Updated 30 June 2012
The Confession of
Faith of the Uniting Presbyterian
Church in Southern Africa (September 2006) - click to read online
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Table of Contents
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The Need for Redemption
Purpose and Predicament of Humankind
The God who Redeems
Son, Revealer and Reconciler
Father, Creator and Sustainer
Holy Spirit, Life-giver and Sanctifier
The Revelation of Redemption
Revelation, Scripture, Preaching and Personal Witness
Revelation and Culture
The Way of Redemption
Dominion of God
Faith and Justification
The Response to Redemption
Gratitude and Sanctification
Vocation, Money and Rest
Image of God
Marriage, Sex and Children
The Community of the Redeemed
Discipline and the Keys
The World in which Redemption Takes Place
In Christ God created the earth and everything in it good, and blessed
human beings with life, meaning and purpose. But humankind has sinned
and fallen under divine judgement. In this predicament Christ is our
only hope and comfort, in life and in death. For in him God has acted
to redeem and sanctify us and so through the Holy Spirit revealed who
and what God is. Christ has also revealed God’s will for us and
promised God’s final victory over sin and suffering.
The Need for Redemption
1. The Purpose and
Predicament of Humankind
1.1 The good news in Jesus Christ tells us that we were created to
enjoy communion with God in community with one another, to delight in
creation and to glorify the Creator. This remains God’s purpose for
humankind, and is the reason why we exist.
1.2 Christ claims the whole of life for God and so makes clear how
far short of grateful and loving obedience to God we have fallen.
His death for our sins reveals the gravity of sin; his saving grace
shows how empty every human claim to righteousness is.
1.3 The story of Adam and Eve portrays how, from the beginning,
humankind has yielded to the temptation to turn away from God and in
pride aspire to be self-sufficient and autonomous. That is what sin is.
Instead of trusting and obeying God we have rebelled against God’s holy
will, setting ourselves up to be like God and to judge for ourselves
between right and wrong according to our own self-interest.
1.4 Sin infects and corrupts our lives. It darkens our minds and
perverts our very wills. All human virtue is itself defiled with
self-interest. Our very knowledge of good and evil is a fallen
knowledge, for we confuse what we ought to do with what we want to do.
All human beings are in bondage to sin, unable to rescue themselves or
of themselves turn to God to be rescued. The worst state is to
believe in one’s own righteousness and moral superiority.
1.5 Sin dominates the whole of human life. In our private and in our
public lives we fall under the power of evil. We sin individually
and corporately. We are proud, self-centred, resentful, lustful,
greedy, corrupt; we hurt, exploit, discriminate against and oppress
others; we neglect the needy. Sin misuses our greatest technological
advances, ruining the environment and threatening us all with mutual
1.6 Sin empties life of meaning and ends in despair. It makes us
enemies of God, of one another, of our natural environment and even of
ourselves. It grievously offends God, brings us all under God’s
righteous wrath and just judgement and leads to final alienation
1.7 In this predicament we turn to false gods to find meaning and hope
for our lives. A false god is anything of relative value to which we
give absolute value or in which we put our final trust and so make an
idol of it. Some false gods are: our race, nation, family, culture,
social status, money, possessions, power, ideology, science,
technology, sex, sport, alcohol, drugs, nature and even religion
itself. Every false god enslaves its worshippers in further
The God who Redeems
2. God the Son, Revealer and
2.1 The good news is that God does not abandon us to the judgement we
deserve. In the history of Israel and above all in Jesus of
Nazareth God, in sovereign and free grace, breaks through our
alienation and our blindness.
2.2 God alone can make God known and does so in and through Jesus
Christ. For Christ is God’s own eternal Wisdom and Word, by whom
God made all things. As the Word he alone is the revelation or
self-communication of God become flesh, the visible representation of
the invisible God, the human face of God in history. As such he is
himself God. Thus he alone reveals God as God truly is. God is
always transcendent, infinite, mysterious, beyond human
comprehension, yet no other than what Christ reveals. As the Word
Christ is the Truth, and as the Truth he is the Way and the Life.
2.3 For the salvation of the world the eternal Word, or Son, of God
humbled himself and by the Holy Spirit took on our humanity in the
womb of the Virgin Mary. He was born, was anointed by the Spirit
and lived as an itinerant Jewish rabbi in Palestine. In him deity
and humanity are united in one person, truly and fully God, yet truly
and fully human, subject to all our human limitations and weaknesses
and so also to temptation and suffering.
2.4 Jesus came to the Jews as their long-promised Messiah, identifying
with them as an oppressed people. Anointed with the Holy Spirit, he
proclaimed God’s coming dominion on earth. Already in his own
ministry that dominion invaded our time as a foretaste of God’s new
world. Tempted like us, he overcame temptation and broke the human
pattern of failure and sin. He made God’s grace known to sinners
and healed the sick in body, mind and spirit. But because his life and
teaching judged the religion, morality and national ambitions of his
people, they rejected him. Jews and Gentiles alike were guilty of
his crucifixion. By crucifying Jesus the world passed judgement on
2.5 Jesus crowned his work for God’s dominion by giving his life as a
sin-offering for the world.  The guilt of sin demanded the death of
the guilty. But, in obedience to the Father’s loving purpose,
Christ died on the cross as a sinless human being for sinful human
beings, the righteous for the unrighteous, the Judge in the place of
the judged. He took our sin and bore God’s judgement and wrath
against sin in our place. Only in this way could he give us his
righteousness. This unblemished sacrifice atoned once and for all for
all sin; no other sacrifice is needed, sufficient or acceptable to
2.6 Jesus not only suffered death for us but by his glorious
resurrection overcame death for us. God raised him in body and spirit,
in time and space, as the first-fruits of those who have fallen
asleep. Thus the victim of sin and death became for us the Victor
over sin, death, Satan and all evil powers, inaugurated the new
creation. and brought us the free gift of eternal life.
2.7 This atonement reconciled the world to God. It honoured the holy
justice of God that cannot condone or overlook sin and at the same time
proved God’s love for all sinners and glorified the grace of God that
forgives. For through union with Christ we have forgiveness for all
our sin, righteousness before God, reconciliation with God
and victory over sin, death and every evil power.
2.8 Thus Jesus Christ is the only Mediator between God and people,
the only Saviour for all humankind. Exalted to God’s ‘right hand’,
he is our eternal Advocate and High Priest who intercedes for us;
he is Lord over all the universe and over every area of human life,
private and public.
2.9 Our most critical decision in life is how we respond to this good
news: with faith and commitment or with unbelief or indifference.
3. God the Father, Creator
3.1 God heard the cry of the Hebrews in Egypt, liberated them from
oppression, provided them with food and water in the desert and led
them to the promised land. This and their continuing experience of
providence and judgement revealed God to them as the creator and ruler
of all things who brings justice to the oppressed and demands justice
and righteousness from all people. They came to know God as Father
of the chosen people and even of individuals in it.
3.2 The incarnation, teaching, miracles and resurrection of Jesus
Christ and the new creation in him confirmed the Old Testament
revelation of God as the eternal Creator and sustainer of all things
visible and invisible, who is universally present, undergirding all
creation and all life, the sovereign Ruler over all things, the
fountain of all truth, wisdom, love, goodness and beauty, the just
Judge and merciful Saviour of humankind. Jesus taught his disciples
about God as his Father and their Father in heaven. Through Christ, the
only begotten Son of God, the Father adopts us as sons and daughters,
but also loves and cares for all people like a loving father.
3.3 Before the almighty Creator we ought to bow in awe; before the holy
and righteous Judge of the universe we should stand in fear; but in God
as our loving and merciful Father we may confidently trust.
3.4 Scripture uses female or motherly metaphors as well for God,
because God relates to creation and to us with motherly care and tender
compassion. But God is not a mother in the sense that the world or
humankind is generated from a divine womb or is an extension of God’s
own being. God is Spirit and transcends all gender.
4. God the Holy Spirit,
Life-giver and Sanctifier
4.1 The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God and is one with God as a human
spirit is one with a human being. The Spirit is the living,
creative, personal, immediate presence and power of the transcendent
God extended into the world, at work in it and in us. The Spirit is
thus fully God and not at all to be ranked with any other existing or
supposed spirit, whether ancestral or supernatural.
4.2 The Holy Spirit is likewise the Spirit of Christ, his living
presence and power. Christ poured out the Spirit on the Church at
Pentecost. He comes to us and works in us always by his Spirit, who
resides in everyone who has faith in Christ. Scripture calls us to
be constantly filled with the Spirit.
4.3 The Spirit, the Giver of life, was active in creation and is
active in the new creation. The Spirit inspired the law, the
prophets and the apostles and enables the Word to take root in our
hearts. Through the Word and the sacraments the Spirit brings home to
us the judgement and grace of God, enables us to recognize and
accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour and moves us to commit ourselves to
him. The Spirit unites us to Christ and to one another in his
Body, gives us new birth, sets us free from bondage to sin, and
assures us that we are now children of God.
4.4 The Spirit helps us to pray, moves us to worship and obey
God, gives us faith and hope, pours the love of God into our
hearts and brings forth the fruit of the Spirit. The Spirit
equips us with an abundance of gifts and talents to build up his
Body and empowers us to serve and witness to Jesus Christ in the
world. In all these ways the Spirit brings life and revival to, and
through, the Church.
4.5 The indwelling Spirit is the promise and foretaste of God’s coming
4.6 Through the Spirit God guides us in our daily lives. But every
claimed experience or guidance of the Spirit must be tested by the Word
5. The Trinity
5.1 God’s self-disclosure in Jesus Christ and outpouring of the Holy
Spirit reveal God as Father, Son and Spirit, at the same time
transcendent over the world, acting in history, and present in the
world. This revelation in history discloses what God truly and
inherently is, for what God reveals is true. It is the revelation
of the one true and living God, who alone is to be worshipped and
5.2 The Father speaks, and Christ is the Word that is spoken. The Son
is eternally generated by the Father, Light of Light, God of God.
In him the fullness of deity dwells. Through him the Father made
all things, reconciles us to the Godhead and saves us from sin and
death.  The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God eternally proceeding
from the Father through the Son and operating in and through the
Son, who sends the Spirit into the world to give life, renew, 
sanctify and guide.
5.3 God is one identical yet threefold being: one in three and three in
one. The one indivisible God who said, ‘I am who I am,’ has always
existed and will always exist in three distinct and different but
inseparable ways of being, which we call Persons. Each is wholly
and fully God, the same in majesty, glory and power, but distinguished
by a different relation to the others. They exist eternally with,
for, and in one another; yet all retain their identities in personal
relationship with one another. They constitute a living communion
of mutual self-giving, so that there is no solitude or self-centredness
in the eternal Trinity. Instead holy love is and always has been at the
very heart of the Godhead.
5.4 All outward action of the Godhead begins with the Father and
proceeds through the Son in the Spirit. Though God the Father
particularly is the Creator and Sustainer of all things, God the
Son the Revealer and Reconciler and God the Spirit the Giver of Life
and Sanctifier, all three share together in the creation and
preservation of all things, the revelation of God’s truth, the
reconciliation and redemption of humankind and the renewal and
perfection of creation. For all three are one in being, nature,
will and work, the same in goodness, justice, love and mercy.
5.5 The Father is revealed by the Son through the Spirit, and no one
comes to the Father except through the Son and in the Spirit. No
one comes to the Son and confesses him as Lord unless drawn by the
Father and moved by the Spirit.
5.6 In condescending to be known by us God yet remains transcendent,
holy and mysterious. God’s being is a mystery that we can now know only
dimly and in part, but are to adore eternally.
The Revelation of Redemption
6. Revelation, Scripture,
Preaching and Personal Witness
6.1 In themselves, whether by means of their intellect or by striving
to be better people or by spiritual or religious practices, human
beings are unable to find and know God. For God reigns in infinite and
transcendent majesty, and we are but finite creatures; God reigns in
impregnable holiness, and we are sinners. We are not even able to hear
God speak to us. But by grace alone, in the power of the Holy
Spirit, God’s Word breaks through our spiritual deafness, convicts us
of sin and moves us to repent and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and
6.2 Thus revelation is always the Word of the living God addressing us
in the power of the Spirit. In the most exact sense that Word is the
Lord Jesus Christ himself. In him God has spoken to us unambiguously,
so that the test of sound teaching is its accord with the gospel.
6.3 Christ reveals himself to us through the witness that Holy
Scripture bears to him, and through the witness that the Church bears
to him on the basis of Scripture. Thus Christ speaks in the power of
the Spirit through Scripture, preaching and personal witness, where and
when he chooses.
6.4 The same Spirit who spoke through the prophets and Jesus and the
apostles inspired the writing of the Scriptures. They record
the revelation of God’s grace, will and purpose for the world in the
call of Abraham, the liberation and history of Israel, in the birth,
ministry, death, resurrection and exaltation of Jesus Christ and in the
outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Scripture is thus the sufficient and
uniquely authoritative witness to Jesus Christ, the living Word of God.
As such it is the Word of God written and the final rule of faith and
6.5 The ultimate authority of Scripture itself rests on its witness to
Jesus Christ, who lived, died and rose again for the world’s salvation,
and on the Spirit’s inner witness that God in person is speaking to us
in the words of Scripture. In all revelation God is sovereign and
speaks in the present.
6.6 Scripture consists of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments
commonly accepted as fully canonical. The Spirit guided the community
of faith to recognize these writings as the unique and faithful record
of the Word of God on which the people of God was founded and thus the
criterion by which to judge the broader tradition of which they are
6.7 Neither Testament is dispensable: each is to be read in the light
of the other. The Old Testament bears witness to God’s faithfulness,
justice and grace in dealing with Israel and points forward to the
coming Messiah. The New Testament witnesses to the coming of the
Messiah in the past and his coming in glory in the future. Thus the New
Testament presupposes, builds upon and completes the Old. Only if
we are schooled in the Old Testament will we properly interpret the New
and its gospel of the dominion of God. But what the Old Testament
proclaims Christ reveals fully: God’s justice, love and grace and the
promise of God’s victory over all evil.
6.8 The Scriptures are inspired by the same God who accepted the
constraints of the incarnation. Thus though inspired by the Spirit, the
Scriptures are at the same time fully human documents. As the elements
in Holy Communion remain bread and wine yet through the sacrament
Christ imparts himself to us, so the Word of God is accommodated to our
understanding in, and imparts itself to us through, the human words of
6.9 Indeed as human documents the books of the Bible are conditioned by
the thought forms of their times and open to rational analysis. Such
analysis helps us understand their literary and historical nature and
their social, political, ideological and religious contexts. Yet it is
not detached rational analysis, or for that matter religious intuition,
but the Holy Spirit who uncovers the Word of God to us. It is not
we who judge God’s Word in the Bible, but the Word that examines and
judges us. To hear the Word of God in the Bible and in preaching we
need ears opened, and hearts enlightened, by the Spirit.
6.10 God’s Word is sovereign, and Holy Scripture is the source and only
criterion for all that the church teaches. God may speak to us also
through the grandeur of nature, the rustling of a leaf, the storms and
silences of life, a vision, a dream or the cry of a hungry child.
We need to listen for God’s call and command at all times, wherever we
are. But every claimed revelation is to be tested by the normative
criterion of the Word of God as Scripture bears witness to it.
