3:14) working all things according to the counsel of His own immutable and most righteous will, (Eph. (Rom. (1 Kings 8:31, Neh. 12:14), 2. (John 18:36, Acts 5:29, Eph. Unto this catholic and visible Church, Christ hath given the ministry, oracles, and ordinances of God, for the gathering and perfecting of the saints, in this life, to the end of the world; and doth by his own presence and Spirit, according to his promise, make them effectual thereunto. 3:24) not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for any thing wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ’s sake alone; nor by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them, (Rom. 20:8, 10, Matt. 1:20, 1 Cor 11:27–34, Jude 23), 4. 1:10, 22–23, Eph. To these officers the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven are committed, by virtue whereof they have power respectively to retain and remit sins, to shut that kingdom against the impenitent, both by the word and censures; and to open it unto penitent sinners, by the ministry of the gospel, and by absolution from censures, as occasion shall require. (1 John 5:16), 5. 12:23, 2 Cor. Psalms 100:2–3, Job 22:2–3, Job 35:7–8, Luke 17:10, Acts 17:24–25), 2. VI. 72:17, Ps. 5:1–2, 5, Rom. 110:1, 1 Cor. (Gen. 3:6, Eccl. I. 28:19, 2 Cor. Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible elements in this sacrament, do then also inwardly by faith, really and indeed, yet not carnally and corporally, but spiritually, receive and feed upon Christ crucified, and all benefits of his death: the body and blood of Christ being then not corporally or carnally in, with, or under the bread and wine; yet as really, but spiritually, present to the faith of believers in that ordinance, as the elements themselves are to their outward senses. Of Creation Chapter V. Of Providence Chapter VI. The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, (Heb. 77:1, 10, 12, Mark 14:66–72, John 21:15–17), 6. 13:15–17), 1. 9:16, Tit. (Cant. (1 Cor. 14:6, 9, 11–12, 24, 27–28) that, the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship Him in an acceptable manner; (Col. 3:16) and, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, may have hope. 11:19, Phil. II. 11:33, Deut. Christ, in the work of mediation, acts according to both natures, by each nature doing that which is proper to itself; (Heb. 5:1, 5, 11, 13, 2 John 1:10–11, 2 Thess. 102:28, Matt. 1:3–4, Heb. 18:17–20), 3. 10:6–7, 12) 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. 3:10, Rom. 5:2–4, 6) have their hearts hardened, (Isa. (Isa. (John 17:9, Rom. The Lord Jesus, in His human nature thus united to the divine, was sanctified, and anointed with the Holy Spirit, above measure, (Ps. III. 6:14, 16) or be admitted thereunto. Ezra In his sight all things are open and manifest; his knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature; so as nothing is to him contingent or uncertain. The Epistle of James 16:19, Matt. IV. 7:1, Rom. III. (Isa. 13:15–19, 21–22) but also are taken up, the whole time, in the public and private exercises of His worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy. 28:18–20), 2. 19:1–3, Rom. V. Men ought not to content themselves with a general repentance, but it is every man's duty to endeavor to repent of his particular sins, particularly. 8:28, Isa. IV. 2:5), 3. All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all; 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. 11:23–26, 1 Cor. (Rev. 15:4, Matt. 59:21), 6. I. 2:2) Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word: (John 6:45, 1 Cor 2:9–12) and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the Church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature, and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed. And, for their publishing of such opinions, or maintaining of such practices, as are contrary to the light of nature, or to the known principles of Christianity, whether concerning faith, worship, or conversation; or, to the power of godliness; or, such erroneous opinions or practices, as either in their own nature, or in the manner of publishing or maintaining them, are destructive to the external peace and order which Christ hath established in the Church, they may lawfully be called to account, and proceeded against by the censures of the Church, and by the power of the civil magistrate. 1:21–22), 3. 29:29) that men, attending the will of God revealed in His Word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election. 9:15,18) yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, (James 1:13,17, 1 John 1:5) nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established. Although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable; (Rom. 3:15, Matt. 5:10–11, 2 Thess. 3:11) and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal life His Holy Spirit, to make them willing, and able to believe. 8:7, Eph. 1:3) the sound preaching (2 Tim. 1:19–20, Ps. The light of nature showeth that there is a God, who hath lordship and sovereignty over all; is good, and doeth good unto all; and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and served with all the hearth, and with all the soul, and with all the might. 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. 1:2, Eph. The Revelation of John, All which are given by inspiration of God to be the rule of faith and life. (Matt. 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. 12:2, 2 Cor. 1:32, 1 Cor. 4:28, 1 Pet. 5:12, Acts 20:17–18, Heb. 10:1–4), 1. 9:22, 25–26, 28) 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: (1 Cor. CHAPTER 4 - Of Creation. 1:7, Jer. 1:2, John 1:2–3, Gen. 1:2, Job 26:13, Job 33:4) for the manifestation of the glory of His eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, (Rom. 3:21–23, Col. 2:19) and are obliged to the performance of such duties, public and private, as do conduce to their mutual good, both in the inward and outward man. (Exod. Zechariah VI. It is not to be made to any creature, but to God alone: and that it may be accepted, it is to be made voluntarily, out of faith and conscience of duty, in way of thankfulness for mercy received, or for obtaining of what we want; whereby we more strictly bind ourselves to necessary duties, or to other things, so far and so long as they may fitly conduce thereunto. Leviticus IV. VII. 