Why Should a Church Have a Confession of Faith?

A local church exists to proclaim and defend the truth. The Bible calls the church to „contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints“ (Jude 3), as it is „the pillar and support of the truth“ (1 Timothy 3:15).

A confession of faith helps us fulfill that biblical responsibility. In a positive sense, it establishes a doctrinal standard for the teaching of the church. In a negative sense, it helps us discern false teaching and „test the spirits to see whether they are from God“ (1 John 4:1).

Some Christians object that confessions undermine the authority of the Bible. They claim, „We have no creed but the Bible.“ We have sympathy for their concern, but we believe they are mistaken.

First, the Confession is subordinate to the Scriptures. For example, the well-known 1689 Baptist Confession reads, „The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience.“

The Bible is our authority, not the Confession.

Secondly, it’s overly simplistic to think we can defend the faith by saying, „We believe the Bible.“ Church history proves that heretics claim to believe the Bible even as they deny the basic doctrines of Christianity.

A clear confession makes it more difficult for false teachers to gain a foothold and thus protects the body from error.

(reblogged with some ajustments from Truth Community Blog)

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