conversation in time past, in the lusts of our flesh, in fulfilling the will of the flesh, and of the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, as well as others. But God which is rich in mercy, through his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead by sins, hath quickened us together in Christ, by whose grace ye are saved, and hath raised us up together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that he might show in the ages to come the exceeding riches of his grace, through his kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Titus 3:5. Not by the works of righteousness, which we had done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of the new birth, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost. Gal. 3?. Rom. 7:18ff. For I know, that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me: but I find no means to perform that which is good....
x. Rom. 4:5-8?. But to him that worketh not, but believeth in him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David declareth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, saying, Blessed are they, whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Ps. 32:1-2. Blessed is he whose wickedness is forgiven, and whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man, unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
y. 1 Cor. 11:23-29. For I have received of the Lord that which I also have delivered unto you, to wit, That the Lord Jesus in the night that he was betrayed, took bread. And when he had given thanks, he brake it and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do ye in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as oft as ye shall eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink the cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man therefore examine himself, and so let him eat of this bread, and drink of this cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh his own damnation, because he discerneth not the Lord's body.
z. John 6:48-58. I am the bread of life....
a. Heb. 5:4. And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God. John 3:27. John answered, and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
b. Matt. 18:15-22. Moreover, if thy brother trespass against thee go, and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he hear thee, thou hast won thy brother. But if he hear thee not, take yet with thee one or two, that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be confirmed. And if he will not vouchsafe to hear thee, tell it unto the church: and if he refuse to hear the church also, let him be unto thee as an heathen man, and a publican. Verily I say to you, Whatsoever ye bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven. Again, verily, I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree in earth upon anything, whatsoever they shall desire, it shall be given them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Then came Peter to him and said, Master, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I shall forgive him, unto seven times? Jesus said unto him, I say not to thee, unto seven times, but unto seventy times seven times. Luke 17:3-4. Take heed to yourselves: if thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him: and if he repent, forgive him. And though he sin against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, It repenteth me, thou shalt forgive him. Lev. 19:17. Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart, but thou shalt plainly rebuke thy neighbour, and suffer him not to sin. Cf. Ecclesiasticus 19:13-17. Reprove a friend lest he do evil, and if he have done it, that he do it no more. Reprove a friend that he may keep his tongue: and if he have spoken, that he say it no more. Tell thy friend his fault: for oft times a slander is raised, and give no credence to every word. A man falleth with his tongue, but not with his will: and who is he, that hath not offended in his tongue? Reprove thy neighbour before thou threaten him, and being without anger, give place unto the law of the Most High.
c. 1 Cor. 5:1ff. It is heard certainly that there is a fornication among you, and such fornication as is not once named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. And ye are puffed up and have not rather sorrowed, that he which hath done this deed, might be put from among you....
d. Rom. 13:1-7. Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers: for there is no power but of God: and the powers that be, are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist, shall receive to themselves judgment. For princes are not to be feared for good works, but for evil. Wilt you then be without fear of the power? do well: so shalt thou have praise of the same. For he is the minister of God for thy wealth: but if thou do evil, fear: for he beareth not the sword for nought: for he is the minister of God to take vengeance on him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must be subject, not because of wrath only, but also for conscience sake. For, for this cause ye pay also tribute: for they are God's ministers, applying themselves for the same thing. Give to all men therefore their duty: tribute to whom ye owe tribute: custom, to whom custom: fear, to whom fear: honour, to whom ye owe honour. Cf. Wisdom 6:4. Because that ye being officers of his kingdom have not judged aright, nor kept the law, nor walked after the will of God. Titus 3:1. Put them in remembrance that they be subject to the principalities and powers, and that they be obedient, and ready to every good work. 1 Pet. 2:13-14. Submit yourselves unto all manner ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether it be unto the king, as unto the superior, or unto governors, as unto them that are sent of him, for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well.
e. Acts 5:29. Then Peter and the apostles answered, We ought rather to obey God than men.
f. Ex. 32:26-28. And Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who pertaineth to the Lord? let him come to me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves unto him. Then he said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side: go to and fro, from gate to gate, through the host, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. So the children of Levi did as Moses had commanded: and there fell of the people the same day about three thousand men. 2 Kings 18:4. He took away the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it, and he called it Nehushtan. 2 Kings 23:1ff. The king sent, and gathered unto him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem. And the king went up into the house of the Lord, with all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests and prophets, and all the people both small and great: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant, which was found in the house of the Lord. And the king stood by the pillar, and made a covenant before the Lord, that they should walk after the Lord, and keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes with all their heart, and with all their soul, that they might accomplish the words of this covenant written in this book. And all the people stood to the covenant. Then the king commanded Hilkiah the priest and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring out of the temple of the Lord all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven, and he burnt them in the fields of Kidron, and carried the powder of them into Bethel.... 2 Chron. 29. Hezekiah began to reign, when he was five and twenty years old.... He opened the doors of the house of the Lord in the first year and in the first month of his reign, and repaired them.... 2Chron. 35:1ff. Moreover Josiah kept a Passover unto the Lord....