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. Read this work In 1643, one hundred and twenty-one Puritan clergymen met in Westminster Abbey for the purpose of drafting official documents that would serve to reform the Church of England. 29:13, 1 Pet. Which communion, as God offereth opportunity, is to be extended unto all those who, in every place, call upon the name of the Lord Jesus. 26:29), 6. 2:19–20, Jude 4, 1 Pet. 34:16, Deut. 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. Our first parents, begin seduced by the subtlety and temptations of Satan, sinned in eating the forbidden fruit. Although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable; (Rom. They, whom God hath accepted in His Beloved, effectually called, and sanctified by His Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved. I. 1:10) So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God; (Eph. III. 28:19–20), 6. 30:19), 2. I. 25:31–46, Rom. 24:14, Mark 12:33) But the acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by Himself, and so limited by His own revealed will, that He may not be worshipped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scripture. 5:31–32) and, after the divorce, to marry another, as if the offending party were dead. 5:9–10, 1 Tit. 15:25–26, Mal. 89:31–33, Ps. 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; (Rom. Numbers They, who in their obedience, attain to the greatest height which is possible in this life, are so far from being able to supererogate and to do more than God requires, that they fall short of much which in duty they are bound to do. Nevertheless we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word; and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and the government of the Church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed. VI. As every man is bound to make private confession of his sins to God, praying for the pardon thereof, upon which, and the forsaking of them, he shall find mercy: so he that scandalizeth his brother, or the Church of Christ, ought to be willing, by a private or public confession and sorrow for his sin, to declare his repentance to those that are offended; who are thereupon to be reconciled to him, and in love to receive him. 27:46) and most painful sufferings in His body; (Matt. 11:32–34, 2 Sam. This certainty is not a bare conjectural and probable persuasion grounded upon a fallible hope; (Heb. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass upon all supposed conditions, (Acts 15:18, 1 Sam. 64:6, Gal. 2:28–29, 1 Pet. i. 10:5, Rom. 7:15, Matt. Chapter 4 - Of Creation. 9:7) the house and family of God, (Eph. He is most holy in all his counsels, in all his works, and in all his commands. 8:34, Acts 13:42, Luke 4:16, Acts 2:42), 7. 3:17) And therefore it is the duty of every one to give all diligence to make his calling and election sure, (2 Pet. 2:3, 1 Cor. 5:17, 1 Thess. 2:13–14, 2 Cor. Saints by profession are bound to maintain an holy fellowship and communion in the worship of God, and in performing such other spiritual services as tend to their mutual edification; (Heb. It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, (Heb. 1:23, 2 Chron. 88), 1. I. 6:3, Jude 6, 2 Pet. Although in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first cause, all things come to pass immutably and infallibly, yet, by the same providence, he ordereth them to fall out according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently. 6:2–3, Ps. I. Sacraments are holy signs and seals of the covenant of grace, immediately instituted by God, to represent Christ and his benefits, and to confirm our interest in him: as also to put a visible difference between those that belong unto the Church, and the rest of the world; and solemnly to engage them to the service of God in Christ, according to his Word. Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of husband and wife; for the increase of mankind with a legitimate issue, and of the Church with an holy seed; and for preventing of uncleanness. I. 31:35, Exod. 10:10, 14, Heb. 88, Ps. 7:22, Matt. 4:28, Acts 5:4), 1. Lamentations 13:25, Ezra 10:5), 3. Westminster Confession of Faith preserves our commitment to the historic orthodoxy of the Reformed Faith. 1:10, Rom. 3:23) and so became dead in sin, (Gen. 2:17, Eph. 15:18–19, John 17:17) overcoming all their enemies by his almighty power and wisdom, in such manner, and ways, as are most consonant to his wonderful and unsearchable dispensation. 1:5) Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only. 6:10), 2. (Luke 3:14, Rom. 1:19, John 6:44–45) yet so, as they come most freely, being made willing by His grace. 13:7,17,24, 1 Cor. Although true believers be not under the law, as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified, or condemned; (Rom. 2:5, Eph. For the better attaining of these ends, the officers of the church are to proceed by admonition, suspension from the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper for a season; and by excommunication from the Church, according to the nature of the crime, and demerit of the person. 4:22–24, Heb. 11:36) most loving, (1 John 4:8,16) gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; (Exod. 2:20, Acts 28:25), 1. 8:30, Rom. Westminster Confession of Faith . 5:2,5), 2. 53:10) and to be by Him in time redeemed, called, justified, sanctified, and glorified. 50:21), 5. Of the holy Scripture Chapter II. 6:12, 14, 1 Pet. God hath all life, glory, goodness, blessedness, in and of himself; and is alone in and unto himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creatures which he hath made, nor deriving any glory from them, but only manifesting his own glory in, by, unto, and upon them; he is the alone foundation of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom, are all things; and hath most sovereign dominion over them, to do by them, for them, or upon them, whatsoever himself pleaseth. God hath appointed a day, wherein he will judge the world in righteousness by Jesus Christ, to whom all power and judgment is given of the Father. 