The Reformed Pronomian Confession of Faith
Welcome to the Reformed Pronomian Confession of Faith, a confession that intertwines divine law and gracious faith in Christ. This confession emerges from a heartfelt commitment to live under the perpetual light of God’s Law, with a mindful acknowledgment of the redemptive power of Jesus Christ. It gracefully navigates through biblical covenants and God’s redemptive timeline. As you explore, may this confession not only offer theological insight but also ignite a deeper, enriched walk with God through a robust understanding of His laws and grace.
Chapter 1: Of the Holy Scriptures
- While the wonders of creation and the acts of providence manifestly declare the wisdom, power, and goodness of God, making mankind without excuse (Romans 1:20), they do not sufficiently unveil the knowledge of God and His will essential for salvation. Therefore, it pleased the Lord, at various times and in different ways, to make known Himself and His will to His Church (Hebrews 1:1). To safeguard and propagate this truth against the corruption of the flesh, the deceit of Satan, and the ways of the world, He deemed it necessary to inscribe these revelations in writing (2 Peter 1:20-21). This has made the Holy Scripture indispensable, given that former modes of God’s revelations have now ceased (Hebrews 1:2).
- Under the title of Holy Scripture or the Written Word of God, are encompassed all the books of the Old and New Testaments, traditionally found in Protestant Bibles:
Of the Old Testament:
- 1 Samuel
- 2 Samuel
- 1 Kings
- 2 Kings
- 1 Chronicles
- 2 Chronicles
- Song of Solomon (or Song of Songs)
Of the New Testament:
- 1 Corinthians
- 2 Corinthians
- 1 Thessalonians
- 2 Thessalonians
- 1 Timothy
- 2 Timothy
- 1 Peter
- 2 Peter
- 1 John
- 2 John
- 3 John
These are divinely inspired, serving as the definitive rule for faith and life (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
3. The writings often termed as Apocrypha, lacking divine inspiration, are not considered part of the Canon of Scripture (Revelation 22:18-19). As such, they possess no authority within the Church of God and should be esteemed and utilized in the same manner as other secular writings.
4. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it should be accepted and obeyed, is not contingent upon the testimony of any man or church. Its sole foundation is God, the epitome of truth, its Author (2 Peter 1:20-21). Thus, it is embraced because it is the Word of God.
5. The testimony of the Church may move and lead us to hold the Holy Scripture in high and revered regard. Yet, the heavenly nature of its content, the potency of its teachings, the grandeur of its style, and its central aim – to glorify God in its entirety – serve as proofs of its divine origin (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Regardless, our complete conviction of its unfailing truth and divine authority stems from the inner workings of the Holy Spirit, who affirms its veracity within our hearts (John 16:13).
6. The entirety of God’s counsel, concerning all things vital for His glory, man’s salvation, faith, and life, is explicitly laid out in Scripture or can logically be inferred from it (2 Timothy 3:15-17). Nothing should be added to it, whether through new spiritual revelations or human traditions (Deuteronomy 4:2).
7. While not all Scripture is immediately clear to everyone, the fundamental truths required for salvation are presented transparently in one part of Scripture or another, ensuring that anyone can comprehend them with the proper use of ordinary means (Psalm 119:105).
8. The Old Testament, written in Hebrew and Aramaic, and the New Testament, written in Greek, were divinely inspired. God’s providence has preserved their purity throughout the ages, granting them authority (Matthew 5:18). In religious disputes, the Church should refer to these texts. However, given that not all of God’s people are familiar with these languages, the Scriptures should be translated into the common language of every nation, enabling all to worship God properly (Nehemiah 8:8).
9. The infallible guideline for interpreting the Scripture is the Scripture itself (2 Peter 1:20). Therefore, if there’s uncertainty about the true meaning of a particular passage, it can be clarified by referring to other parts of the Scripture that are more evident.
10. The ultimate authority to resolve all religious disputes and evaluate doctrines, ancient writings, or any spiritual matter is none other than the Holy Spirit speaking through the Scripture (1 Corinthians 2:12-14).
Chapter 2: Of God and the Holy Trinity
- There exists solely one living and true God (Deuteronomy 6:4), infinite in essence and perfection, a purely spiritual entity, unseen, not possessing a physical body, parts, or fluctuating emotions, unchanging, boundless, timeless, beyond human comprehension, all-powerful, supremely wise, exceedingly holy, entirely free, and absolutely sovereign. He orchestrates all events according to His unchanging and perfectly righteous will, all for His own magnification (Ephesians 1:11). He is most loving, gracious, merciful, and patient, overflowing with goodness and truth, forgiving sin, transgression, and iniquity; rewarding those who earnestly seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). Simultaneously, He is utterly just and awe-inspiring in His judgments, detesting all sin, and will by no means leave the guilty unpunished (Nahum 1:3).
