westminster confession of faith online
(Ps. 15:9–12) and of their children: (1 Cor. 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. 7:22–23) yet such as truly believe in the Lord Jesus, and love Him in sincerity, endeavouring to walk in all good conscience before Him, may, in this life, be certainly assured that they are in the state of grace, (1 John 2:3, 1 John 3:14,18–19,21,24, 1 John 5:13) and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, which hope shall never make them ashamed. 18, 1 Cor. 66:13–14, Ps. Of the holy Scripture Chapter II. 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. 11:25–29) worshipping the elements, the lifting them up, or carrying them about, for adoration, and the reserving them for any pretended religious use; are all contrary to the nature of this sacrament, and to the institution of Christ. 16:1, Acts 20:7) which, in Scripture, is called the Lord’s Day, (Rev. Besides this law, commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel, as a Church under age, ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship, prefiguring Christ, his graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits; and partly holding forth divers instructions of moral duties. 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. 1:2, 1 Cor. 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. 2:16, Tit. So also are all other elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word. 26:18) or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven; (Matt. 5:12–20) upon condition of perfect and personal obedience. 19:21, Eccl. 2:2, Ps. 6:17, Jude 1:23) All which ceremonial laws are now abrogated, under the new testament. (1 Cor. (Gal. This sanctification is throughout, in the whole man; (1 Thess. V. The moral law doth forever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof; and that not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the authority of God the Creator who gave it. 6:22–23), 2. 135:6, Acts 17:25–26,28) from the greatest even to the least, (Matt. It is lawful for Christians to accept and execute the office of a magistrate when called thereunto; in the managing whereof, as they ought especially to maintain piety, justice, and peace, according to the wholesome laws of each commonwealth, so, for that end, they may lawfully, now under the New Testament, wage war upon just and necessary occasions. 5:1) yet is it not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but worketh by love. IV. Infidelity, or difference in religion, doth not make void the magistrate's just and legal authority, nor free the people from their obedience to him: from which ecclesiastical persons are not exempted; much less hath the Pope any power or 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 pretense whatsoever. 11:23–26, 1 Cor. 5:7) which were, for that time, sufficient and efficacious, through the operation of the Spirit, to instruct and build up the elect in faith in the promised Messiah, (1 Cor. 20:7, Lev. 5:16) adorn the profession of the gospel, (Tit. The authority of the holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man or Church, but wholly upon God (who is truth itself), the Author thereof; and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God. 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. A lawful oath is part of religious worship, (Deut. 3:21, Rom. The moral law doth for ever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof; (Rom. 51:4–5, 7, 9, 14, Ps. This Sabbath is to be kept holy unto the Lord when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering of their common affairs beforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all the day from their own works, words, and thoughts about their worldly employments and recreations; 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. 59:21), 4. In the case of adultery after marriage, it is lawful for the innocent party to sue out a divorce, and after the divorce to marry another, as if the offending party were dead. 9:24, 26, Isa. 13:12, Matt. It can not oblige to sin; but in any thing not sinful, being taken, it binds to performance, although to a man's own hurt: nor is it to be violated, although made to heretics or infidels. (2 Pet. 56:6–7, Heb. 8:2, Eph. And yet their neglect of them is more sinful, and displeasing unto God. 5:13–14, Rom. They being the root of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was (imputed); (Gen. 1:27–28, Gen. 2:16–17, Acts 17:26, Rom. 14:13) nor for those of whom it may be known that they have sinned the sin unto death. 4:25) nevertheless, they are not justified, until the Holy Spirit doth, in due time, actually apply Christ unto them. The Epistle of James 11:19, Phil. 8:10) may be often and many ways assailed, and weakened, but gets the victory: (Luke 22:31–32, Eph. 31:22, Ps. II. God alone is Lord of the conscience, and hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are in any thing contrary to his Word, or beside it in matters of faith or worship. Neither are the forementioned uses of the law contrary to the grace of the Gospel, but do sweetly comply with it; (Gal. I. 2:5) by the help of His Spirit, (Rom. As the providence of God doth, in general, reach to all creatures; so, after a most special manner, it taketh care of His Church, and disposeth all things to the good thereof. 2. 145:17) according to His infallible foreknowledge, (Acts 15:18, Ps. III. (Isa. II. Whosoever taketh an oath ought duly to consider the weightiness of so solemn an act, and therein to avouch nothing but what he is fully persuaded is the truth: (Exod. (Matt. 30:6, Ezek. 65;2) and, that it may be accepted, it is to be made in the name of the Son, (John 14:13–14, 1 Pet. 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