6.11 Scripture needs to be interpreted from within the community of
faith and its tradition, of which Scripture itself is a part. The Holy
Spirit has also guided the great councils of the Church and the
formulation of its great creeds, whose authority we recognize. Yet,
important as church tradition is in guiding us how to interpret
Scripture, Scripture itself is the uniquely normative part of all
tradition. The Holy Spirit speaking through Scripture is the
standard by which all tradition, councils, creeds, confessions and
other pronouncements, all religious experience and human reasoning and
all preaching and personal witness are to be tested. The Spirit does
not reveal truth different from that in Scripture, but opens our minds
to the gospel and impresses on them its truth.
6.12 Scripture is its own interpreter in the sense that its fundamental
message must be understood not in terms of any interpretive key from
outside it but on its own terms. Every biblical passage is to be
interpreted in the light of the whole of Scripture and above all in the
light of Christ. For it is to Christ that Scripture bears witness: he
is its burden, its centre, its purpose, its unity and the fulfilment of
all its divine promises.All of Scripture is to be read with the
aim of finding Christ in it.
6.13 As a witness to God’s Word Scripture is judged only by the Christ
to whom it witnesses and who speaks through it. For he is the Lord of
Scripture and its norm. As the herald and living embodiment of God’s
grace and coming dominion, as the Galilean Jew who identified with the
poor and oppressed, having nowhere to lay his own head, as the victim
of the religious and political powers at whose hands he died for our
sins and as the Lord who rose for our justification and was exalted as
sovereign over all of life, he is the liberating Word that is the key
to the interpretation of all Scripture. Our own egoism and group and
class interests constantly tempt us to read Scripture through the
spectacles of our pride, prejudices and vested interests; as God’s
Word, however, Christ always calls for repentance, faith, humility and
gratitude and for liberation and justice for the poor, the exploited
and the victimized.
6.14 True preaching expounds the Scriptures and applies them to the
contemporary context. It focuses on Christ and calls people to accept
him as Saviour and serve him as Lord in daily life. To the extent that
it is true to Scripture in bearing witness to Jesus Christ and is
empowered by the Spirit, preaching is itself God’s own Word to us.
6.15 Likewise the Spirit empowers the halting words of all who bear
witness to Christ, so that, despite their human weaknesses, they speak
the very Word of God which encounters their hearers and calls them to
faith and obedience. Through preaching and personal witness, then,
Christ takes on audible form as the living Word and encounters people
in the present.
7. The Sacraments
7.1 Christ ordained two sacraments: baptism and Holy Communion. They
respectively succeed circumcision and the Passover in the old covenant.
7.2 The same Word of God that addresses us verbally through Scripture,
preaching and personal witness comes to us visibly and tangibly through
the sacraments. The sacraments are not just symbols of the Word or
visual aids to it but visible, material forms of the Word itself that
apply, confirm and seal the promises of the gospel to the
individual. To all who receive them with open hearts Christ comes
with saving grace in the power of his Spirit.
7.3 As the Holy Spirit awakens faith by means of preaching and personal
witness to Christ, so by means of the sacraments the same Spirit
confirms our faith, binds us to Christ and establishes our salvation.
Thus the sacraments convey and effect God’s promises to sinners; only
in the second place do they express our response to God’s grace.
7.4 Jesus Christ alone saves. Just as no printed or spoken human words
themselves can save, so no water, bread, wine or outward ritual itself
can. Yet Christ comes to us not face to face but wrapped in human words
and in the earthly elements of the sacraments. As the very Word of God
he is the essential content of the sacraments, just as he is of
Scripture, preaching and personal witness. The power of the
sacraments derives wholly from his Spirit.
7.5 The spoken Word, in preaching and in the liturgy, constitutes these
rites as sacraments. It does so by explaining what they signify
and so making clear their offer of grace. Only by trusting in God’s
promise signified by the sacrament and expressed in its accompanying
words do we receive its essential content. Apart from the word of
promise and faith in that promise, the sacraments have no saving effect.
7.6 The sacraments remind us of the incarnation, death and resurrection
of Christ, which accomplished our salvation in the past. Through them
Christ offers, effects and confirms that salvation in the present. They
also anticipate God’s final sanctification and renewal of all things in
7.7 Through the sacraments the Holy Spirit unites us to Christ and
incorporates us in his one body. Christ applies his atonement to
the individual, forgives our sins, seals his covenant of salvation with
us, confirms our faith and empowers us to follow him. The sacraments
identify the Church, and by participating in them we profess our
identity in Christ and our faith before the world.
7.8 The risen Lord Jesus is our Baptizer. In baptism he calls us by
name and initiates us into the covenant of grace and the community
of the redeemed—and so admits us to his holy Table. Baptism therefore
normally takes place in the face of the worshipping community. Preceded
by repentance and confession of faith in Christ as the crucified and
risen Lord, it is with water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy
Spirit. Because the water signifies spiritual cleansing and life,
baptism may be by either immersion in, or pouring on, water.
7.9 Baptism into that name claims us as God’s people, no longer
belonging to the world. God uses baptism in water along with
preaching or personal witness to Christ to baptize us with the
Spirit and give us new birth through faith in him. By baptism
in water, Christ washes away all our guilt and clothes us with his
righteousness; we die and are buried with Christ, to die to sin
and live as new people in him. Baptism incorporates us into his
Body as a community that transcends all divisions of race, class
and gender and consecrates us to be members of the royal
priesthood. It commissions us to take up our cross, follow
him and witness to him. As the sacrament of renewal, it points
forward to the cosmic renewal to come and seals us for the day of
7.10 Christ calls us to be born of water and the Spirit. But as
the wind blows where it wills, so the Spirit regenerates some through
the audible Word and faith without baptism, and not all who are
baptized are born anew.
7.11 God’s covenant is with a community and so with the individuals
within that community. The covenant thus includes not only adult
believers but also their children. As the circumcision of infants
signified this in the old dispensation, so infant baptism signifies it
in the new. For by baptism we are circumcised with the circumcision of
Christ. As circumcision was a sign of repentance and a seal
of righteousness by faith yet administered to infants in
anticipation of these things, so is baptism. Therefore the children of
baptized parents who have repented and confessed their faith may be
baptized too, with the parents’ promising to nurture them in the
faith. To such belongs the dominion of God. The community of
faith is responsible with the parents for the nurture of such children.
Thus it is not on the basis of their understanding or ability that
human beings receive God’s gift, but only through the grace of
God. Infant baptism is not to be practised as a social custom or a
cultural rite of passage after birth: it is not to be administered
7.12 Children who die unbaptized and people whose mental incapacity
does not enable them to respond to the call of grace are not to be seen
as outside the hope of redemption.
7.13 Baptism initiates the children into the covenant, incorporates
them into the body of Christ and engages them to be the Lord’s. But
baptism never replaces the need for faith: it anticipates that, as
members of the community, such children will come to respond with a
free, glad ‘yes’ to God’s ‘Yes’ to them by accepting Christ as
Lord and Saviour—and publicly professing that faith. Their baptism thus
calls them to trust in Christ and worship and obey God as they grow up,
for its promise of grace to be realized in them. The regeneration that
infant baptism signifies may be fulfilled in childhood, adolescence or
even old age, whenever a person is brought to faith.
7.14 As Christ died and rose for us once and for all, baptism happens
only once. Whenever received, it remains effective for the whole
of a believer’s life; its promise is permanent. Whenever we sin or are
troubled or in doubt, Christ calls us to look back to our baptism as
the sacrament through which he initiated us into his covenant, claimed
us and cleansed us for his service; in that light we are to repent, to
die with Christ to self and sin, and rise with him to forgiveness and
7.15 The risen Lord Jesus is the true Celebrant at the Lord’s Supper.
It is the sacrament of communion with him. He instituted it as a
fourfold act of taking, giving thanks, breaking, and sharing bread and
wine that signify his body and blood. Just as baptism is normally in
the face of the congregation, so the Lord’s Supper is normally a
communal meal. Only those who know they are unworthy of the Supper,
grieve for their sins and humbly trust in God’s promise of grace are
ready for it. Those who eat and drink in unbelief dishonour the death
of Christ to their own condemnation.
7.16 The Supper commemorates and proclaims Christ’s death and
resurrection in the past as the ground of our salvation. But at it
the exalted and living Lord himself is truly present, presiding at his
Table in the power of his crucifixion and resurrection. In the act of
Holy Communion, through the Spirit, he feeds us with his very body and
blood, so that he lives in us and we in him. In this way he confirms
and renews his covenant with us and assures us that he died for
our sins and will raise us from death to live with him for ever. For
with Christ we receive the benefits of his death and resurrection: the
forgiveness of our sins, the joy of mystical communion with him, and
reconciliation and union with one another in the one body of
Christ. All should therefore come to the Table at peace with one
another. Through this sacrament Christ empowers us to overcome the
temptations we face in this age, renews us to share his mission in the
world and gives us a foretaste of the messianic banquet in the age to
7.17 By their material elements the sacraments remind us of the bodily
nature of the incarnation, assure us tangibly of our salvation and
bring home that the good news is not just a matter of words but a
reality to be known and lived out in this world. The sharing of the
bread reminds us both of our unity in Christ and of Christ’s
command to share our bread with the hungry as we would with him.
7.18 The Supper is the centre and crown of the Church’s worship. In
faithfulness to Christ’s example and to apostolic practice, it
should be celebrated regularly and frequently.
7.19 We recognize the confession of sins and assurance of grace,
ordination to the ministry of Word and sacrament, and marriage all as
ordinances of God, though not as sacraments.
7.20 Members of the Church who fail to pay their church dues are not
for that reason to be denied the sacraments and ordinances of the
8. Natural Revelation
8.1 The universe with its vastness, order, beauty, mystery and power
has struck people in every age with awe. It points beyond itself to the
majesty and power of its Creator. Conscience also makes people
dimly aware of God’s righteousness and judgement. So, even without what
Jesus Christ reveals of God, human beings have some sense of the
reality of the Supreme Being. This leaves us without excuse for
failing to honour, love and serve the living God as we should. But sin
so corrupts the mind and spirit that, left to ourselves, we deny or
distort this revelation. Instead of acknowledging the true and living
God we fashion our own false ideas of God or worship idols.
8.2 God, who is holy and transcendent, is hidden from sinners: they can
only grope after the divine reality. Human reason cannot pierce
the mystery of God; indeed sin warps reason’s view of both divine
reality and the human condition. Nor can we discover God in
nature, in history or in the depths of our own being. Only God’s Word
or self-revelation in Jesus Christ can bridge the chasm between God and
sinful human beings. Only the grace and mercy of God in Christ breaks
through our sin and spiritual blindness.
8.3 Thus it is not by seeing or recognizing the majesty and power of
God in nature or the universe that one comes to real knowledge of God.
Instead it is only by first coming to know God in Jesus Christ, in the
humiliation, weakness, shame and suffering of the Cross and in the
victory of the resurrection, that we come to know the true and living
God. Indeed even though it bears God’s handprints, it is only
through the spectacles of Scripture that we can see creation clearly
for what it is: the handiwork of this God, the theatre of the Creator’s
8.4 Reason and nature by themselves are also inadequate to answer the
question how we
should behave. God’s Word alone does that clearly and fully.
8.5 Conscience itself must be transformed by being made captive to that
Word, for not conscience but the Lord is the ultimate judge.
9. Revelation and Religion
9.1 Some religions include impressive elements of spirituality and
morality that challenge the Church to be faithful to its own message
and ethics. But all religion stands under God’s judgement and is
radically called in question by the good news that grace alone puts us
right with God. That good news shatters every human claim to have
achieved knowledge of, or peace with, God. It means the end of all
religious, including all Christian, conceit and pride.
9.2 Thus the Christian mission to people of every religion properly
begins with the confession that before the one true God everyone is
spiritually poor. Christians in themselves are no more righteous than
unbelievers. Nor have we found God or achieved any saving knowledge of
God; only God’s search for us and self-disclosure in Jesus Christ
9.3 We are constantly tempted to turn all religion, including our
Christian religion, into a basis for self-righteousness,
self-complacency and looking down on those whose religion differs from
our own, especially if their social class, race or nationality differs
as well. We also tend to use religion to sanction our social or
political way of life. Christians need to repent for prejudice against
others and for when they have persecuted and oppressed others in the
name of their religion.
9.4 God wants all people to be saved, and Christ died to atone for
the sins not only of Christians but of the whole world. As the one
Mediator between God and humankind Christ opens up the way to God
for the religious and the irreligious alike.
9.5 We have no right to try to impose the lordship of Jesus Christ on
unbelievers against their will. Instead, in all humility, and wherever
necessary in penitence, Christians should seek dialogue with people of
other religions and work with them for religious freedom for all and
for justice, peace and the environment. For peace in a world torn apart
by religious, sectarian and other kinds of conflict needs tolerance,
tolerance needs understanding, and mutual understanding needs dialogue.
9.6 At the same time Christ calls us to be always loyal to the one true
and living God he reveals. The good news calls us to witness to all
people of every religion and of no religion that Christ is the one Lord
and Saviour, the Way, the Truth and the Life. To know the true and
living God means the end of all other gods.
10. Revelation and Culture
10.1 In Scripture revelation comes to us clothed in the culture of the
ancient Middle East. To communicate the good news to others we need to
express it in their language and cultural concepts. As the good news
takes root, it becomes embodied in a particular culture.
10.2 Human culture, however, tends to enmesh the Church in its values
and to reduce the Church’s preaching and teaching to an echo of those
values. Even in Scripture a cultural patriarchalism and
male-centredness in many places obscures the full biblical insight that
in God’s eyes all people are equal, no matter their gender, race nation
or class. God’s revelation itself is not to be identified with any
human culture or its religious aspect. It remains sovereign over every
culture and addresses every culture and all people equally. It judges
every culture together with its religious beliefs, practices and
10.3 The good news opposes the materialism and consumerism of western
culture and the racism, militarism and sexual licence that are rampant
in many cultures. It opposes any resort to mediums, fortune-tellers,
astrology, horoscopes, charms or fetishes.
10.4 Likewise the good news opposes any religious or cultural honouring
or veneration of the ancestors that in any way compromises the role of
Jesus Christ as Scripture reveals it. Certainly we should remember
the blessed departed. Indeed our forebears in the faith surround us as
a great cloud of witnesses: their example encourages us to persevere in
the race set before us. But Christ alone blazes the trail for our faith
and enables it to reach its goal. He, once for all, provided the
only, sufficient sacrifice on our behalf; he alone is Mediator between
God and humankind; he alone gives us saving knowledge of the true
and living God; his Word and Spirit alone are our true guide; he alone
is our comfort in life and in death. In him there is no place for fear
of any supernatural powers, stars, ancestral spirits or evil spells.
For he is exalted as Lord in glory and might far above every heavenly
body, every power, every spirit; he is the Saviour who delivers us from
every threat they may pose.