- God embodies all life, honor, benevolence, and blessedness from and within Himself; He is self-sufficient, not reliant on any of His creation, nor obtaining any glory from them but only showcasing His own splendor through and upon them (Romans 11:36). He stands as the unique source of all existence, through whom and for whom all things exist. He exercises supreme dominion over them, acting upon and for them as He wills. In His presence, everything is transparent and evident; His knowledge is boundless, unfailing, and independent of His creation; hence, to Him, nothing is unexpected or uncertain (Psalm 147:5). In every plan, action, and command, He remains utmost in holiness. From angels, humans, and all creatures, He rightfully demands the worship, service, or obedience that pleases Him (Revelation 4:11).
- Within the unity of the Godhead, there exist three Persons sharing one essence, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). The Father is without origin, neither birthed nor emerging; the Son has been eternally begotten of the Father (John 1:14); the Holy Spirit eternally proceeds from the Father and the Son (John 15:26).
Chapter 3: Of God's Eternal Decree
- From eternity, by the profound wisdom and pure counsel of His will, God freely and unerringly ordained all that would transpire (Ephesians 1:11). This decree, however, ensures that God is not the creator of sin; nor is any infringement made upon the will of creatures, neither is the freedom or the possibility of secondary causes removed, but rather confirmed.
- While God is omniscient, encompassing knowledge of all potential eventualities under all conceivable circumstances, He has not ordained based merely on foreseeing future events or conditions that may be brought to pass (Isaiah 46:10).
- For the splendid display of His glory, God has predestined certain men and angels for eternal life, while others are preordained for eternal separation (Matthew 25:34, 41). Those predestined or preordained are designated with precision and permanence, and their count remains absolute, unalterable in increase or decrease.
- Of humanity, those predestined for life were chosen in Christ before the world’s foundation, following God’s unchangeable intent and the secret counsel of His will, solely due to His unmerited grace and love, independent of foresight of faith, good deeds, or persistence in either, or any other qualities or actions within the individual. All of this culminates in the exaltation of His magnificent grace (Ephesians 1:4-6).
- As God has marked the elect for glory, He has also preordained the paths leading to that glory. Thus, those chosen, having fallen with Adam, are redeemed through Christ, are powerfully summoned to faith in Christ by His Spirit in its appointed time; they are justified, adopted, sanctified, and safeguarded by His might, through faith leading to salvation. Only the elect experience this full redemption and salvation in Christ (Romans 8:29-30).
- For the remainder of humanity, in line with His inscrutable will—where He bestows or withholds mercy as He desires for the exaltation of His supreme authority over His creations—God chose to bypass them, ordaining them to endure the consequences of their sins, all of which highlights His impeccable justice (Romans 9:17-18).
- The doctrine of predestination must be approached with utmost care and discernment. By focusing on God’s revealed will in His Word and adhering to it, individuals can gain assurance of their eternal election through the certainty of their effective calling. Thus, this doctrine becomes a source of praise, reverence, and awe towards God, and a wellspring of humility, commitment, and immense consolation for all who earnestly follow the Gospel.
Chapter 3: Of Creation
- For the radiant display of His eternal might, wisdom, and benevolence, it delighted God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—to inaugurate creation. In the beginning, He fashioned out of nothing the cosmos and everything within it, both visible and invisible. This vast expanse was crafted in a span of six days, with each facet of creation reflecting His impeccable standard of goodness (Genesis 1:1-31; Hebrews 11:3).
- Upon crafting the myriad creatures of the earth, sky, and waters, God’s culminating act of creation was humanity. He fashioned them male and female, bestowing upon them rational and eternal souls. These souls were endowed with knowledge, righteousness, and the purity of true holiness, mirroring the image of God Himself (Genesis 1:26-27). Within their hearts, the law of God was ingrained, granting them the capacity to adhere to it. Yet, they were also granted the liberty of will, which bore the potential for deviation, making their moral state mutable.
- Beyond the intrinsic law etched in their hearts, the first humans were given an explicit edict: to abstain from consuming the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17). In their adherence to this command, they flourished in their fellowship with God, enjoying a harmonious dominion over all other creatures. Their happiness and prosperity in this communion were contingent upon their obedience to God’s directive.