The Practical Bearings Of Our Belief Concerning The Relation Of Death To Probation -- By: G. Frederick Wright
BSac 40:160 (Oct 1883) p. 694
The Practical Bearings Of Our Belief Concerning The Relation Of Death To Probation
The creeds of Christendom have not, all of them, expressly stated the belief that human probation is limited by death. This belief, however, is usually assumed or implied in the articles which treat of original sin and of baptism. We append the clauses from the more important creeds which bear upon the subject.1
The Westminster Confession of Faith reads: “The souls of the righteous being then made perfect in holiness, are received into the highest heavens, where they behold the glory of God in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies. And the souls of the wicked are east into hell, where they remain in torments and utter darkness, reserved to the judgment of the great day. Besides these two places for souls separated from their bodies, the Scripture acknowledgeth none.”
A similar clause is found in the Larger Catechism. In the Shorter Catechism, however, the statement upon this point is not explicit (chap. 32).
Nicene Creed. — I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins.
Athanasian Creed. — 41. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies. 42. And shall give an account of their own works.
Augsburg Confession. — Art. II. Of Original Sin they teach that, after Adam’s fall, all men begotten after the common course of nature are
BSac 40:160 (Oct 1883) p. 695
born with sin; that is, without the fear of God, without trust in him, and with fleshly appetite; and that disease, or original fault, is truly sin, condemning and bringing eternal death now also upon all that are not born again by baptism and the Holy Spirit.
Art. IX. Of Baptism they teach that it is necessary to salvation, and that by Baptism the grace of God is offered, and that children are to be baptized, who by Baptism, being offered to God, are received into God’s favor.
Luther’s Small Catechism. — II. What does Baptism give, or of what use is it? It worketh forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and gives everlasting salvation to all who believe, as the word and promise of God declare.
III. How can water do such great things? Without the word of God water is nothing but water, and no baptism; but with the word of God it is a baptism, that is, a gracious water of life and a washing of regeneration in the Holy Ghost, as St. Paul says, Titus 3:5.
The Saxon Visitation Articles, 1592. —Art. III. Of Holy Baptism...
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