The Way of Redemption
11. Election and Covenant
11.1 Already before creating the world God elected a particular people
in Christ, predestining them to be adopted as children of God. God
elected Abraham, Sarah and their descendants with the promise, ‘I will
bless you, so that in you all the families of the earth will be
blessed.’ Thus of all the people on earth God covenanted with
Israel to be their God and called them to be a faithful people and obey
the commandments. But Israel was elected to be a blessing to
others: to be a light to all the nations. The election of the holy
people was for the sake of God’s mission to the whole world, to make
God’s grace and salvation known to all people in the face of sin and
11.2 This election and covenant anticipated the coming of the Messiah
and the uniting together of all things in heaven and on earth under one
head, Jesus Christ.
11.3 God’s covenant is an everlasting covenant. Although the
people of Israel were disobedient, God did not cast them away for
ever, but instead made a new covenant of grace with them. For
God remains faithful even when we are faithless.
11.4 The new covenant is sealed with the blood of the Messiah,
entered through faith by baptism and written on our hearts by the
Holy Spirit. Gentiles accounted righteous through faith, as
Abraham was, are thereby made children of Abraham and Sarah within
the covenant and so equal to the Jews and heirs of salvation.
11.5 Thus God, who is hidden, nevertheless chooses to be known by some.
But God elects purely out of grace, not because the elect merit it in
any way or are better than other people.
11.6 Election assures the weakest of believers of their security in the
grace of God. For God is faithful. Even though we may grow spiritually
cold or wander away and fall into grave sin, God does not abandon
us. God’s Spirit draws us to repent, be restored and persevere to
the end. Nothing can snatch us out of the Father’s hand. God
who has begun a good work in us will bring it to completion.
11.7 The elect are called to make God known to the whole world and seek
its salvation. We are called to bear witness that Jesus Christ is
Lord and Saviour and that all who truly seek shall find God.
11.8 Thus the goal of election is to liberate humankind from all
hostile powers that threaten it, even death itself, so that human
beings may be reconciled with God, with one another, with nature and
with themselves, in true community under the loving dominion of God.
11.9 Scripture’s witness to Christ excludes the notion that God, by an
eternal decree, predestined any particular individuals or people to
12. The Dominion of God
12.1 Jesus Christ revealed that, despite all the sin and suffering in
it, God has not abandoned this world. For the world is God’s, and
God loves it. God wants to save sinners—and stands on the side of the
poor, the oppressed and the exploited against all social, economic and
political structures that oppress them. Jesus proclaimed the coming of
God’s triumph over all the powers of evil, the renewal of the world and
God’s dominion, or victorious rule in it. This was the good news of a
radically new order of justice, mercy and peace: one that would save
sinners, bless the poor, fill the hungry, liberate the oppressed,
end the dominion of Satan and bring eternal life.
12.2 This dominion of God broke into history already in Jesus’ life and
ministry. By his healings, miracles and forgiveness of sin and above
all by his resurrection, exaltation and outpouring of the Spirit,
Christ inaugurated that dominion in anticipation of God’s final
victory. Thus those who by faith are heirs of that dominion
already experience something of what it means to be brought into it and
rescued from the power of darkness.
12.3 Christ reigns from ‘God’s right hand’ as Lord and King over every
area of life. Though his kingship is hidden from unbelievers now, at
the end of the age he will manifest and implement it in its fullness,
bringing judgement and salvation to all the world.
12.4 God’s dominion is no human enterprise that we bring about, build
or extend in any way. It is no evolving historical process. Nor can any
human revolution ever be reckoned as bringing it about. Instead it
comes by God’s grace and sovereign power alone.
12.5 Thus the gospel makes clear that this world is not as it is meant
to be; instead it is in the grip of evil. enlightens our minds,
changes our hearts and moves us to accept Christ as Lord and Saviour.
12.5 Thus the gospel makes clear that this world is not as it is meant
to be; instead it is in the grip of evil. Christ calls us to live
in eager anticipation of God’s dominion that will triumph over evil. We
do that by our own obedience and by working for the liberation of the
oppressed and striving to conform society to God’s will. The Church is
the community in which that dominion breaks through when it is a Church
for others, with its members caring for others and struggling for a
just and free society.
12.6 Every partial triumph of good over evil, of personal holiness over
sin and of justice over injustice, is a sign of the dominion
of God. For that dominion already impacts on the world, and in the end
13. Grace, Faith and
13.1 We are justified, that is, declared righteous and so set right
with God, purely out of grace.
 Grace is not power given to us in order that we may achieve our
own righteousness and so earn or merit salvation; it is God’s free love
and mercy that we utterly fail to deserve. For before God no one can
boast of any goodness or merit. All our own righteousness fails; all
our efforts leave us worthy only of death. But when we despair of
ourselves, we find comfort in God. In our failure and need God’s
sovereign, free grace comes to us.
13.2 The Spirit convicts us of the enormity of our own sin and strips
us of all our self-deception and supposed righteousness. The same
Spirit opens our eyes to how God has met that sin in Christ and moves
us to surrender to Christ as Lord and trust in him as Saviour. God
freely pardons us and accounts us righteous on the sole ground of
Christ’s perfect obedience and atonement, with a righteousness that is
not our own but Christ’s, through our union with him by faith.
This frees us from all condemnation, and the Spirit assures us of
the forgiveness of all our sins. For no sin is so great that Christ’s
atonement does not cover it.
13.3 In this way we are born anew in Christ, or adopted as God’s
children, inseparable from God. Conversion follows
13.4 We receive grace through faith alone. Faith comes through
hearing the good news and is confirmed by the sacraments. Much
more than belief in right doctrine, it is accepting the living
Christ as Lord and trusting in him alone as the Saviour who fulfils all
God’s promises. It is our acceptance, in humility and gratitude,
of God’s surprising acceptance of us.
13.5 Thus faith hungers and thirsts for Christ and lays hold of him who
has first laid hold of us, even if at times we struggle to cling to
him. Faith is not the absence of all doubt but remains standing in
the face of doubt. For though faith cannot sustain itself, the Word and
the Spirit continually uphold it.
13.6 All the glory for salvation belongs to God alone. No one may boast
of having chosen to accept salvation in contrast to those who reject
it, for we all resist God. We do not choose Christ; he chooses us,
and no one can come to him unless the Father draws that person with the
Spirit. Thus faith is not a human achievement but the effect of
grace, the work of the Holy Spirit in our minds and hearts, God’s gift
to us. Faith is a free decision, but one we are able to make only
because in the power of the Spirit God’s Word unblocks our deaf ears,
enlightens our minds, changes our hearts and moves us to accept Christ
as Lord and Saviour. 
13.7 Nor does faith itself merit, effect or appropriate salvation.
Faith is what the Spirit uses to unite us to Christ, whose
righteousness is then imputed and imparted to us. But Christ, not
faith, is our righteousness.
The Response to Redemption
14. Grace, Gratitude and
14.1 Grace is free, because we in no way earn it. But for God it is
utterly costly, because it cost the life of God’s Son, and we dare
not treat it as cheap. For us too it is costly in that it demands
repentance and, in the face of opposition and persecution,
faithfulness. To repent means so to grieve for our sins that we
turn right away from them, to God, and bear fruit worthy of grace.
Christ accepts us as we are, but we may not remain as we are. We are
saved to live for God and live out God’s love in the world.
14.2 The Spirit sets us free to surrender to God’s grace and mercy and
moves us to respond with love and glad obedience that seeks to serve
God. This is our sanctification. True faith thus always issues in
action, or works. Such works are done not in order to win eternal
life, which is God’s free, unmerited gift, but in gratitude and to the
glory of God. 
14.3 To glorify God means not only to worship God but to live out God’s
will in the world. It means to commit our lives to Christ, and
witness to him, no matter the cost. It means to love all our
neighbours and to forgive and love all our enemies. For we
cannot claim to love God, whom we do not see, if we hate people whom we
do see. True faith is active in love, a love that cares for
others. Such love does all it can to stand for justice,
defend the oppressed, feed the hungry, comfort the distressed, visit
those in prison, rescue the outcast and join the struggle against
evil in the world in anticipation of God’s coming just dominion.
14.4 In ourselves we are always ungodly sinners, unprofitable
servants who fail to achieve any righteousness of our own and need
forgiveness every day. Even our best deeds in this life remain
imperfect and contaminated with sin. Yet in accounting us righteous in
Christ and giving us new birth God calls us to grow in grace and active
14.5 God graciously accepts and is pleased by deeds of obedience and
even promises to reward them. This is not because they merit
reward, but because it is the Spirit that moves us to do them and
Christ’s atonement covers all the shortcomings in our obedience with
his righteousness. Thus to be a Christian means to repent every
day for sin and give unending praise and thanks for God’s goodness and
15. Gospel and Law
15.1 Regarded as ways of redemption, God’s law, or commandments, and
the good news of God’s grace in Jesus Christ are contrary.
15.2 The good news of the gospel by contrast with the law calls us not
to strive for our own righteousness but to put our faith in Jesus
Christ. For in bearing our sins on the cross Christ freed us from the
law’s condemnation. Thus to all who put their faith in Christ the
Spirit imparts the righteousness and life of Christ and so frees them
from the law’s demand that they achieve their own righteousness and
from all the law’s threats.
15.3 Yet the gospel and the law are not separate. The same God who
liberated the Hebrews from Egypt gave them the commandments. The
same Saviour who died for our sins and was raised for our
justification is the Lord who claims all authority in heaven and
on earth and calls us to observe all that he has commanded. Christ
does not abolish the law but upholds it. He is himself the
content, goal and fulfilment of the law, for our sake. Indeed in
freeing us from condemnation by the law Christ freed us to serve and
obey God’s will. For true freedom is not freedom to do as we like
within the prison of sin but freedom from that prison.
15.4 The sacrifices and ritual laws of the old covenant foreshadowed
the promised reality that Christ was to bring, and so fell away with
his coming. But not so with God’s spiritual and moral
commandments: they remain valid and continue to demand obedience.
15.5 Thus to know God’s grace is to know God, and to know God is to
know God’s will. God’s covenant involves both grace and
commandments: God does not offer us the grace of the good news without
confronting us with commandments. Indeed the grace of God itself
commands us, for it claims our whole being.
15.6 The one Word of God is thus both gospel and law: it reveals both
God’s good will towards us and what God’s will demands from us.
For in calling us to faith the gospel expects us to live according to
God’s will, and the commandments show us how to live in accord with the
15.7 Scripture teaches us God’s demands in commandments and admonitions
but most profoundly in the life, example and teaching of Jesus himself.
Jesus sums up the will of God in the two primary commandments: to love
God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength, and our
neighbour as ourselves.
15.8 In accordance with God’s promised new covenant the Spirit writes
the law on believers’ hearts. That means that the Spirit moves us to
live to God’s glory in accordance with the good news and the biblical
commandments, in gratitude for God’s grace and mercy. It means
that the Spirit empowers us to live out the law’s demands gladly,
joyfully and courageously. The Spirit interprets the commandments, so
that we obey them not legalistically but as the Spirit of life applies
them in the light of Christ, in accordance with the two primary
15.9 Civil law too must be judged in the light of God’s law. Jesus
Christ, as he is attested to us in Holy Scripture, is the one Word we
have to hear, trust and obey, in life and in death. No other law or
command of any kind can have greater authority than that Word. For
Christ is Lord over every area of life. He is our righteousness and our
16. Worship and Prayer
16.1 The Holy Spirit gathers the family of God to glorify God together.
We respond to God’s grace by faithful worship and daily prayer.
Corporate worship, meditating on Scripture and private prayer are all
integral to Christian life. Through them God arouses and preserves our
faith, transforms our lives, stirs up the gifts of the Spirit in us and
sustains our Christian discipleship. Godliness that is not
expressed in prayer and worship dissipates.
16.2 The central act of worship includes Word and sacrament. For
worship is a dialogue in which God comes to us in the Word and the
sacraments, and we respond with praise and adoration, confessing our
sins, declaring our faith, giving thanks and offering our gifts and
ourselves as a living sacrifice. Through the Spirit we become the
one Body of Christ, in fellowship with one another. All true worship is
to the glory of God the Father, Son and Spirit alone. Worship is
acceptable only through Jesus Christ, the Mediator.
16.3 The Lord’s day in particular is ordained for corporate worship and
the celebration of Holy Communion, as a time to delight in God, because
on this day the Lord rose from the dead, made himself known to his
followers and ate with them.
16.4 Prayer is offered to the Holy Trinity. It is usually addressed to
the Father through the Son as our Advocate and in the Holy Spirit,
though it is also addressed to the Son and sometimes to the Spirit.
Although prayer is a human activity, at a deeper level it is an
activity of the Spirit within us. All true prayer is presented on
the basis not of our righteousness but of God’s great mercy. In it
we reach out beyond ourselves to glorify and thank God, confess our
sins, pray for others and for ourselves, wait upon God and dedicate
ourselves to God’s service. Jesus promised that God hears prayer
offered in his name and therefore in accordance with his will.
16.5 True worship and prayer are not an escape from the world or
responsibility in it; instead they renew us to serve God and our
neighbour in the world and to witness to the gospel.
17. Vocation, Money and Rest
17.1 We should each seek our true vocation according to the abilities
given to us. Work may be for wages or profit but should also serve God
and people, no matter how humbly. We should promote mutual respect in
the workplace and oppose exploitation and unfair working conditions.
17.2 In a world of appalling poverty alongside excessive wealth we need
to heed the call to strive for a just and more equal society. Our money
is not our own. God calls us to a life in which everyone’s poverty is
our own and our wealth is everyone’s. We are to be faithful stewards of
our abilities, time and money and other material resources and use them
to be a community of mutual sharing, to support the Church in its
mission, and do all we can for the poor as well as our own
families. God’s economy provides enough for all.
17.3 God does not promise worldly prosperity to the faithful.
17.4 God ordained regular rest from work for time to worship together,
to build family relations and for recreation.
18. The Image of God
18.1 God created man and woman together out of earthly matter but in
the image of God. This defines all human beings as made for
community with God and one another. Both men and women share that
image. A person is a person through being related to God and to other
18.2 Sin has radically corrupted our whole human nature and so marred
that image, but it is never entirely effaced from anyone. Christ who is
the perfect image of God, came in human form in order to
restore that image in humankind. He has taken our likeness that we
might be transformed into his likeness and become imitators of him and
so of God.
18.3 Because God created all people equally in that image and Christ
gave his life to restore it, every person’s life is sacrosanct.
Everyone has a God-given dignity and a right to be treated with respect
and protected from violence and abuse, no matter their gender, age,
race, social status, sexual orientation, religion or any mental or
physical handicap. God judges those who in any way abuse or
oppress others and calls us to oppose all such abuse.
18.4 We are not to measure others according to our own image but to
receive one another as human beings created in God’s image. Christ
calls us to minister in particular to the hungry, the thirsty, the
naked, the sick and those in prison as to himself, and to widows and
19. Marriage, Sex and
19.1 God made man and woman for each other, so that they could help
each other, delight in each other in intimate physical and
spiritual union and receive the gift of children together. God
ordained marriage as a faithful life-long partnership. Marriage is
thus constituted by a solemn public covenant to be faithful to each
other, in a rite recognized by society. Christians should marry in the
Lord and by Christian rites.
19.2 Marriage is the foundation of the family, for the nurture and
training of children. As such it is the basis of a sound society.
Married couples should love, respect, forgive, support and comfort each
other, provide for each other and for their families as they are able,
and live together all their days.