2:11), 3. VI. 3:11, John 1:33, Matt. It is lawful for Christians to accept and execute the office of a magistrate, when called thereunto: (Prov. Religious worship is to be given to God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and to him alone: not to angels, saints, or any other creature: and since the Fall, not without a Mediator; nor in the mediation of any other but of Christ alone. 1:3) direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, (Dan. We're dedicated to helping the global church recover healthy, biblical theology by translating the Westminster Standards into every possible language—Westminster Confession of Faith, Westminster Larger Catechism, Westminster … 20:8, 10–11, Isa. Of the Fall of Man, of Sin, and of the Punishment thereof, XVIII. 19:21, Eccl. 2:6, Gal. 51) who are thereupon to be reconciled to him, and in love to receive him. The Lord Jesus in his human nature thus united to the divine, was sanctified and anointed with the Holy Spirit above measure; having in him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, in whom it pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell: to the end that being holy, harmless, undefiled, and full of grace and truth, he might be thoroughly furnished to execute the office of a Mediator and Surety. 24:1–4), 1. to Titus V. 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; 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. 3:11, 1 Cor. III. As every man is bound to make private confession of his sins to God, praying for the pardon thereof; (Ps. to Timothy II 12:36–37), 2. Although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence, do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of his will, which is necessary unto salvation; therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his Church; 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; which maketh the holy Scripture to be most necessary; those former ways of God's revealing his will unto his people being now ceased. 1:10, Gal. 2:1, 10–11, Jude 8–11) much less hath the Pope any power and jurisdiction over them in their dominions, or over any of their people; and, least of all, to deprive them of their dominions, or lives, if he shall judge them to be heretics, or upon any other pretence whatsoever. Ecclesiastes (Matt. Although, in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first Cause, all things come to pass immutably, and infallibly; (Acts 2:23) yet, by the same providence, He ordereth them to fall out, according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently. 9:17–18, 21–22, 2 Tim. 145:17) according to His infallible foreknowledge, (Acts 15:18, Ps. The efficacy of Baptism is not tied to that moment of time wherein it is administered; (John 3:5, 8) yet, notwithstanding, by the right use of this ordinance, the grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited, and conferred, by the Holy Ghost, to such (whether of age or infants) as that grace belongeth unto, according to the counsel of God’s own will, in His appointed time. 13:17) And, for their publishing of such opinions, or maintaining of such practices, as are contrary to the light of nature, or to the known principles of Christianity (whether concerning faith, worship, or conversation), or to the power of godliness; or, such erroneous opinions or practices, as either in their own nature, or in the manner of publishing or maintaining them, are destructive to the external peace and order which Christ hath established in the Church, they may lawfully be called to account, and proceeded against, by the censures of the Church. (Gen. 17:10, Matt. 13:12, Rev. 1:6, 2 Pet. 6:18) and, if vocal, in a known tongue. 2:12, 1 John 4:13, Heb. 4:16, Matt. 28:13, 1 John 1:9) so, he that scandalizeth his brother, or the Church of Christ, ought to be willing, by a private or publick confession, and sorrow for his sin, to declare his repentance to those that are offended, (James 5:16, Luke 17:3–4, Josh. 8:33–39, John 17:11, 24, Luke 22:32, Heb. Zephaniah (Rom. 13:40–42, Jude 6, 2 Pet. 3:21–23, 30, Ps. Of the State of Men after Death, and of the Resurrection of the Dead. 7:14, Matt. II. (Ps. The confession was completed in 1646 and presented to Parliament, which approved it after some revisions in June 1648. 119:4–6, 1 Cor. 12:2, Heb. For the better effecting whereof, he hath power to call synods, to be present at them, and to provide that whatsoever is transacted in them be according to the mind of God. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testaments, which are these, Genesis In which war, although the remaining corruption, for a time, may much prevail; (Rom. The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of His own will, whereby He extendeth or witholdeth mercy, as He pleaseth, for the glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, to pass by; and to ordain them to dishonour and wrath for their sin, to the praise of His glorious justice. 119:32) the proper fruits of this assurance; so far is it from inclining men to looseness. Man by his fall having made himself incapable of life by that covenant, the Lord was pleased to make a second, commonly called the covenant of grace: wherein he freely offered unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ, requiring of them faith in him, that they may be saved, and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto life, his Holy Spirit, to make them willing and able to believe. 2:10–12, 1 Tim. 13:4, 1 Tim. V. The will of man is made perfectly and immutable free to good alone, in the state of glory only. Doth continue to forgive the sins of those that are justified ; ( Eph is of such necessity all... Church to an high and reverend esteem of the free and immutable counsel of His Church, shall! Although they may have the end of the Fall of man, of sin, Heb. Grace offered and westminster confession of faith online in it sense of the Lord ) endured most torments! Acts 2:38–39, Rom and may have some common operations of the Holy Trinity err! 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