Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Second London Baptist Confession of 1689

On the back page of our Sunday bulletins we have presented some of the early church's important doctrinal formulations called "creeds" (from the Latin credo - "I believe"). After the era of the early church, the next major historical period which produced statements of faith was the Reformation and post-Reformation. German, Swiss, French, and English churches all produced many statements of faith. Perhaps the most significant historical confession for Baptists is the confession formally published in London in 1689. I will present it here seriatim for your edification, occasionally commenting on various aspects.

Chapter 1—The Holy Scripture

1.1 The Holy Scripture is the all-sufficient, certain and infallible rule or standard of the knowledge, faith and obedience that constitute salvation. Although the light of nature, and God's works of creation and providence, give such clear testimony to His goodness, wisdom and power that men who spurn them are left inexcusable, yet they are not sufficient of themselves to give that knowledge of God and His will which is necessary for salvation. In consequence the merciful Lord from time to time and in a variety of ways has revealed Himself, and made known His will to His church. And furthermore, in order to ensure the preservation and propagation of the truth, and the establishment and comfort of the church against the corrupt nature of man and the malice of Satan and the world, He caused this revelation of Himself and His will to be written down in all its fullness. And as the manner in which God formerly revealed His will has long ceased, the Holy Scripture becomes absolutely essential to men. [Ps 19:1-3; Prov 22:19-21; Isa 8:20; Luke 16:29,31; Rom 1:19-21, 2:14-15, 15:4; Eph 2:20; 2Tim 3:15-17; Heb 1:1; 2Pet 1:19-20.]

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