g. 2 Tim. 4:2-4. Preach the word: be instant, in season and out of season: improve, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine. For the time will come, when they will not suffer wholesome doctrine: but having their ears itching, shall after their own lusts get them an heap of teachers, and shall turn their ears from the truth and shall be given unto fables. Col. 2:8, 16-23. Beware lest there be any man that spoil you through philosophy, and vain deceit, through the traditions of men, according to the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.... Let no man therefore condemn you in meat and drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days, which are but a shadow of things to come: but the body is in Christ. Let no man at his pleasure bear rule over you by humbleness of mind, and worshipping of angels, advancing himself in those things which he never saw, rashly puffed up with his fleshly mind, and holdeth not the head, whereof all the body furnished and knit together by joints and bands, increaseth with the increasing of God. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the ordinances of the world, why, as though ye lived in the world, are ye burdened with traditions? as Touch not, Taste not, Handle not. Which things perish with the using, and are after the commandments and doctrines of men. Which things have indeed a show of wisdom, in voluntary religion and humbleness of mind, and in not sparing the body: neither have they it in any estimation to satisfy the flesh. Matt. 15:1-9. Isa. 29:13. Therefore the Lord said, Because this people come near unto me with their lips, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me was taught by the precept of men. Heb. 9:12,14, 25-26, 28. Neither by the blood of goats and calves: but by his own blood entered he in once unto the holy place, and obtained eternal redemption.... How much more shall the blood of Christ which through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works, to serve the living God?... Not that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entered into the holy place every year with other blood, (for then must he have often suffered since the foundation of the world) but now in the end of the world hath he appeared once to put away sin, by the sacrifice of himself.... So Christ was once offered to take away the sins of many, and unto them that look for him, shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. Heb. 10:10, 12, 14. By the which will we are sanctified, even by the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once made.... But this man after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, sitteth for ever at the right hand of God.... For with one offering hath he consecrated for ever them that are sanctified. Acts 10:15. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, The things that God hath purified, pollute thou not. 1 John 2:22. Who is a liar, but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? the same is the Antichrist that denieth the Father and the Son. Rom. 7:6. But now we are delivered from the law, being dead unto it, wherein we were holden, that we should serve in newness of Spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. Gal. 5:1. Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Rom. 14:1ff. Him that is weak in faith, receive unto you, but not for controversies of disputations.... 1 Tim. 4:1-8. Now the Spirit speaketh evidently, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, and shall give heed unto spirits of error, and doctrines of devils, which speak lies through hypocrisy, and have their consciences burned with an hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats which God hath created to be received with giving of thanks of them which believe and know the truth.... Matt. 19:10-12. Then said his disciples to him, If the matter be so between man and wife, it is not good to marry. But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this thing, save they to whom it is given. For there are some chaste, which were so born of their mother's belly: and there be some chaste, which be made chaste by men: and there be some chaste, which have made themselves chaste for the kingdom of heaven. He that is able to receive this, let him receive it. 1 Cor. 7:2, 9. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his wife, and let every woman have her own husband.... But if they cannot abstain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn. 1 Cor. 8?. And as touching things sacrificed unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge.... 1 Cor. 10:25. Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, eat ye, and ask no question for conscience sake. 2 Cor. 6:16. And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God: as God hath said, I will dwell among them, and walk there: and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Luke 17:23. Then they shall say to you, Behold here, or behold there: but go not thither, neither follow. Rom. 3:19-29. Now we know that whatsoever the law saith, it saith to them which are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world be culpable before God. Therefore by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law cometh the knowledge of sin. But now is the righteousness of God manifest without the law, having witness of the law and of the prophets, to wit, the righteousness of God by the faith of Jesus Christ, unto all, and upon all that believe. For there is no difference: for all have sinned, and are deprived of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God hath set forth to be a reconciliation through faith in his blood to declare his righteousness, by the forgiveness of the sins that are passed through the patience of God, to show at this time his righteousness, that he might be just, and a justifier of him which is of the faith of Jesus. Where is then the rejoicing? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the works of the law. God, is he the God of the Jews only, and not of the Gentiles also? Yes, even of the Gentiles also. Gal. 4:9-10. But now seeing ye know God, yea, rather are known of God, how turn ye again unto impotent and beggarly rudiments, whereunto as from the beginning ye will be in bondage again? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
h. Isa. 33:24. And none inhabitant shall say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein, shall have their iniquity forgiven. Matt. 18:18. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven. John 20:23. Whosoever's sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them: whosoever's sins ye retain, they are retained. 2 Cor. 5:9-13. Wherefore also we covet, that both dwelling at home, and removing from home, we may be acceptable to him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every man may receive the things which are done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or evil. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men, and we are made manifest unto God, and I trust also that we are made manifest in your consciences. For we praise not ourselves again unto you, but give you an occasion to rejoice of us, that he may have to answer against them, which rejoice in the face, and not in the heart. For whether we be out of our wit, we are it to God: or whether we be in our right mind, we are it unto you. Rom. 1:16. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth, to the Jew first, and also to the Grecian. Rom. 10:11-12. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth in him, shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Grecian: for he that is Lord over all, is rich unto all, that call on him. Eph. 2:11ff. Wherefore remember that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, and called uncircumcision of them, which are called circumcision in the flesh, made with hands, that ye were, I say, at that time without Christ, and were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and were strangers from the covenants of promise, and had no hope, and were without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus, ye which once were far off, are made nearby the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, which hath made of both one, and hath broken the stop of the partition wall....
