Product Overview. Digital PDF file of the first part of the church’s Constitution is contained in the Book of Confessions. Includes the text of twelve confesional. liver them out of the estate of sin and misery, and to bring them into an estate of salvation by a Redeemer THE BOOK OF CONFESSIONS. The first part of the constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is the Book of Confessions, which contains 11 formal statements of faith structured as creeds.

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The first part of the constitution of the Presbyterian Church U.

Elders throughout the denomination, training for leadership, study each of the confessions, its historical origins, and its theological emphases. Our candidates for ministry must demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the confessions on ordination exams and before their presbyteries. Presbyterians claim Scripture as the primary rule of faith and life, and Scripture quotes confessions from the early communities of faith.

The New Testament records the earliest Christian creed: The Confessions both confessins and reflect our sense of community by describing our shared story and our common values.

Confessions define what we as a community believe.

These statements of faith proactively affirm our beliefs about God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and about humanity, the church and the world the context in confessionns God, humanity, and the church interact. They also reactively counter understandings prevalent in the surrounding culture that do not coincide with our faith.

The Book of Confessions (Spanish)

Confessions develop out of a need to clarify beliefs and to contradict heresies. It reaffirms the historical Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ and confirms the Trinitarian nature of God.

Three of our confessoins the Scots, Second Helvetic, and Westminster Confessions and all three of our catechisms the Heidelberg and the Westminster Shorter and Larger Catechisms developed out of the conflicts between newly emerging Protestantism and medieval Roman Catholicism.


The Scots Confession condemned such medieval church abuses confessionns the selling of indulgences, in which church members could pay sums of money to atone for sins prior conressions committing them. John Calvin inspired the writing of Second Helvetic Confession, which, like the famous technical precision of Swiss watches and clocks, describes the specifics of church work and administration.

Nearly four centuries passed before the church formed and adopted another confession. Within the past six decades the church has embraced three new confessions: The Confession of frequently repeats the term reconciliation.

In response to civil rights struggles, American involvement in Vietnam, and our first view of our planet from outer space, the church expressed pcuza renewed commitment to reconciliation: A Brief Statement of Faith. Christians need instruction in the faith, because faith is not just a matter of the heart and soul; it is also a concern of the confessins.

The catechisms in our Book of Confessions the Heidelberg and the Westminster Shorter and Larger Catechisms were written specifically as teaching tools, putting in question-and-answer form the common elements of faith according to the Reformed tradition. Not only the content but also the very existence of catechisms underscores the importance of teaching believers.

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) – Resources – The Book of Confessions

Many Presbyterians over age 40 spent hours in childhood memorizing the Shorter Catechism and can confessione cite at least the first question: Our growth in faith of course ideally extends beyond our youthful learning of the basics and into regular, intensive study of our Scriptures and confessions throughout our lives.

We who believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ have a confeswions to share that Good News for the sake of the world. To our own contemporary experiences of God in Christ through the Holy Spirit at work in our lives, the confessions add continuity, expressions of faith that reach back through the centuries to the earliest believers.


The confessions offer not only continuity, but also the content we booo to define our community. The Book of Order states these purposes for our confessions: The confessions serve as a conefssions that briefly describes us as a community and sets boundaries on the territory of the Reformed faith. If we travel outside those boundaries, we find ourselves in another city of faith. For example, a person who does not remember his infant baptism might request rebaptism.

Book of Confessions PDF

But rebaptism lies outside our boundaries, and instead we would affirm our understanding of the once-and-for-all nature of baptism, that is, the sacrament takes effect whether or not we remember it.

When we are newcomers to a city we rely on a map to help us find our way around and avoid getting lost. As we live in that place and frequently travel from point to point, we become lcusa and more familiar with its features and refer to the map less often. We know the highways and byways, the side streets and dead ends, the safe areas and the places of danger.

In any vital city there is growth, development and change.

Certain parts of the city of faith also change with historical circumstances, so we create new maps write and adopt new confessions to help those who travel here find their way. This article originally appeared in the May issue of Presbyterians Today. You can read this confession here or learn more about its background here.