19.3 In the midst of a hedonistic and licentious world, made worse by
abuse of modern communications media, God calls us to be holy and so to
be chaste before marriage as well as faithful in marriage. Human
sexual intercourse is to be enjoyed only within marriage, as binding
people together in love. We are to master our own bodies, honour one
another’s, and desist from sexual intimacy outside marriage. We
are also to shun pornography.
19.4 As God remains faithful to one people, so a person should be
married to only one spouse. Anyone already a polygamist should take no
19.5 Jesus strongly upheld lifelong monogamy against divorce.
Every effort should be made to mend a marriage in trouble; yet one
shattered beyond repair or in which one partner seriously abuses
another may be better dissolved.
19.6 Only where a person truly repents for the breakup of the previous
marriage and humbly determines to maintain a new covenant of marriage
with God’s help, may ministers of the Church, under grace, consider
19.7 With some people God’s purpose is better realized if they remain
19.8 Parents should set an example of modesty and faithfulness to their
own children. They should instruct them in the faith and its values.
This includes frank instruction in the virtues of chastity and
faithfulness and the consequences of sexual licence.
19.9 Children are to respect their parents. Parents have the right to
discipline their children in love, but not to abuse or oppress them.
The Community of the Redeemed
20. The Church
20.1 The Church is a divine institution, founded upon Jesus
Christ. It is not constituted by the decision of religious
individuals to come together for devout purposes, but is born of the
Word and the sacraments through the action of the Spirit. It
exists wherever the gospel is preached in accord with Scripture and
heard with faith and the sacraments are celebrated according to
Christ’s institution; for there Christ takes form in people. These two
marks, not the religious or moral purity of its members, define the
true Church. Nevertheless in its communion with God the Church is
called to reflect in its own life the holiness, unity, love and mutual
selfgiving of the Trinity into whose name its members are baptized.
20.2 The Church is God’s missionary community in the world,
commissioned to reconcile people to God and to one another. It is
the company of disciples sent forth to the ends of the earth with the
good news, to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world and
win people for Christ. Thus it exists not for its own sake but for the
sake of the world, which God loves. It is the task of every
congregation to equip its members for their mission to the world; for
every congregation, every Christian, is called to witness to Christ in
word and action. 
20.3 The Church, when it is faithful, will always be a minority in the
world. Some of its members even suffer martyrdom for their
witness. But in the face of the world’s hostility Christ
has promised to stand by his disciples to the end of the age, when he
will bring all nations and all creation under God’s dominion.
20.4 The Church is the pilgrim People of God, the Israel of God,
journeying toward the fulfilment of God’s promise that in Abraham all
the nations of the earth will be blessed. As such it is heir to
the faith of Abraham. Yet it does not replace Israel after the flesh,
whose calling is irrevocable. Instead its Gentile members are
grafted into Israel, and the unbelieving branches of Israel, now
broken-off, will be grafted back into it, when the Jews one day accept
their Messiah. It thus includes Jews and people of every other
nation. Not race, nationality or class but baptism and the Holy Spirit
determine who belongs to the Church. God calls the Church to be the
vanguard of a new humanity.
20.5 The Church is the Family of God. All people born of the Spirit are
children of the one Father and so brothers and sisters of Christ and of
20.6 The Church is the Body of Christ in that through the Word and
sacraments, by the power of the Spirit, the risen and exalted Lord is
present in his Church, taking bodily form on earth in, and as, this
community. For Christ continues to live on earth in the members of
his Body.  Through it he speaks and carries on his mission to the
world. He is its only Head, and it does not listen to the voice of
a stranger. Only as members of the Body do we have fellowship with
20.7 The one Body unites all its different members together.
Unlike Israel it is not a nation constituted by ties of descent and
culture. In it the barrier of alienation between Jews and Gentiles and
so every barrier of race, nation, tribe, caste, class, language,
culture and social status is broken down to form a single new humanity
that excludes no outsiders. No member of the Body can reject any
other; for God has accepted us all in the beloved Son and bound us
together in one Spirit, as members who need one another for the Body to
function properly in its work and witness to the world. In
covenant with God, we are all in covenant with one another, called to
walk together in God’s ways and ordinances, in mutual love and care, in
anticipation, and as a sign, of when God will unite all things with
Christ as their one Head. As the community of the faithful the
Church stretches beyond this world to include all believers who have
departed this life.
20.8 The Church is the Temple of the Holy Spirit. The gift of the
Spirit at Pentecost gave birth to the Church, and the Spirit continues
to dwell within it, working through the Word it proclaims and the
sacraments it celebrates, and building it and its members up with the
gifts it gives them. The Spirit empowers the Church in its weakness and
sustains, guides and increases it.
20.9 The Church is one, because it has only one God, one Lord and
one Spirit and by one faith, one hope and one baptism is united to be
one People, one Family, one Body, one Temple.  It is holy not
in that its members are without sin, but because God is holy, Christ
covers the sins of all believers with his righteousness and the
Holy Spirit sanctifies it through the Word and the sacraments, calling
it to holiness. It is catholic because it is sent to reach out
with the gospel to all the world, to embrace people of every race,
culture and class, and be a church for the poor and those on the
margins of society. It is apostolic because it is founded upon the
Word of God taught by the apostles, hands on their teaching,
celebrates the sacraments and worships and prays as they did, and
carries on their mission of evangelism, prayer for healing and ministry
to those in need. Indeed Christ made the Church the custodian of
the Word and the sacraments.
20.10 The Lord of the Church calls it to manifest its unity not just
spiritually but visibly before the world. Yet visibly the Church
lies a broken and bleeding body in a broken world. Its own divisions
deeply undermine the credibility of its witness. Christ prays for the
Church to be completely united as a community, so that the world may
believe. It needs to pray and strive not for outward uniformity
but for unity on the basis of the truth of the one gospel. For unity
and diversity are both God’s gifts to the Church.
20.11 Every branch of the Church has greater or lesser defects and
merely nominal members within it, the weeds among the wheat. But
it remains part of the Body so long as it retains the two marks of the
true Church. Believers should not separate themselves from the visible
Church, so long as the gospel and the celebration of the sacraments are
not perverted. Instead they should strive always to reform and renew
20.12 The Church needs always to be reformed, in order to witness more
faithfully to Jesus as Lord and Saviour. For it exists to glorify and
serve its King and Head and so be a sign of the coming dominion of God.
21. Church Order
21.1 Jesus alone is the High Priest who offers the sacrifice that
reconciles us to God. By baptism he consecrates all Christians to be
members of the royal priesthood: to have immediate access to God
through him, to offer themselves as a living sacrifice to God, to
make known the glorious acts of the One who has called us out of
darkness into his marvellous light, to bring God to people and
people to God, to intercede for and minister to others, and to forgive
sins in Christ’s name.. The Spirit distributes abundant and
complementary gifts to believers for building up the Body of Christ and
witnessing to him, and working for him, in the world.
21.2 By free election from among the people of God with their different
gifts and ministries the Lord and Head of the Church calls some to be
ordained or appointed to particular offices for oversight, for
evangelism or missionary work, for shepherding and teaching, and for
caring for the poor and the sick. All the offices are for the sake
of good order and the effectiveness of the Church’s ministry,
witness and outreach.
21.3 Christ, the Lord of the Church, came among people as a
servant. Likewise all offices in the Church are to serve, not lord
over, the people of God. The gifts of the Spirit too are to serve
the congregation. No office imparts any higher status or dignity
than baptism does or any right to lord it over others. The office
of oversight is thus a shared authority.
22. Church Discipline and
22.1 Two things together safeguard the doctrinal and moral purity of
the Church and its witness in the world: the Word and discipline.
22.2 All members of the Body of Christ are responsible for, and
accountable to, one another. Caring responsibly for one another
includes supporting and guiding one another but also confronting and
admonishing one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.  We are
to confess our sins to, pray for, and declare the word of grace to, one
22.3 The Lord of the Church gives it the keys of God’s dominion to
name, judge and discipline particular sins, extend God’s forgiveness to
repentant sinners and withhold it from the unrepentant. He charges
it to rebuke members who propagate grievous heresy or fall into
scandalous behaviour. If they repent, it is to forgive their sins
in Christ’s name; if they stubbornly persist, it is to exclude them in
his name from the benefits of church membership, including even
fellowship at the Holy Table, so that they may be shamed and
repent. Only if they refuse to repent, is it to declare them
22.4 The aims of church discipline are thus to
• uphold God’s honour against any whose grave error
or sin would deny and disgrace Christ, 
• serve the costly grace of the gospel by calling
such sinners to repent,
• restore them eventually to truth, sanctity and
fellowship as brothers and sisters in Christ, so that they do not lose
• deter others from being led astray by false
doctrine or the temptation to conform to the world’s behaviour,
• save the Church from the infection of false
doctrine and its witness from public scandal, 
• maintain the unity of the Body of Christ, and
• save the Church from God’s judgement.
22.5 The disunity of the Church and the extreme individualism,
relativism, moral indifference and permissiveness of modern culture
together with a false notion of love and tolerance and other factors
make the exercise of church discipline difficult. But such discipline
remains a necessary means of grace and an integral part of pastoral
care. Without it, preaching is in some ways left abstract and
ineffectual, and church members are more liable to fall into sin and
doctrinal confusion and so also to damage the life and witness of the
22.6 Proper Church discipline is always a discipline of love and grace
practised in humility and gentleness by sinners for sinners, without
excessive severity. It always seeks repentance and
reconciliation and is accompanied by the assurance that God
forgives those who repent and trust in the divine mercy.
22.7 Quite apart from church discipline, the keys are given for the
relief of burdened consciences. No one is bound to confess sins other
than to God alone. But the Lord has given his disciples the
authority to declare to all repentant and believing sinners who humbly
confess their sins that they are forgiven through the shedding of
Christ’s blood, provided any appropriate restitution is made. Such
declaration may be made after a general confession of sins in public
worship and after private confession. It is made on the authority of
God’s Word and in God’s stead, for it is God’s Word in the disciple’s
mouth that absolves the penitent from guilt.
The World in which Redemption Takes Place
23. Church and State
23.1 God is no household idol but Lord of the whole world. Jesus Christ
is not only Head of the Church but King of kings and Judge of all the
nations. He is sovereign over every area of life, private,
economic and political; he lays claim to the whole human being. God’s
will for justice and peace set forth in the Scriptures and above all in
Christ is the standard by which all civil laws too are to be judged.
23.2 Christ commissions the Church to preach the good news and proclaim
God’s will for every sphere of life. Thus though Church and State are
distinct from each other and the Church’s task is never primarily
political, it is always also political. Because sin and self-seeking
are liable to corrupt any human Government, Christ calls the Church to
be a sentinel and, whenever necessary, confront it prophetically: to
stand for justice, to oppose all discrimination in civil law and
policy, to speak out for the voiceless, to denounce all corruption
and to unmask all harmful ideologies and false propaganda. Whenever any
person, group or class suffers injustice, the Church is to protest not
only in words but if possible in action. Christians are to cooperate
with one another and with others in seeking what is best for the civil
community. The Church itself should set an example for a better social
order; only then can its witness be taken seriously.
23.3 God has instituted civil Government for the sake of its
subjects. Its tasks and duties are, firstly, to uphold justice,
human rights, liberty, order and peace for everyone in society and to
do what it can for the welfare of society. This includes preventing the
powerful from exploiting the weak, aiding the destitute and the
disabled, safeguarding the alien and the refugee and protecting
the natural environment. Secondly, in line with all this, it is to
shape public life by the best possible laws. Thirdly, in upholding
human rights and liberty, it is also to protect all public worship of
God. For it is the Government’s duty, not to promote any one religion,
but to protect the Church by protecting freedom of belief and worship
for all. To all these ends, in this sinful world, the Government has
the right to threaten and to use force, but only to the extent that
this is necessary.
23.4 From its King and Head the Church derives a government distinct
from civil Government, and civil rulers have no jurisdiction over the
Church’s spiritual affairs. The Government transgresses its calling if
it seeks to appropriate the propagation of the Word or the clashes with
God’s law, we must obey God rather than human beings. The Church
must always be ready to be the Church under the Cross in resisting an
unjust or oppressive State. Such resistance recalls a regime to its
24. Peace and Conflict
24.1 Ours are not weapons of violence but prayer and God’s Word, which
is sharper than any two-edged sword. The true Church neither
persecutes nor encourages persecution; instead it follows its Lord in
taking up the cross, and being ready to be persecuted for
24.2 All conflict stems from sin. Peace within a nation is endangered
where there is extreme inequality and little is done to alleviate the
suffering of the poor. Peace between nations is endangered when one
nation endures or fears injustice at the hands of another. Justice is
at the heart of peace.
24.3 In every political conflict we should support justice and a
non-violent solution, even at the risk of our own lives. Only in the
most extreme circumstances, where the government is clearly a tyranny,
injustice causes massive suffering and non-violent resistance alone
cannot succeed, may Christians ever consider supporting an attempt to
remove a Government by force.
24.4 We should oppose all unnecessary build-up of armaments and unmask
all propaganda that distorts the truth or dehumanises the enemy. If it
is ever right to fight in a war, it must be patently a war to
prevent an even greater evil. It must be a last resort: every way to
settle the conflict by negotiation must have been tried. There must be
a reasonable prospect of success and unnecessary violence must be
avoided. No one may serve in a war for political or economic gain or in
an army used to maintain an unjust and oppressive political status quo.
Unless convinced that a war is justifiable and necessary, everyone is
bound to refuse to fight in it and refuse conscription, and no soldier
may obey any command that is contrary to conscience, no matter the cost.
24.5 We should work for the end of war. Reconciliation and peace
between nations is all the more urgent and war all the less possible to
justify, when nuclear, chemical or biological weapons of mass
destruction may be used. Such weapons gravely threaten the whole earth
and all its peoples with destruction.
25.1 Scripture witnesses that in the beginning God created all things
visible and invisible, including the whole of space and time, from
nothing. God created by word of command, that is, in a sovereign
act of power and love. What the biblical account of creation
provides is not a scientific but a sacred cosmology, a spiritual
interpretation of the origin and nature of the universe. Though it
reflects an ancient picture of the universe, that account bears witness
to the grandeur and power of the Creator. So for that matter does the
vast and complex picture of the universe that science has discovered.
25.2 God created all the world by a word of command, that is, through
the pre-existent divine Word. Through that Word God clothed the
universe with order and beauty, and made it very good. This world,
then, is God’s world. The heights of the heavens, the depths of outer
space, the whole earth are all in God’s hands.
25.3 God is distinct from, and sovereign over, all creation, yet is
everywhere present in it and continually upholds it. All things
exist from and through and for God. Indeed God created all the
world through Christ in order through him to display grace in it. Thus
creation and redemption are fully congruent with each other.
25.4 God created all human beings through Christ as one species from
common ancestors.  That different climates and geographical
environments have given rise to different races in no way conditions or
limits the unity of all the children of God in Christ. The notion that
any race or culture must preserve a separate, created identity is a
crass denial of the good news and of the unity of the Body of
Christ. It contradicts the command, ‘The alien who resides among
you shall be to you like one of your native-born, and you shall love
him as yourself.’