i. 2 Pet. 2. But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you: which privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord, that hath bought them, and bring upon themselves swift damnation. And many shall follow their damnable ways, by whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.... Jude 4-16. For there are certain men crept in which were before of old ordained to this condemnation: ungodly men they are which turn the grace of God into wantonness, and deny God the only Lord, and our Lord Jesus Christ.... Rom. 9?.
k. Acts 24:15. And have hope towards God, that the resurrection of the dead which they themselves look for also, shall be both of just and unjust. 1 Cor. 15:12ff. Now if it be preached, that Christ is risen from the dead, how say some among you, that there is no resurrection of the dead?.... Phil. 3:19-21. Whose end is damnation, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is to their shame, which mind earthly things. But our conversation is in heaven, from whence also we look for the Saviour, even the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working, whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. 1 Thess. 4:13ff. I would not, brethren, have you in ignorance concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus is dead, and is risen, even so them which sleep in Jesus, will God bring with him....
l. 2 Thess. 1:7-9. And to you which are troubled, rest with us when the Lord Jesus shall show himself from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, rendering vengeance unto them, that do not know God, and which obey not unto the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, which shall be punished with everlasting perdition, from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power. Isa. 30:27. Behold, the Name of the Lord cometh from far, his face is burning, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue is as a devouring fire. John 5:29. And they shall come forth, that have done good, unto the resurrection of life: but they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of condemnation.
m. Matt. 25:21, 23, 34, 36. Then his master said unto him, It is well done good and faithful servant, Thou hast been faithful in little, I will make thee ruler over much: enter into thy master's joy.... His master said unto him, It is well done good and faithful servant, Thou hast been faithful in little, I will make thee ruler over much: enter into thy master's joy.... Then shall the King say to them on his right hand, Come ye blessed of my Father: inherit ye the kingdom prepared for you from the foundations of the world.... I was naked, and ye clothed me, I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
n. 1 Thess. 4:16-17; 5:9-10. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, and with the voice of the Archangel and with the trumpet of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then shall we which live and remain, be caught up with them also in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.... For God hath not appointed us unto wrath, but to obtain salvation by the means of our Lord Jesus Christ, which died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. John 5:29. And they shall come forth, that have done good, unto the resurrection of life: but they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of condemnation. Isa. 26:19. The dead men shall live: even with my body shall they rise. Awake, and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
o. 1 Cor. 13:12. For now we see through a glass darkly: but then shall we see face to face. Now I know in part: but then shall I know even as I am known. 1 John 3:2. Dearly beloved, now are we the sons of God, but yet it doth not appear what we shall be: and we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him: for we shall see him as he is. Jer. 31:34. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and will remember their sins no more. Heb. 8:11. And they shall not teach every man his neighbour and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least of them to the greatest.
The text of this edition is based primarily upon the published edition in the Works of John Knox, edited by David Laing (Edinburgh: James Thin, 1895), vol. 4, pp. 169-73. When this Confession was first published, the current system of versification for the Bible was not yet in use. In order to identify the correct verse numbers for biblical and apocryphal references, the publisher has also consulted William Dunlop's Collection of Confessions of Faith (1719-22). The scripture citations are from the Geneva Bible of 1560, with modernized spelling.
Copyright © 2007 by Protestant Heritage Press