The Westminster Confession of Faith: Of Synods and Councils.

We will continue to devote each Lord’s Day in 2022 at hiswordtoday.org to present a portion of the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF). For those unfamiliar with the WCF, a brief explanation is appropriate. 

The Westminster Confession of Faith is a Reformed confession of faith. Drawn up by the 1646 Westminster Assembly as part of the Westminster Standards to be a confession of the Church of England, it became and remains the “subordinate standard” of doctrine (to Scripture) in the Church of Scotland and has been influential within Presbyterian churches worldwide.

It is to that “most precise and accurate summary of the content of biblical Christianity” that we will give our time and attention to each Lord’s Day in the year of our Lord, 2022. I trust you will be edified and encouraged each week by The Westminster Confession of Faith.

Chapter Thirty-One. Of Synods and Councils.

1. For the better government and further edification of the Church, there ought to be such assemblies as are commonly called synods or councils.a

a. Acts 15:246.

2. As magistrates may lawfully call a synod of ministers and other fit persons to consult and advise with about matters of religion;a so, if magistrates be open enemies to the Church, the ministers of Christ, of themselves, by virtue of their office, or they, with other fit persons, upon delegation from their churches, may meet together in such assemblies.b

a. Isa 49:232 Chron 19:8-1129-30 throughout; Prov 11:14Mat 2:4-51 Tim 2:1-2. • b. Acts 15:2422-2325.

3. It belongeth to synods and councils, ministerially, to determine controversies of faith, and cases of conscience; to set down rules and directions for the better ordering of the public worship of God, and government of his Church; to receive complaints in cases of maladministration, and authoritatively to determine the same: which decrees and determinations, if consonant to the Word of God, are to be received with reverence and submission, not only for their agreement with the Word, but also for the power whereby they are made, as being an ordinance of God, appointed thereunto in his Word.a

a. Mat 18:17-20Acts 15:15192427-3116:4.

4. All synods or councils since the apostles’ times, whether general or particular, may err, and many have erred; therefore they are not to be made the rule of faith or practice, but to be used as a help in both.a

a. Acts 17:111 Cor 2:52 Cor 1:24Eph 2:20.

5. Synods and councils are to handle or conclude nothing but that which is ecclesiastical: and are not to intermeddle with civil affairs which concern the commonwealth, unless by way of humble petition in cases extraordinary; or by way of advice, for satisfaction of conscience, if they be thereunto required by the civil magistrate.a

a. Luke 12:13-14John 18:36.

I encourage you to read the portions of Scripture listed in this post. Have a blessed Lord’s Day.

Soli deo Gloria!

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