26. The Natural Environment
26.1 The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it. God created the
earth as a splendid place to live in, and Christ honoured it by his
incarnation and life on earth. Human beings are themselves creatures of
26.2 God gave humankind dominion over the earth and all its other
creatures. It is thus a treasure on loan to us from the Creator.
As God loves and cares for the earth, so we are called to be its
custodians, with the right to till the soil but the duty and
responsibility to love, protect and care for the earth, its creatures
and its resources.
26.3 Our dominion over the earth has enabled modern science and
technology to develop, with their great benefits but also their great
dangers. Sin erodes our sense of the wonder of nature and damages our
relation with the created order. We turn dominion into ruthless
domination. In arrogant greed we treat the earth as if we owned it and
had a right to plunder and abuse it. We destroy the delicate balance
between the soil, water, atmosphere, plants and animals of the earth,
which together make up an interdependent whole. Our technology and
industrialisation increasingly pollute, rape and devastate the earth
and its atmosphere and are gradually making it uninhabitable.
26.4 God promises us a new earth. But in anticipation of this God calls
us to maintain the earth and hand it on to future generations as a
habitat fit for humanity and its other creatures. This means using all
natural resources wisely, protecting the land, the sea and the air from
damage and pollution and restoring them wherever they are damaged or
polluted. This becomes all the more urgent as science places new powers
in human hands.
27.1 The God who created the whole universe through Christ remains
sovereign over it, constantly upholding and governing all things,
caring and providing for all creatures and guiding all things
towards the purpose for which they were made: their ultimate fulfilment
in Jesus Christ. Neither the stars nor any other power but
God alone controls the course of all events and holds the future in
hand. History and time itself move through ambiguity and mystery, but
remain in holy keeping, moving always toward their divine
27.2 This does not mean that God is the author of sin or directly and
exactly wills everything that happens. God graciously and
sovereignly allows human beings the freedom of action and
responsibility that their humanity entails and to that extent refrains
from the kind of direct and absolute control that would exclude all
27.3 God may chasten us with hard circumstances and break human pride
on the rock of trials, tribulations, suffering and sorrow. Calamities
sometimes also testify to God’s judgement. But tragedy and
suffering are by no means all a simple, direct consequence of
individual or corporate sin or all directly willed by God. God’s
dominion is not yet implemented on earth as in heaven. Hence we live in
a world where suffering is often a mystery, where evil flourishes and
wars against us, where the wicked may prosper and the righteous
27.4 On the other hand God does not abandon us to fate or random
chance. Nothing can take place except to the extent that God enables
and allows it, and God makes no mistakes. God works in mysterious
ways to bend even the evil deeds of sinful people, tragic events and
the power of evil itself to serve the eternal divine purpose. It
is a just, loving and glorious purpose to which everything will in the
end perfectly conform. Thus with those who love God and are called
according to that purpose all things work together for good.
27.5 Meanwhile God grieves over the tragedies and anguish in the world
more than we do. In the midst of tragedy we are comforted by knowing
that in Jesus Christ God stands by us, sharing our weakness, sorrow and
suffering and caring for us, that all things are in God’s hands
and that in the end Christ will triumph over all evil. In the meantime
we are called to pray and work with God for the good of the world and
the relief of the suffering. The Final Redemption
28. God’s Final Victory
28.1 Christian faith looks beyond the present to the future. To live by
faith in the crucified and risen Christ means to hope in his coming and
universal dominion. 
28.2 Human history does not of itself or inevitably progress towards a
better state of things. Antichrists appear, misleading many. Some
cause great suffering. Some even claim to be raised up by divine
providence. Despite persecution, however, the faithful stand firm.
28.3 On a day that God has appointed and alone knows the Lord Jesus
Christ will come in power and great glory. He will assert his
sovereignty over all the world, triumph over all evil, tragedy anddeath
itself, and establish God’s full dominion in the world. The
universe itself will be freed from the shackles of decay and be
transformed, restored and brought to its unity and destiny in
Christ, to enjoy the glorious liberty of the children of God.
28.4 Everyone who has died will be raised and appear before
Christ. He will judge every person’s works and the secrets of
every heart. Though we can place no limits on the mercy of God
toward all humankind, sin condemns us all to be cut off from God’s
grace in hell for ever. But those who put their trust in God’s
mercy and grace in Christ will be raised in transformed, glorified
bodies and face the judgement without fear, for their Judge is
28.5 God will bless them with eternal life in a liberated and
transformed world, a new heaven and earth, a new age of peace and
justice. The sovereignty God manifested in creation will finally
triumph. God will be all in all and will wipe away every tear from
their eyes. The power of evil will be destroyed; there will be no
more death or mourning or crying or pain anymore. All God’s people
will rejoice together in the presence of God, whom they will glorify
forever. All things will find their unity in Christ, their
Head, and the knowledge of the glory of God will fill the earth as
the waters cover the sea.
28.6 Already now we may by faith partake of the blessings of that
coming dominion and share in the gift of eternal life. Because
Christ’s atonement covers all our sins and frees us from all
condemnation, there is no purgatory to be endured. When the
faithful die, they go to be with the Lord and are at peace in sure hope
of a blessed resurrection.
28.7 This is the glorious hope that sustains the Church.
Let the heavens be glad, let the earth rejoice;
let it be proclaimed among the nations, ‘The Lord
 Gen.1f., I Chr.16:28ff., Ps.22:23, 34:1–3, 86:9,12, 99:9,
Isa.42:10–12, Mal.2:2, Lk.23:43, Jn.15:8,17:5, Ac.12:23, Rom.1:21,
15:6, I Cor.6:20, 10:31, Phil.1:11, I Pet.4:11, Rev.2:7, 5:13, 14:7,
 Matt.28:18, I Cor.10:31, Phil.2:14, Eph.1:20–22.
 Lk.5:8 cf. Matt.8:34.
 Rom.3:21–25, 5:8,15, 8:3, II Cor.5:21, Eph.2:8, Phil.3:8f. etc.
 Gen.3, Hos.13:9 etc.
 Gen.6:5, 8:21, Ps.94:11, 143:2, Prov.20:9, 24:16, Eccl.7:20,
Isa.64:6, Matt.6:12||Lk.11:4, Matt.6:14f.||Mk.11:25, Matt.7:18,
Jn.8:34, Rom.3:9–18, 7:14-25, 11:32, Gal.3:22, 4:3, 5:17, Eph.2:1-3,5,
4:18 Js.3:2, I Jn.1:8.
 Prov.30:12, Isa.65:5, Matt.9:9–13||Mk.2:15–17, Lk.15:25–30, 16:15,
 Jn.8:34, Rom.3:9, 8:7.
 Eccl.1:2, Matt.27:5.
 Gen.3:15,17–19, Rom.3:14–17, 8:7f., Eph.2:11f. etc.
 Gen.18:25, Job 19:29, Ps.58:11, Eccl.11:9, 12:14, Isa.59:2,
Matt.10:15, 11:22,24, Lk. 10:14, Matt.12:36,41f.||Lk. 11:31f.,
Matt.25:31–46, Jn.3:36, 5:22, Ac.17:31, Rom.1:18-21, 2:1-9,12f.,16,
14:10,12, I Cor.4:5, 6:9f., II Cor.5:10, 11:15, Gal.5:19-21. 6:7,
Phil.3:19, Heb.6:2, 9:27, II Pet.2:4ff., 3:7.
 I Cor.8:5.
 The section on ‘The God who Redeems’ follows the epistemological
order of the Trinity, i.e. the order in which we come to know the
Trinitarian God in the context of the human predicament and revelation,
and so begins with the Article on ‘God the Son, Revealer and
Reconciler’. (See II Cor.13:14.) The Article on ‘The Trinity’ discusses
the ontological order, i.e. order of being, within the Trinity.
 Rom.5:10, 9:15–18,22f., 11:29–33, 15:8f., Eph.2:1–10.
 Ex.33:17–23, Matt.11:25–27||Lk.10:21f., Rom.8:19f.
 Ps.33:6, Jn.1:1-3,10, I Cor.8:6, Col.1:16f., Heb.1:2, 11:3,
 Jn.1:1,14, 6:27, 8:19, 10:30,38, 12:45, 14:7–11, Rom.8:2, I
Cor.12:3, II Cor.4:4,6, Phil.2:5-8, Col.1:15, Heb.1:3f., 2:14,17, 4:15.
I Jn.4:1-3, II Jn.7, Rev.19:13.
 Isa.9:6, Matt.1:23, Lk.24:51f., Jn.1:1f.,18, 5:16-18,22f., 8:58,
9:38, 10:30,33, 12:41,44, 14:9, 18:6, 20:28, Ac.20:28, Rom.9:5,
Phil.2:6,9-11, Col1:19f., 2:9, Tit.2:13, Heb.1:2f.,7-9, I Pet.4:1,
Rev.1:8,17, 5:6-14, 21:6, 22:13.
 Matt.11:25–27||Lk.10:21f., Jn.1:1,18, 5:16–24, 8:12,58, 10:30–33,
12:41,44, 14:9, 17:3,6– 8,14, 18:6, 20:28, Ac.20:28, Phil.2:6,9–11,
Col.1:19f., 2:9, Tit.2:13, Heb.1:7–9, Rev.1:17 cf. Isa.41:4, 44:6 and
48:12, Rev.22:12f.,16,20 cf. 1:8, 21:6.
 Ex.33:18–23, Deut.4:39, II Chron.20:6, Eccl.5:2, Isa.6:1–5, 55:9,
Ezk.1, Matt.6:1,9, Eph.1:9, Col.2:2, Rev.4 etc.
 Jn.1:14, Phil.2:6–8.
 Matt.1:18–25, Lk.1:26–38.
 Matt.8:20||Lk.9:58; Jn.1:38 (cf. Matt.8:19, 12:38, 19:16 etc.),
1:49, 3:2,26, 4:31, 6:25, 9:2, 11:28, 20:16.
 Matt.4:1–11||Lk.4:1–13, Mk.1:13, Heb.2:10,14–18, 5:8.
 Matt.12:28f.||Mk.3:27||Lk.11:20–22, 17:21.
 Matt.4:1–11, Mk.1:13, Lk.4:1–13, Rom.8:3, Phil.2:7, Heb.2:17f.,
 Mk.3:1–6, Jn.11:46–53.
 Jn.1:29, Rom.8:3 NIV (tr. ‘as a sin-offering’ cf.
Lev.16:5f.,9,11,27 LXX ), Rom.8:32, I Cor. 15:3, Heb.10:6,8, 13:11.
 Rom.8:32, I Cor.5:21 etc.
 I Cor.5:21, Col.2:14f., I Pet.3:18 etc.
 Rom.8:3f., II Cor.5:21, Gal.3:13f.
 Rom.6:10, I Tim.2:3–6. 4:10, I Jn.2:1f., Heb.7:27, 9:11–10:18, I
 Lk.24:39, Jn.20:17,27, 21:9-13, Ac.1:4 (the Greek strictly means
‘While eating with them…’,surely referring to one or more fellowship
meals), Rom.8:29, I Cor.15:20,23, Col.1:18, I Th.4:14.
 Matt.12:22-29,||Mk.3:22-27||Lk.11:14-22, Lk.10:18, Jn.12:31-33,
16:11, Eph.4:8 (Ps.68:18), Col.2:15, Heb.2:14, Rev.12:8f., 20:7-10.
 II Cor.5:17, Gal.6:15.
 Ac.2:24ff., Rom.5:15-21, 6:9f., I Cor.15:21,54–57, Eph.1:19–22, II
Tim.1:10, Heb.2:9, 14f., Rev.1:17–19.
 Ps.85:10, Isa.53:4–12, Matt.20:28||Mk.10:45, Matt.27:4, Jn.3:16,
8:46, Rom.3:23-26, 5:6– 11,15–21, I Cor.15:3,22, II Cor.5:14f.,19,21,
Gal.3:13, Eph.1:7, 5:2, Col.1:14, I Tim.2:5f., Tit.2:14, Heb.2:9,17,
7:27, 9:11–15,24–28, 10:10-14,28, I Pet.1:18f., 2:24, 3:18, I Jn.2:2,
 Lk.24:47, Ac.2:38, 5:21, 10:43, 13:38, 26:18, Eph.1:7,17–21, 4:8,
6:10–17, Col.1:14, 2:15, Heb.10:12–22. Cf. Mk.1:23–27, 3:22–27, 5:1–13,
 Matt.5:6, Rom.1:17, 3:22–5:1, 5:8–11,16–21, 6:18,22, 8:10, 9:30,
10:10, I Cor.1:30, 5:21, Gal.2:16, 3:6–14, 5:5, Eph.4:24, 6:14,
Phil.1:11, 3:8f., II Tim.4:8, Heb.11:17.
 Rom.5:10f., II Cor.5:18f., Eph.2:18, Col.1:19f., I Pet.3:18, I
 Col.1:16 etc.
 I Cor.15. See also n.30 above.
 I Tim.2:5.
 Ac.4:12, Jn.14:6, I Tim.2:5.
 Rom.8:34, Heb.2:17, 3:1, 5:10, 6:20–10:21, Heb.7:24f., I Jn.2:1.
 Matt. 11:27, 28:18 cf. Dan.7:13f., Lk.19:27, Jn.3:35, 5:27, 13:3,
17:2, Ac.2:36, Rom.14:9, Phil.2:9–11, I Cor.15:24–27 cf. Dan.2:44,
Eph.1:20–22, Col.2:10, Heb.2:5–9, I Pet. 3:22, Rev.11:15, 17:14,
 Deut.30:15–20, I Ki.18:21, Matt.11:28–30, Jn.5:40, 6:37–40,
Rom.6:23, Rev.2:7, 2:10f.,16,28, 3:5,12,21 etc.
 Ex.19:5, Ps.103:6.
 Gen.10:28, Deut.14:1, I Ki.14:31 (Abijah means ‘Yah[weh] is my
father’), I Chr.1:22 (Abimael means ‘God is my father’), Ps.89:27.
Mal.1:6, 2:10. Also Wisd.2:16, 14:3, Ecclus.23:1, Tob.13:4, III
 II Cor.5:17, Gal.6:15.
 Gen.1:2 (if the image is of a mother birth hovering as in REB),
Ru.2:12 and Ps.91:4 (mother hen, cf. Matt.23:37||Lk.13:34), Ps.22:9f.
(midwife), 27:10, 123:2 (mistress of a household), Isa.11:1,3f., 42:14
and 45:10 (woman in labour), 49:15 (nursing mother), 66:13,
Hos.11:1,3f., Lk.15:8–10; Jn.3:3–8 (the Spirit as a mother giving
 Num.23:19, Hos.11:9, Jn.4:24.
 I Cor.2:10f.
 Ac.16:6f., Rom.8:9, II Cor.3:17, Gal.4:6, Phil.1:19, I Pet.1:11.
 Ac.2:33, Eph.4:7–13.
 Ac.2:38, Rom.8:9, II Cor.1:21f., Eph.1:13, 4:30.
 Eph.3:14–19. 5:18. The tense in 5:18 is present continuous, not
 Gen.1:2, 2:7, Ps.33:6, 104:30, Ezk.37 cf. Wisd.7.
