" For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen. " –Romans 11:36 (ESV)

Why does our church have a confession of faith?

If you have been attending our church for a while, you may have noticed that occasionally we make reference to “our confession of faith”.  Perhaps you have wondered what we mean when we use that phrase.  Perhaps the idea of a church holding to a confession of faith is unfamiliar to you.  Hopefully, the explanation below will help you begin to understand both the idea and the benefit of a confession of faith for a local church.

A confession of faith is a summary statement of what the Bible teaches.  In our confession of faith, we have 32 brief chapters that state in clear terms the key doctrines of the Scripture.  For example, if you read our confession of faith, you will find teachings on the doctrine of God, the doctrine of creation, the doctrine of Christ and much more.  It is important for a church to have such a summary because when visitors come it is their right to know what the church believes.  Since it is impossible for a pastor to preach on every doctrine all the time the confession of faith serves as a simple, shorthand guide so that anyone may quickly discover what our church believes and teaches on the major areas of Christianity.

It is our desire as a church that everyone who attends will know their Bible well.  We want to be able to understand God’s word so that we may honour God with how we think, speak and live. But the bible is a big book!  And sometimes it can be quite confusing.   However, a confession of faith helps a person read their bible more profitably.  If you will notice, every paragraph in our confession of faith has relevant bible verses listed underneath it so that the reader can examine what has been written in order to make sure it matches the bible.  Anyone who spends time looking at these verses and comparing them with our confession of faith will gain a large and detailed picture of many key themes and doctrines found in Scripture.  Also, when a person reads the bible after having read our confession, they will be on the lookout for doctrines such as effectual calling, justification, the perseverance of the saints and the assurance of grace and salvation.  This doctrinal awareness will greatly enhance one’s enjoyment of God’s word and the richness of truth that is found within it.

Every church has a confession of faith.  It may not be written down or it may never be acknowledged but every church does in fact have a view of how the bible ought to be taught and explained.  We want to be honest with you and tell you what we believe.  Therefore, we want you to know that we hold to the 2nd London Baptist Confession of 1689.  This document is available for free online.

However, we know that not all Christians agree on the various points of biblical doctrine.  We do not expect that everyone who visits or even all those who join us in membership will embrace every point listed in our confession.  To become a Christian, one must repent of their sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.  Holding to a particular confession of faith does not save someone nor does it keep someone from being saved if they do not hold to a particular confession of faith.  However, a confession of faith allows everyone in our congregation to know what to expect from the preaching on Sunday.  And it allows us to discuss our differences openly and respectfully knowing exactly where we differ and where we agree.

“Great indeed we confess, is the mystery of godliness…” I Timothy 3:16.