belgic

The
Belgic (or Netherlands) Confession of Faith

Introduction

This
is historically the first of our "Three
Forms of Unity
" (Heidelberg Catechism,
Belgic Confession of Faith, and the Canons of Dordt),
having been composed in 1561. It is often called the Belgic Confession
because it was written in the southern Lowlands, now known as Belgium.
Its chief author was Guido de Bres, on of the several itinerant preachers
during those days of persecution, who died a martyr’s death.


Under Philip II, of Spain, an ally of the Romish Church, the Reformed
believers in the Lowlands were sorely persecuted as revolutionaries. This
Confession was written primarily as a testimony to the Spanish king to
prove that the Reformed believers were not rebels, as was charged, but
law-abiding citizens who professed only those doctrines which were the
teachings of Holy Scripture. In 1562 a copy was sent to the Spanish king,
accompanied by a petition for relief from persecution, in which the petitioners
declared that they were ready to obey the government in all lawful things,
although they would "offer their backs to stripes, their tongues
to knives, their mouths to gags, and their whole bodies to fire,"
rather than deny the truth of God’s Word.


The Confession and the petition had no effect on the Spanish authorities.
However, it served well as a means of instruction of Reformed believers
and thus became an expression of the faith of a people enduring suffering
for Christ’s sake. This is also reflected in its language. For while this
confession follows the objective doctrinal order in its articles, its
profoundly personal element is evident from the fact that every article
begins with such words as, "We believe…," "We believe
and confess…," or, "We all believe with the heart and confess
with the mouth…."


The confession was adopted by several National Synods in the sixteenth
century, and, after careful revision of the text, was approved and adopted
by the Synod of Dordrecht, 1618-1619, and ever since that time included
among our "Three Forms of Unity."

Articles

Article
1
:

That there is One Only God.
Article
2
:
By what means God is made known unto us.

Article
3
:
Of the written Word of God.

Article
4
:
Canonical Books of the Holy Scripture.

Article
5
:
From whence the Holy Scriptures derive their dignity and authority.

Article
6
:
The difference between the canonical and apocryphal books.

Article
7
:
The sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures, to be the only rule
of faith.

Article
8
:
That God is one in Essence, yet nevertheless distinguished
in three Persons.

Article
9
:
The proof of the foregoing article of the Trinity of persons
in one God.

Article
10
:
That Jesus Christ is true and eternal God.
Article 11
:
That the Holy Ghost is true and eternal God.

Article
12
:
Of the Creation.

Article
13
:
Of Divine Providence.

Article
14
:
Of the Creation and Fall of man, and his Incapacity to perform
what is truly good.

Article
15
:
Of Original Sin.

Article
16
:
Of Eternal Election.

Article
17
:
Of the Recovery of Fallen Man.

Article
18
:
Of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ.

Article
19
:
Of the union and distinction of the two Natures in the person
of Christ.

Article
20
:
That God hath manifested his justice and mercy in Christ Jesus.

Article
21
:
Of the satisfaction of Christ, our only High Priest, for us.

Article
22
:
Of Faith in Jesus Christ.

Article
23
:
Of Justification.

Article
24
:
Of man’s Sanctification and Good Works.

Article
25
:
Of the abolishing of the Ceremonial Law.

Article
26
:
Of Christ’s Intercession.

Article
27
:
Of the Catholic Christian Church.

Article
28
:
That every one is bound to join himself to the true Church.

Article
29
:
Of the marks of the true Church, and wherein she differs from
the false Church.

Article
30
:
Concerning the Government of, and Offices in the Church.

Article
31
:
Of the Ministers, Elders, and Deacons.

Article
32
:
Of the Order and Discipline of the Church.

Article
33
:
Of the Sacraments.

Article
34
:
Of Holy Baptism.

rticle
35
:
Of the Holy Supper of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Article
36
:
Of Magistrates.

Article
37
:
Of the Last Judgment.