 Gen.1:2 (NIV, REB), Job 33:4, Ps.33:6, 104:29f., Jn.3:5–8,
Rom.1:4, 8:11, II Cor.5:17, Gal. 6:15, I Tim.3:16, I Pet.3:18.
 Jn.14:26, 16:13.
 Jn.15:26, I Cor.12:3, I Jn.2:20–23, 4:2 cf. Matt.16:17, Rom.10:9.
 I Cor.12:2–31, Eph.4:3–5.
 Jn.1:12f., 3:5–8, I Cor.4:15, II Cor.5:17, Gal.3:26, 4:6, 6:15,
Eph.2:1,4f., Col.3:10, Tit.3:5, Jas.1:18, I Pet.1:23, I Jn.2:29,
3:9,14, 4:7, 5:1,4.
 Jn.1:12f., Rom.8:14–17 cf. I Jn.4:13.
 Rom.8:26f., I Cor.14:15, Eph.6:18, Jde 20.
 Phil.3:3, Eph.5:18–20.
 Ezk.36:26f., II Th.2:13, I Pet.1:2.
 I Cor.12:3f.,31–13:13, I Jn.4:2.
 Gal.5:22–26, Eph.5:22–25.
 Lk.24:49, Ac.1:8, 4:33, I Cor.12:3, I Th.1:5, II Tim.1:7.
 Rom.12:4–8, I Cor.12:1–14:39, Eph.4:7–16. Heb.2:4, I Pet.4:10.
 Rom.8:23, II Cor.1:22, 5:5, Eph.1:14.
 Lk.12:11f., Jn.14:16f.,26, 15:26, 16:7,12f., Ac.8:27–29, 16:6f.,
20:22f., Rom.8:14, Gal.5:16– 25, I Jn.2:20,27.
 Jer.29:8f., I Cor.12:1–3,10, 14:29, I Th.5:19–21, I Jn.4:1ff.
 Mstt.28:19, Rom.15:16 etc.
 II Tim.2:13.
 Ex.20:2f., Deut.4:35,39, 6:4, 32:39, I Sam.2:2, I Ki.18:1-40,
Isa.44:8, 45:5,21, Joel 2:27,
Mal.2:10,15, I Cor.8:6 etc.
 Ex.20:2f., Matt.4:10||Lk.4:8 etc.
 Jn.1:1, Rev.19:13, I Cor.1:30 cf. Prov.8:22–31 and Wisd.7:22–8:1,
9:1–4,9–18, II Cor.4:6, Col.1:15–20, Heb.1:3 (KJV, RV, NIV, REB cf.
Wisd.7:26), Rev.1:17 cf. Isa.41:4, 44:6 and 48:12, Rev.22:12f.,16,20
cf. 1:8, 21:6.
 Jn.1:1–3,10, Col.1:16,19, Heb.1:2.
 See n. … above.
 Jn.14:16f.,26, 15:26, 16:7, 20:22, Ac.2:33, I Cor.2:11f., Gal.4:6,
Tit.3:6, Heb.9:14. On the formula ‘through the Son’ see Gregory of
Nyssa: On Not Three Gods and the Reformed- Orthodox Agreed Statement on
the Holy Trinity adopted at Kappel in March 1992.
 Gen.1:2,7, Job 33:4, Ps.104:30, Jn.6:63, Rom.8:11.
 Jn.3:3–8, Rom.8:12–14, II Cor.5:17, Gal.6:15, Tit.3:5, I Pet.1:23.
 See n. … above.
 On God as one: Ex.3:6+20:2f., Deut.4:35,39, 5:7, 6:4f., 32:39, II
Ki.17:35f., Ps.18:31, Isa.43:10, 44:6, 45:5f.,14,18,21f., 46:9, Joel
2:27, Matt.23:39, Mk.10:18, 12:29, Jn.5:44, 10:30, 14:8–10, 17:3,
Rom.3:30, 9:5, I Cor.8:4,6, Gal.3:20, Eph.4:5f., I Tim.1:17, 2:5,
Js.2:19, 4:12, Jde.25. On God as threefold:
Matt.3:16f.||Mk.1:10f.||Lk.3:21f.||Jn.1:32–34, Matt.28:19, Jn.1:1,18,
5:16–18,22f., 8:58, 10:30–33, 12:41,44, 14:9, 17:11, 18:6, 20:22,28,
Ac.2:33, 5:3f., 20:28, Rom.5:1–5, 8:9–17, I Cor.12:4–6, II Cor.12:4–6,
13:13, Phil.2:6,9–11, Col.1:19f., 2:9, Tit.2:13, Heb.1:7–9, Jde.20f.,
Rev.1:17 (cf. Isa.41:4, 44:6 and 48:12), 22:12f.,16,20 (cf. 1:8, 21:6;
Ps.51:11, Jn.10:38, 14:10, 17:20, I Cor.2:10–12).
 See n. … above.
 Jn.10:30,38, 14:10f., 17:11, I Cor.2:10f., II Cor.5:19, Col.1:19,
 I Jn.4:7f.,16.
 Jn.10:32, 15:26, 16:28. Augustine: opera trinitatis ad extra
 Gen.1f., Deut.4:39, Job 38:1–42:2, Ps.33:6–9, 33:6–9, 107:25–29,
139:7–10, Jer.23:23f., Ac. 17:24–28, Eph.1:23, 4:6.
 Col.1:15-20 etc.
 Jn.14:6f., Eph.2:18.
 Jn.6:44, I Cor.12:3.
 Ex.33:18–23, I Cor.13:12.
 Matt.13:10–23, Jn.12:37–40, Rom.1:18–25.
 Jn.16:8, I Cor.12:3.
 Jn.5:39, 14:16, I Cor.2:2 cf. Gal.3:1, 6:14; I Tim.1:10 cf. I
Tim.4:6, II Tim.4:1-3.
 II Cor.3:3-4:6 etc.
 II Sam.23:2,
Lk.12:11f.,Matt.12:18, Lk.1:67, 4:1,14–18, 10:21, Ac.1:2, 4:8, 6:10,
11:28, 13:9ff., 28:25, I Cor.2:9–14, 12:4,8–10, Eph.3:5, I Th.2:13, I
Tim.4:1, Heb.1:1, 9:8, 10:15–17, I Pet.1:10–12, II Pet.1:21. 
Matt.22:43f.||Mk.12:36, Jn.14:26, Ac.1:16, 28:25, I Cor.2:9–14, II
Tim.3:16, Heb.3:7, 10:15– 17, I Pet.1:10–12, II Pet.1:20f.
 In adopting the Confession the UPCSA recognizes that its members
have different (for some, overlapping) views on the relation between
the Word of God and Scripture:
1. Some fully identify the Word of God with Scripture, regarding it as
verbally inspired and infallible.
2. Some distinguish between the Word of God and Scripture as its
inspired and normative but fallible human record and witness.
3. Some emphasize that the Word of God is strictly Jesus Christ, the
living Word, and see Scripture as the normative and authoritative
witness to Christ that by the power of the Spirit becomes and is the
Word of God in bearing such witness (Jn.5:39f., II Cor.3-4:6).
All, however, confess that Jesus Christ is the living Word of God, and
that the Scriptures are inspired by God and have unique authority.
 I Jn.5:6–12 cf. Rom.8:16.
 Matt.5:17–19, II Cor.1:20, Col.2:16f., Heb.1–13 etc.
 Jn.14:25f., 15:26, 16:13–15, I Cor.12:3, Eph.6:17, I Jn.4:2
 Gen.37:5-10, 40:5-22, 41:1-36, Num.12:6, I Sam.28:6, Joel 3:1,
Zech.1:7 etc.; cf. Jer. 23:25.
 I Cor.4:6.
 Jn.6:44, 14:6,26, 16:13-15, Ac.16:14, I Cor.3:7 etc.
 Lk.24:27, Jn.5:39f., Ac.17:11f., II Cor.1:20, 3:3-4:6, II
 Jn.5:39, II Cor.3:3-4:6 etc.
 Jer.23:22, Matt.10:20, Lk.10:16, Jn.13:20, Ac.8:25, 13:5, 15:36,
II Cor.2:17, Phil.1:14, I Th. 1:8, 2:13, II Tim.4:2 (cf. NIV),
Heb.13:7. Cf. the Second Helvetic Confession, ch.1: ‘The preaching of
the Word of God is the Word of God.’
 Augustine: John’s Gospel, lxxx.3, J. Calvin: Inst.IV.xiv.6.
 Augustine: John’s Gospel, lxxx.3, J. Calvin: Inst. IV.xiv.4,8.
 I Cor.12:12f. etc.
 Isa.43:1 cf. Ac.9:4,17.
 Prov.1:23, Isa.44:3, Ezk.36:25, 39:29, Joel 2:28f., Zech.12:10,
Matt.28:19, Ac.2:17f.,38f., 3:19, 8:37, 16:32f., 20:21, 26:18,20,
Rom.10:9 cf. Jn.9:35–39 and Ac.8:37, Heb.9:10, 10:22.
 Jn.10:6, Ac.27:23, Rom.1:6, 7:4, 8:9, I Cor.12:15f., 15:23,
Gal.5:24, I Pet.2:9.
 Matt.3:11||Mk.1:8||Lk.3:16, Jn.1:26,33, Jn.3:5, Ac.1:5, 2:38,
10:47, 11:16, Ro.8:9, I Cor.6:11, 12:13, Tit.3:5.
 (Mk.16:16), Jn.3:5–8, Gal.3:2,26f., Col.2:12, Tit.3:5 cf.
Js.1:18, I Pet.1:3,23, 3:21.
 Ac.2:38, 22:16, Rom.6:2-4, I Cor.6:11, Heb.10:22, Tit.3:5.
 Jn.3:5, Ac.2:38, Rom.6:1–13 (cf. Mk.10:38, Lk.12:50), I
Cor.12:13, II Cor.7:3, Gal.3:26f., Eph.2:5, Col.2:11f.,20, II Tim.2:11.
 Rom.6:3-11, I Cor.12:12f., Gal.3:27f.
 I Cor.12:13, Gal.3:27f., Col.3:11.
 Ex.19:6, Isa.61:6, I Pet.2:5,9, Rev.1:6, 5:10, 20:6.
 Matt.10:37–39||Lk.14:25–33, Matt.13:44–46,
16:24||Mk.8:34||Lk.9:23, Matt.20:22f.||Mk. 10:38f., Mk.10:21.
 Rom.6:5f., II Cor.1:21f., Eph.1:13, 4:30 (cf. Rom.4:11),
 Lk.23:42f., 24:47, Jn.1:12, 3:6-8, 20:22, Ac.2:1–21,38f., 8:4–40,
9:17f., 10:43–48, 11:15-17, 16:31f., 18:24–28, 19:5f., Eph.1:13f., I
Jn.5:1, I Pet.1:23.
 Gen.17:1-14, Ac.2:39.
 Deut.10:16, 30:6, Jer.4:4, Rom.2:28f..
 Ac.2:38f. (cf. Gen.17:7,10–13, Ex.20:6, Deut.29:10–13,
Col.2:11f., Matt.18:3–5, 19:14,Mk.10:14f., Lk.18:16f.). In view of
Peter’s notion that it was ‘the last days’ (Ac.2:17,20) Ac.2:39 must
mean ‘your children (now)’, not ‘your descendants (in years to come)’.
For household baptism see Ac.2:38f., 11:14 cf. 10:47f., 16:15,33f.,
18:8, 1 Cor.1:16 and perhaps 7:14. For whom a ‘household’ includes see,
e.g., Josh.2:12f., 6:17,22f., I Sam.22:16 cf. v.19.
 Rom.3:24, I Cor.1:26ff., Eph.2:8-10.
 II Cor.1:20.
 Rom.6:3–5, Col.2:11f., Heb.9:26f., 10:10, I Pet.3:18. Cf. Heb.6:4.
 I Cor.6:11, Inst.IV.xv.3, Westminster Conf. XXVIII.6.
 I Cor.11:27-32.
 I Cor.11:26.
 Ex.24:6-8, Jer.31:31ff., Lk.22:20, I Cor.11:25, II Cor.3:6,
Heb.8:6-13, 9:15, 12:24.
 Lk.24:30,41, Jn.6:25–58, I Cor.10:16f., 11:27 cf. J. Calvin:
Inst. III.2.24, IV.17–18, and Short Treatise on the Holy Supper of our
 Matt.5:21–24, Rom.16:16, I Cor.11:17–34, 16:20, II Cor.13:12, I
Th.5:26, I Pet.5:14. Cf. Justin Apol.I.65 and Did.14.2
 Matt.26:29||Mk.14:25||Lk.22:16+18, I Cor.11:26, 16:22.
 I Cor.10:17.
 Cf. Lk.24:30f., 36-43, Jn.20:19,26, (21:12f.), Ac.1:4 (the Greek
strictly means ‘While eating with them…’, surely referring to one or
more fellowship meals), 2:42,46, 20:11.
 Ps.19:1–6 and many other Psalms, Ac.14:15–17, 17:22f., Rom.1:19f.
 Ac.14:15–17, 17:22f., Rom.1:19f. cf. Wisd.13:5.
 Ex.32:1-6; Ac.17:22–29, Rom.1:18–23 cf. Wisd.13–15.
 Isa.45:15, 57:17, Ac.17:27 cf. Wisd.13:7.
 Prov.3:5, Isa.44:25, Rom.1:22, I Cor.1:18–27, 2:6, 3:19f.
 Jn.10:9, 14:8-11, I Cor.1:18-2:2 cf. Isa.44:25, Jer.9:22.
 J. Calvin: Inst. I.vi.1.
 Rom.1:18,21f.,25,28, 2:14, 12:2, I Cor.2:16, 4:4, Heb.8:10,
10:16. Tit.1:15, Heb.10:22:
 I Tim.2:4, II Pet.3:9.
 I Tim.2:4f., I Jn.2:1f.
 I Tim.2:5.
 Jn.10:1,7, 14:6 cf. 5:24, 8:12, 12:44–50, 17:3; Acts 4:12, 10:43,
 I Cor.9:20.
 Gal.3:28, Col.3:11.
 Matt.15:1-20||Mk.7:1-23, Col.2:8.
 Lev.19:31, 20:6, Deut.18:9–14, 26:13f., I Chr.10:13, II Chr.33:6,
 I Tim.2:5f., Heb.9f., I Pet.3:18.
 Rom.8:31–39, I Cor.15:27,56f., Eph.1:20–22, Phil.2:9–11, Col.2:15.
 Rom.8:29f. 9:23, Eph.1:4–6,11, I Pet.1:2.
 Gen.12:1–9, 13:14–17, 15:1–21, Gen.17:1–22 cf. Ex.6:2–7,
Lev.11:45, 22:33, 25:38, 26:12, Num.15:41, Jer.7:23, 11:1–5, 30:22,
 Ex.19:5f., 20:1–17, Lev.11:44f., 22:31–33, Num.15:40f.,
Deut.5:1–21, 7:6-11, Jer.7:23, 11:3–5 etc.
 Isa.42:6f., 49:6, Ac.13:47.
 Gen.9:16, 17:7,13,19, II Sam.23:5, I Chr.16:17, Ps.105:10,
Isa.24:5, 55:3, 61:8, Jer.32:40, 50:5, Ezk.16:60, 37:26, Heb.13:20.
 Isa.50:1, Jer.3:8 and Hos.2:2, but cf. Matt.10:6, 15:24,
Lk.2:34,36, Ac.2:5-11,22,36-42, 8:5- 8,14-17,25, Rom.9–11, esp.9:4–6,
11:1–5.11–32. Cf. Zech.2:8.
 Isa.61:8, Jer.31:31–34, 42:38–41, 50:4f., Ezk.11:19f., 16:60–63,
36:22–38, 37:24–28, 39:7f., 21-29, Hos.2:14-23, Lk.22:20, Rom.9–11, I
Cor.11:25, II Cor.3:6, Gal.3 and Heb.8:6–13, 9:15, 10:16–18, 12:24,
 II Tim.2:13.
 Lk.22:20, Heb.10:29, 12:24, 13:20 cf. Ex.24:8, Zech.9:11.
 Jer.31:33, Ezk.36:26f., 37:14, II Cor.3:2–6, Heb.10:16.
 Gen.15:6, Rom.4:1–25, Gal.3:6–9.
 Rom.4:11f., Gal.3:29, 6:15, Col.3:11 cf. J. Calvin: Inst.II.xi.12.
 Gen.17:4f., Rom.4, 8:14–17, Gal.3:6–14,25–29, Col.3:11,
Tit.3:4–7, Heb.1:14, 6:17, Js.2:5, I Pet.3:7.
 Jn.10:28 etc.
 Rev.2:4f., 3:1–3.
 Jn.10:28f.,39f., 17:12, 18:9, Rom.8:37-39.
 Ps.57:2, 138:8, I Cor.8f., Phil.1:6, I Th.5:9, II Tim.4:18.
 Isa.42:6f., 49:6, Matt.28:19f., Mk.13:10, 16:15, Ac.1:8, 13:47,
 Jn.4:39–42, Rom.10:9f., Phil.2:9–11 etc.
 Joel 2:32, Ps.69:32f., Matt.7:7–11||Lk.11:9–13, Matt.14:30f.,
Mk.9:24–28, Rom.10:13, Ac.2:21.
 A sentence from the Leuenberg Concord (1973), slightly recast.
 Gen.1, Ex.9:29, 19:5, Dt.10:14, Job 41:11, Ps.24:1, 50:12, 89:11,
Jn.1:1-3,10, Rom.11:36, I Cor.10:26, Col.1:16f., Heb.1:2.
 Lk.4:18, 6:20–25, Matt.5:3–6 cf. Isa.61:2f., Lk.18:1–8.
 Matt.5:5, 19:24, Lk.4:18, 6:20–25, 18:1–8.
 Matt.12:25–29||Mk.3:23–27||Lk.11:18–24, 17:21 etc.
 Gal.3:29, Col.1:13.
 Matt.4:8f.||Lk.4:5f., Phil.2:15, I Jn.5:19 etc.
 Rom.3:24–26, Gal.2:15–20, Eph.2:1–18, Tit. 3:7 etc.
 Rom.2:1–3:20, 3:23, 6:23, 7:5,7–24, Gal.2:15f., 3:10,22,
 Rom.2:4, 12:1f., I Cor.1:30, II Cor.7:1, Gal.5:16–24, Eph.2:4-10,
Col.1:21f., I Th.1:5–10, II Th.2:13-17, Jas.1:22–2:26, I Jn.2:1-17 etc.
 Rom.1:17, 3:21-5:21, II Cor.5:16-21, Gal.2:15-3:9, Eph.2:5-9,
Phil.3:7-9, Col.1:13f., 2:13f.
 Jn.5:24, Rom.5:16–18, 8:1.
 Ac.13:39, Rom.3:21f., 8:1,33f., I Jn.1:7,9, 2:1f.
 Jn.1:12f., 3:3-8, Rom.6:4, 7:6, 8:10, II Cor.4:10f., Gal.2:20,
6:15, I Jn.3:1f. Cf. II Cor.5:17, Eph.4:22–24, Col.3:10 etc.
 Rom.8:14–17,23, Gal.3:25f., 4:4–7, Eph.1:5.
 Jn.5:24, Ac.13:39, Rom.3:21–5:1, 4:5,24f., 5:1, 10:9f.,
Gal.2:15f., 3:2–26, Eph.2:8–19, Phil.3:9, Col.1:21–23, II Tim.1:9–12
 Mk.1:14f., Lk.8:15, Ac.18:8, 19:4f., Rom.10:14–17, Gal.3:2,5.
 Ac.26:12, Rom.4:13–25, Gal.3:15–22, Eph.3:6, II Tim.1:12,
Heb.6:12, 9:15, 10:36, 11:9, II Pet.1:4, I Jn.2:25.
 Matt.9:20–22||Mk.5:27–34, Mk.9:14–20, Lk.7:36–48,
Matt.15:22–28||Mk.7:25–30, Jn.1:12, 14:1, 15:16 cf. 13:18, I Jn.5:10
 Job, Ps.13, 22, 38, 42–43, 74, 109, Mk.9:24, Jn.20:24–31, Ac.4:4,
Rom.10:17, Eph.6:10-18, II Tim.1:12.
 Jn.15:16 cf.13:18.
 Jn.6:37,39,44,65, 10:29, 17:2,6,9,24, 18:9, Heb.2:13, cf.
 Ac.13:45, Rom.3:27, 4:20, 11:32–36, 12:3, I Cor.1:26–31, 2:4f.,
12:9, II Cor.4:15, 10:17, 12:6, Gal.6:14, Eph.1:11–14, 2:8f.,
Phil.1:29, I Tim.4:18, Tit.1:2, Heb.12:2, II Pet.3:18, Jde.24f.,
Rev.1:6, 5:12–14, 7:9–12.
 Jn.6:44, 14:6,26, 16:13-15, Ac.16:14, I Cor.3:7 etc.
 Jer.23:5f., 33:16, Rom.4:25, 5:18, I Cor.1:30, II Cor.5:21,
 Isa.53:4–12, Matt.20:28||Mk.10:45, Jn.10:11,15, 11:51f.,
Rom.3:24–26, 5:6–11,15–21, 4:25, II Cor.5:21, Gal.1:4, 2:15,20,
3:6–18,22, Eph.2:8f.,13, I Tim.2:6, Tit.2:14, I Pet.1:18f., 2:24, I
 I Cor.6:20.
 Deut.4:30, I Sam.7:3, Jer.4:1, Hos.12:6, Joel 2:12f. etc.,
Matt.3:2, 4:17||Mk.1:15, Matt.12:41, Mk.6:12, Lk.13:1–5, 15:7,10,
24:47, Ac.2:37f., 3:19, 5:30f., 17:30, 20:21, 26:18,20, Rom.2:4,
6:12f., II Cor.7:9f., II Pet.3:9, Rev.2:5,16,22, 3:3,19.
 Matt.5:11f.||Lk.6:22f., Matt.10:32f.||Lk.12:8f.,
Matt.10:34-36||Lk.12:51-53, Matt.10:37-39 || Lk.14:25-33,
Matt.16:24-27||Mk.8:34-38||Lk.9:23-26, Ro.8:16f., I Pet.1:6f., 3:17,
4:1f.,12-19, 5:10, Rev.2:9-11 etc.
 I Sam.7:3, Isa.55:7, Ezk.14:6, 18:30, Jon.3:8,10. Joel 2:12f.,
Matt.3:8–10||Lk.3:8–14, Matt. 12:41, Lk.10:13, 18:13f., Ac.3:19, 11:21,
19:18f., 26:20, II Cor.7:9f., I Th.1:9.
 Matt.5:16, Lk.17:18, Jn.7:18, Rom.2:4, 4:20, 6:1-23, 8:1-17,
9:23, 11:36, 12:1f., 16:27, I Cor.1:30f., 8:19, 10:17,31, II Cor.1:20,
3:15-18, 4:15, 7:1, Gal. 1:5, 5:16–24, Eph.1:3–5,11–14, 2:4-10, 3:21,
4:1, Phil.1:10f., 4:20, Col.1:21f., 3:17, I Th.1:5–10, II Th.2:13-17, I
Tim.1:17, II Tim.4:18, Heb.13:21, I Pet.5:11, II Pet.3:18,
Jas.1:22–2:26, I Jn.2:1-17, Jde.1:25, Rev.1:6, 4:11, 5:12f., 7:12,
14:7, 19:1 etc.
 Matt.5:13-7:27, 12:50, Lk.6:27–49, Rom.12:9–21, Eph.4:17-21,
Phil.1:9-11, 2:1-16, 4:8f., Col.1:9f., 3:5-17, I Th.5:12-15 etc
 Ps.50:15, 66:2, 86:12, 115:1, Isa.42:10-12, 66:19, Zech.10:12,
Mal.2:2, Matt.5:16, 9:8, Jn.15:8, Rom.4:20, 5:9, I Cor.6:20, 10:31, II
Cor.1:20, 8:19, 9:13, Phil.1:11, 2:11, Heb.13:21, I Pet.1:7, 2:12,
 Deut.10:12, Jn.14:15,21,23, I Jn.5:2f., II Jn.6 etc.
 Matt.10:37–39||Lk.14:25–33, Matt.13:44–46,
 Deut.6:4f., 10:12, Matt.22:35–39||Mk.12:28–33||Lk.10:25–28,
Lk.7:36–47, Jn.13:34f., 15:12, Rom.13:8–10, Gal.5:10,14, I Th.3:12,
4:9, I Jn.2:15, 3:10–18,23, 4:7,19, 5:1f., Jas.2:8, I Pet.4:8 etc.
 Lev.19:18, Matt.5:43-48||Lk.6:27-36, Matt.19:19,
22:34-40||Mk.12:28-31||Lk.10:25-28, Lk.10:29-37, 11:42, Jn.5:42,
13:34f., 15:12, 17, 21:15-17, Rom.5:5, 12:9f., 13:8-10, 14:15, I
Cor.8:1, 13:1-14:1, 16:14,22, II Cor.5:14, 6:6, 8:8,24, Gal.5:6,13,22,
Eph.1:15, 3:17, 4:2,15f., 5:2, 6:23f., Phil.1:9, 2:1f., Col.1:4,8, 2:2,
3:14, I Th.1:3, 3:6,12, 4:9f., 5:8,13, II Th.1:3 etc.
 I Jn.3:17, 4:8,20f.
 Matt.5:16, 12:33, Jn.15:5, Gal.5:16, Eph.2:10, 4:1, Col.1:9f.,
3:17, Tit.2:14 II Pet.5-10, I Jn.3:23 etc.
 Deut.16:20, Isa.1:17, 56:1, 61:8, Jer.5:1, 7:5, 21:12, 22:3,
Ezk.18:8, 45:9, Hos.2:19, 12:6, Am.5:15,24, Mic.6:8, Rom.12:15, 15:1–3,
I Cor.10:24, Gal.6:2,10, Phil.2:4, I Jn.3:17 etc.
 I Cor.10:14, Gal.5:13, 6:2,9f., Phil.2:4.
 Matt.25:31-46 etc.
 Lk.18:1–8 etc.
 Lk.17:10, I Jn.1:8-10.
 Lev.11:44f., 19:2ff., 20:26, Rom.6:19,22, II Cor.7:1, Eph.1:4,
4:13–16,22-24, I Th.3:13, 4:7, Tit.2:2, Heb.12:10,14, I Pet.2:2, II
 Isa.4, Jer.31:16, Matt.5:12||Lk.6:23, Matt.5:19f.,
5:43-48||Lk.6:27-36, Matt.6:1-6,18, 7:1f. || Lk.6:37-39, Matt.10:41f.,
Col.1:9f., 3:23f., Heb.10:35, II Jn.8.
 Rev.7:13f., 22:14.
 Ps.63:4, 104:33, 145:1-3, 146:1f. etc.
 Rom.7:12-14, 6:14, 7:5-8, I Cor.15:56, II Cor.3:14-18 etc.
 Deut.4:2, 12:32, Josh.1:7, Matt.5:17-20, Gal.3:10, Js.2:10f.
 Ac.13:39, Rom.8:3, Gal.3:21, Heb.10:1.
 Rom.1:18-3:20, 4:15, 5:20, 7:7-25, 8:2, II Cor.3:6f., Gal.3:10f.,
 Rom.2:4, 3:20,23, 5:20, 6:15ff., 7:7ff., 8:5ff., II Cor.3:7ff.,
7:10, Gal.3:24f., Js.1:23-25 etc.
 Jn.1:17, Col.2:13f. etc.
 Rom.3:21, 6:10f.,15, 7:1-6, 8:1f.,6, 10:4-13, Gal.2:19.
3:13f.,21-26, 5:21, II Cor.3:6f. etc.
 Ex.20:1ff., Rom.7:12,14, 9:4.
 Matt.28:18 cf. Matt.3:2||Mk.1:14f.
 Matt.5:17-20 cf. Deut.4:2, 12:32; Rom.2:12, 3:31, 8:4, 13:10,
 Matt.5:17-20, Rom.3:31, 10:4, Gal.4:4f.
 Jn.8:36, Rom.8:2, Gal.5:1,13.
 Jn.8:31–36, Rom.6:18–23, 8:2, I Cor.7:22, Gal.5:1,13, I Pet.2:16.
 Matt.12:9-14||Mk.3:1-6||Lk.6:6-11, 14:1-6, Matt.15:1-9||Mk.7:1-8,
Lk.11:37-44 etc., Rom.14:5-7, Gal.4:10, Col.2:16f., Heb.1–13 (esp. 8:5,
 Matt.5:17-20, Rom.2:21f., 7:7, 8:4, 13:8-10, Gal.5:14.
 Jer.31:33f. etc.
 Rom.12:1f. etc.
 Ps.1, 19:8, 119 (esp.v.105) etc.
 Matt.22:37–39||Mk.12:28-31||Lk.10:27f. cf. Rom.7:7, 13:8-10,
 Jer.31:31-34, 32:40, Ezk.37:26, Ps.37:31, Rom.3:8f.,31, II
Cor.3:3,6, Heb.8:8-12, 10:16.
 Rom.8:2, II Cor.3:3-18 etc.
 Ac.5:17-32 esp. 29, II Tim.2:8f.
 I Cor.1:30.
 Dn.6:10, Ps.27:4, 55:16f., 88:1, 92:1f., 103:1ff., Matt.6:6,11,
14:23, Mk.1:35, Lk.24:52f., Ac.2:46f., 10:9,30, 16:25, 27:35,
Rom.12:12, I Cor.1:4, Eph.1:15f., 3:14, 6:18, Col.1:3f.,9, 3:17, I
Th.5:17, I Tim.2:8, Phm.4, Heb.10:24f., 13:15, Jas.5:13 etc.
 See n. … above.
 Heb.10:23-25, 12:28, 13:1,15-16.
 Matt.4:10||Lk.4:8, Jn.4:23f., Heb.1:6, Phil.2:10f., Rev.4f.
 Lk.24:1,30f.,36ff., Jn.20:19–26, Jn.21:9–14, Ac.1:4 (the Greek
strictly means ‘While eating with them…’, surely referring to one or
more fellowship meals), 20:7, I Cor. 11:20ff.,33, 16:1–2, Rev.1:10. Cf.
also Rom.14:5-7, Gal.4:10, Col.2:16f.
 Rom.8:26f., Gal.4:6f.
 Jn.14:13f., 15:16, 16:23f.26f., Rom.1:8, I Cor.1:2, Eph.5:20,
Col.3:17, I Jn.5:14.
 I Tim.5:8.
 Gen.1:26f., 5:1-3, 9:6, 9:6, Ps.8:5f., I Cor.11:7–12, Col.3:10,
Jas.3:9. Cf. Wisd.2:23, Ecclus.17:3.
 Cf. the Zulu proverb, umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu, ‘A person is a
person through other people.’
 II Cor.4:4,6, Col.1:15 cf. Jn.12:45, 14:9, Phil.2:6, Heb.1:3.
 Jn.1:14 etc., Phil,2:7f., Heb.2:14, 17.
 Jn.13:13-17, Rom.8:29, 12:2, I Cor.15:45-49, II Cor.3:18,
Eph.4:22-24, 5:2, Phil.2:5, Col. 3:9f.,13, I Jn.3:2; Eph.4.24, 5:1.
 Gen.9:6, II Cor.5:16f. etc.
 Gal.3:28, Col.3:11.
 Matt.25:31–46, Js.1:27.
 Song of Songs passim.
 Mal.2:14 etc.
 Matt.19:3-9||Mk.10:2-12||Lk.16:18 etc.
 I Th.4:1-8, Heb.13:4 etc.
 Ex.20:14, Lev.18:20, Deut.5:18, Job 31:1,9–12, Prov.2:16–22,
5:1–23, 6:24, 7:1–27, 9:13– 18, 23:26–28, Jer.7:9f., Hos.4:1f.,
Matt.5:27f., 15:19, Mk.7:21–23, 10:16, Ac.15:20, Rom.13:13, I
Cor.5:1–13, 6:9–18, 9:27, 10:8, II Cor.12:21, Gal.5:16–21, Eph.5:3–5,
Col.3:5, I Th.4:2–8, I Tim.1:8–11, II Tim.1:7, Heb.13:4, Jas.1:14f., I
Pet.2:11f., 4:1–5, I Jn.2:16, Rev.21:8, 22:18.
 Matt.5:31f., 19:3–9||Mk.10:2–12||Lk.16:18 cf. Mal.2:16. I
 Matt.19:10–12, I Cor.7:6-9,25-38.
 I Cor.1:2, 3:9,11, 10:32, II Cor.1:1 etc.
 Matt.28:18-20, Eph.2f. etc.
 Lk.24:48, Ac.1:8, I Pet.2:9 etc.
 Matt.7:14, 22:14.
 Matt.5:11f., 10:38, 16:24||Mk.8:34||Lk.9:23, Lk.14:27, Ac.6:8-15,
Phil.1:29f., 3:10, Heb.12:14, Rev.2:10,13. The Greek word for ‘witness’
 Matt.28:18–20, Ac.1:8.
 Rom.9:25f., II Cor.6:16, Gal.6:16, Heb.4:9, Js.1:1, I Pet.2:10,
 Gen.12:1-3, 17:1-7, 18:18, Rom.4:9,13,,16, Gal.3:14,16-22.
 Rom.11, Matt.23:29, Lk.21:24, II Cor.3:14–16.
 Rom.12:4-8 (cf. 6:13,19), I Cor.1:12f., 6:15, 10:16f., 12:12–27,
II Cor.13:5, Eph.1:22f., 2:14- 16, 4:1-6,12,15f., 5:30, Col.1:18,24,
 Gal.2:20, Phil.1:21.
 Jn.10:5,27f., I Cor.12:5, Eph.1:22f., 4:15f., 5:33, Col.1:18,24,
 Jn.8:47, 10:4f.,16,27.
 I Cor.1:13, 8:6, 12:4,13, Gal.3:27f., Eph.1:18, 2:18, 4:1-6,13,
 Ac.8:26-39 cf. Deut.23:1 and Isa.56:3-5; Gen.28:3, 35:11, 48:4,
Ac.10ff., 15:16f., I Cor.12:13, Gal.3:28, Eph.2:11–22, Col.3:11.
 Rom.12:3–10, I Cor.12:12–27, Eph.4:3.
 Rom.12:3-5,9f., I Cor.12:12-27, Gal.3:26–29, Eph.1:10, 4:4f.,
Phil.2:1-8, Col.3:11, I Th.5:11, Rev.7:9f.
 I Cor.3:16f., II Cor.6:16, Eph.2:19–22, I Tim.3:15, I Pet.2:5.
 Rom.12:4f., I Cor.12:12f.,20,25, Gal.3:28, Eph.4:3ff. etc.
 Rom.12:3ff., I Cor.12:4–27, Eph.4:1–6.
 Deut.7:6, 26:19, Isa.4:3, Eph.5:26f., I Pet.2:5,9.
 E.g. Lev.11:44, 19:2, 21:6, Num.15:40. Rom.12:1, Eph.1:4, I
 Lk.13:29f., Ac.8:26-39 cf. Deut.23:1 and Isa.56:3-5, Rom.3:30,
Gal.3:27–29, Col.3:11, Rev.5:9, 7:9.
 Acs.2:42, I Cor.3:10, Eph.2:20, Jde.3, Rev.21:14.
 II Tim.1:13f.
 Matt.28:18–20, (Mk.16:15), Ac.1:8, 13:47, Col.1:23.
 Lk.11:17, Jn.17:20-23, I Cor.1:10-15. 3:1-9, 12:4–27, 14:33.
 Phil.3:15 etc.
 Ex.19:6, Isa.61:6, I Pet.2:5,9, Rev.1:6, 5:10, 20:6.
 Rom.12:1 cf. Heb.13:15f. and I Pet.2:5.
 Rom.15:15f., I Pet.2:5.
 Matt.16:19, 18:18, Jn.20:23. Cf. Js.5:16.
 Ro.12:4–8, I Cor.1 2:4–11, 5:4f., Eph.4:16.
 Ac.6:1–6, 11:29f., 13:1f., 14:22f., 15:2,4,6,22, 16:4,
20:17,28–31, 21:8,18ff., Rom.12:7f., I Cor.12:28, Gal.6:6, Eph.4:11–13,
Phil.1:1, I Th.5:12f., I Tim.3:1–13, 5:17,22, II Tim.2:2, 4:5,
Tit.1:5–9, Heb.13:7,17, Js.3:1, 5:14f., I Pet.5:1–4.
 Cf. I Cor.14:40.
 Jn.13:1-17, Phil.2:1-11.
Matt.23:6-12||Mk.12:38f.||Lk.20:45-47, Jn.13:14-17, I Cor.3:5-8, 4:1,
II Cor.1:24, 4:5, I Pet.5:3.
 I Cor.12:4-7.
 Matt.20:20–28||Mk.10:35–45||Lk.22:24–27, Matt.23:8, Jn.13:1–17, I
Cor.3:5, II Cor.5:11-21, 8:8, 10:1-18, 11:28f., 12:7-11, Gal 5:13, 1
 Ac.6:1–6, 13:3, 14:23, I Tim.4:14, 5:22, II Tim.1:6f.
 Eph.4:12f.,16, I Pet.4:10.
 Ex.15:20, Jdg.4–5, 13:20–23, II Ki.22:13–20, II Chr.34:22–28,
Neh.6:14, Jl.2:28, Mic.6:4, Matt.28:5–10, Lk.24:8–10, Jn.20:17f.
Ac.2:16f., 18:2f.,18,24–26, 21:9, Rom.16:1–7,12, I Cor.16:19, Gal.3:28,
Phil.4:2f., Col.4:15, I Tim.3:8,11 REB, II Tim.4:19.
 Prov.27:5, Matt.18:15 (preferring the reading in codices ? and B
etc.), I Cor.4:14, Gal.6:1, Col.3:16, I Th.5:11,14, II Th.3:15, II
Tim.4:2, Tit.3:9f., Js.5:19f.
 Num.5:7, Ac.19:18, Js.5:16.
 Matt.16:19, 18:18, Jn.20:23. Cf. Isa.22:22, Wisd.16:13, Rev.1:18,
 Ac.8:20–23, Gal.2:14, I Tim.1:3–7, II Tim.4:1–5, Tit.1:10–14.
 Matt.18:16f., Ac.5:1–9, I Cor.11:18–22,32f., II Th.3:14f., I Tim.
 II Th.3:14.
 Matt.16:19, 18:17f., Jn.20:22f., Rom.16:17, I Cor.5:1–13,
Gal.1:8f., II Thess.3:6,14f., I Tim.1:19f. (cf. II Tim. 2:17f.),
Tit.3:9f., II Jn.10f., III Jn.10, Rev.2:20.
 Matt.18:15, Lk.17:3, I Cor.5:5, II Cor.2:5–11, Gal.6:1, II
 Rom.12:2, I Cor. 5:6,11, I Tim.5:20.
 See n. ,,, above.
 See n. … above.
 II Cor.2:5–11, Gal.6:1; II Th.3:15.
 II Th.3:14f. etc.
 Ps.32:1-5, 51:1-17, Matt.6:12.
 Prov.28:13, Matt.5:23-26, 16:19, 18:18, Lk.19:8, Jn.20:23,
 Dan.7:13f., Matt.20:21–23, 26:64, 28:18–20, Mk.10:35–40,
12:35–37, 14:62, Lk.20:41–44, 22:69, Ac.2:33–36, 7:56, Rom.8:34, I
Cor.15:24–27, Eph.1:20–23, Phil.2:9–11, Col.3:1, Heb.1:3,8,13, 8:1,
10:12, 12:2, I Pet.3:22, Rev.1:5, 11:15, 19:11–16.
 Rom.13:1-7, Tit.3:1, I Pet.2:13f.,17.
 II Cor.10:4f., Eph.6:10-18, Heb.4:12.
 Matt.16:24||Mk.8:34||Lk.9:23, Matt.5:10-12, I Pet.3:14
 The UPCSA recognizes that its members have different views on the
right to use force. Some are strict pacifists who hold that all
resistance against an internal oppressor or an invading aggressor must
be non-violent; others accept that in strictly circumscribed
circumstances Christians may also participate in the military defence
of the land or in the overthrow of an oppressive ruler by force.
 Gen.1:1-2:4, Job 38:4ff., Ps.136:5, Isa.40:26, 41:20,26, 42:5,12,
43:1,7, 45:12,18 etc., cf. II Macc.7:28, Ac.14:15, 17:24, Rom.4:17,
Heb.11:3, Rev.4:11, 10:6.
 Gen.1, Ps.33:6f., Jn.1:1–3, Col.1:16f., Heb.1:2.
 Gen.1f., Deut.4:39, Job 38:1–42:2, Ps.33:6–9, 33:6–9, 107:25–29,
139:7–10, Jer.23:23f., Ac.17:24–28, Eph.1:23, 4:6.
 Gen.1 etc., Rom.11:36, I Cor.8:6, 11:12, Col.1:16, Heb.1:2, 2:10.
 Rom.10:12, Gal.3:25, Col.3:11.
 Ex.19:5, Ps.24:1.
 Pss., Matt.10:29, Matt.6:25-34||Lk.12:22-31 etc.
 Ps.33:6, Jn.1:1-3,10, I Cor.8:6, Col.1:16f., Heb.1:2, 11:3.
 Gen.1:11-31, 22:8, Job 38:41, Ps.40:5, 50:11, 84:3, 104:10-30,
136:25, 147:9, Matt.5:45|| Lk.6:35, Matt.6:25-34||Lk.12:22-31,
Matt.10:29-31||Lk.12:6f., Ac.14:17, 17:26, Rom.1:20, 8:28 etc.
 Jn.5:17, Rom.8:21, Eph.1:10, Col.1:16,20, Rev.22:13 etc.
 Deut.29:29, Job 2ff., Eph.1:9f., Col.1:16, Heb.1:2.
 Ps.1:5, 5:4-6, 11:5, Jn.13:27, 19:11 etc.
 Ac.14:16, 17:30 etc.
 Deut.8:5, Jos.23:15f., Ps.94:12, 119:67,71,75, Prov.3:11f.,
Isa.45:7, Jer.25:15-38, Mic.2:1-4, Heb.12:5-11.
 Deut.29:29, Job passim, many Pss., I Jn.5:19.
 II Chr.36:22f., Isa.44:24-45:13 etc.
 Jn.9:3, Rom.8:28.
 Ps.23:1-6, 27:1-14, 91:1-16, 118:5-18, Matt.6:25, Ac.9:4f.,
14:15-17, I Cor.12:26f., Phil.4:19, Heb.2:18, 4:15, I Pet.5:7.
 Ps.33:18-22, 39:7, 62:5-8, 65:5, 71:5, 78:5-8, 119:49,166,
130:5,7, 146:5, 147:11, Jer.17:3, Lam.3:21-26, Ac.26:6, Rom.8:24f,
15:13, I Cor.13:13, Gal.5:5, Eph.1:18, Col.1:1-3,22f.,27, I Th.1:3,
5:8, I Tim.4:10, 5:5, Tit.1:2, 2:13, 3:7, Heb.3:6, 6:11,18f., 7:19,
10:23, I Pet.1:3,13,21, 3:15.
 I Jn.2:18.
 Ps.96:11-13, Isa.11:1-9, Dn.7:13, Matt.24:30, 25:31, Mk.13:26,
14:62, I Cor.1524-28, Phil.2:9-11.
Matt.24:3–51||Mk.13:14–37||Lk.21:7–36, Matt.26:64|| Mk.14:62, Jn.14:3,
I Cor.1:7, 15:23–25,51f., Phil.3:20f., I Th.2:19, 3:13, 4:13–5:11,23,
II Th.2:1– 10, Jas.5:7f., II Pet.3:3–13, I Jn.2:8.
 Matt.19:28||Lk.19:30, Ac.3:21, Rom.8:16-22, Eph.1:10, I
 Matt.23:30||Lk.20:35f., Rom.8:18, I Cor.15:22f.,35–57, II
Cor.4:17, 5:10, Col.3:4, I Th.4:14, II Tim.2:18, I Jn.3:2.
 Ps.44:21, Rom.2:16
 Ps.77:9, I Tim.2:4, Js.2:13.
 Matt.25:41–46, Mk.9:42-48, Jn.3:36, II Cor.2:15, Eph.2:11f.,
Phil.1:28, 3:19, I Th.5:3, II Th.1:9 etc.
 Rom.8:23,29, I Cor.15:35-57, II Cor.4:16-5:5, Phil.3:21, I Jn.3:2.
 I Cor.1:8, II Cor.2:15, Phil.1:28, etc.
 Isa.65:17, 66:22, II Pet.3:13, Rev.21:1.
 II Pet.3:13, Rev.21:1,5.
 Rev.1:8, 11:15-18, 21:1ff.
 I Cor.15:29, Rev.21:4.
 Eph.1:10, Col.1:16.
 Cf. Isa.11:9, 40:5, 61:11, Hab.2:14.
 Matt.10:30, Jn.3:15, 5:39, 6:54,68, 10:28, 17:2, Ac.13:48,
Rom.2:7, 5:21, 6:23, I Tim.6:12,19, Tit.3:7, I Jn.1:12, 2:25, 3:15,
 Jn.5:24, 13:10.
 I Chr.16:31.