There is one true God who is eternal. He has revealed Himself in three distinct but equal persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; these are one God. God is infinite, invisible, independent, allknowing, perfectly wise, just and gracious; unchangeable in his holiness and love. He is the almighty Creator, Saviour and Judge who sustains and governs all things according to his sovereign will for His own glory.
God reveals Himself to man by two means: first by a general revelation through His creation, secondly, through a special revelation in His word, the Bible consisting of the Old and New Covenant books alone. Every word of this Bible was inspired by God, communicated to human authors by the Holy Spirit, so that the Bible as originally given is in its entirety the word of God, without error and fully reliable in fact and doctrine. The Bible alone speaks with final authority and is always sufficient for all matters of belief and practice.
Creation, the Human Race and Sin
To rule over everything that God had created, God finally created man from the dust of the earth, woman from the man, and they received their life through His breath. He created them perfectly, in His image, for the purpose to worship and love Him.
Our first parents, Adam and Eve, disobeyed God’s single command not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. As a consequence, every aspect of human nature was corrupted and man’s life was made finite by death. Since, men and women are born with a corrupted spiritual life, being guilty sinners that are hostile to God and that must die. Every person is therefore under God’s just condemnation and needs to be born again, have his sins forgiven and be reconciled to God in order to know and please Him.
The Lord Jesus Christ
God sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to earth as the mediator between Himself and man. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin; therefore He is fully God and fully man. He lived a sinless life in obedience to the Father, perfectly explained and exemplified God’s good nature. He taught with authority and all His words are true. On the cross He died in the place of sinners, descended into hell, bearing God’s punishment for their sin, redeeming from eternal damnation by His blood those who believe in Him. He rose from the dead and in His resurrection body ascended into heaven where He is exalted as Lord of all. He intercedes for His people in the presence of the Father. At the end of times He will return to earth to judge the living and the dead.
Salvation is entirely a work of God’s grace and cannot be earned or deserved. It has been accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ and in the gospel (lit. “good news”) is offered to all. God in His love forgives sinners whom He calls, granting them repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour. All who believe in Christ are justified by faith alone, adopted into the family of God and receive eternal life.
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit has been sent from heaven to glorify Christ and to apply His work of salvation. He convicts sinners, imparts spiritual life and gives a true understanding of the Scriptures. He lives in all believers, brings assurance of salvation and produces increasing likeness to Christ. He builds up the church and empowers its members for worship, service and mission.
The universal Church is the body of which Christ is the head and of which all who are saved, of all times and places, are the members. It is scattered over the whole earth, among all nations, tribes, peoples and languages, but nevertheless is united with heart and will in one Spirit through faith. The true church can be discerned by the true preaching of the Word, the right administration of baptism and the Lord’s supper and the faithful exercise of discipline. The unity of the body of Christ is expressed within and between churches by mutual love, care and encouragement.
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper have been given to the churches by Christ as visible signs of God’s grace towards mankind. Baptism is a symbol of God’s grace and entry into His church but does not impart spiritual life. The Lord’s Supper is a commemoration and symbol of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross offered once and for all. All its blessings are received in faith.
The Lord Jesus Christ will return in glory. He will raise the dead, and those who during their life have been justified righteous through, and continued in their faith in Christ as their Saviour, will be welcomed into a life of eternal joy in fellowship with God. Those, however, who during their life have continued in their sin and have not repented and been forgiven will be sent to eternal punishment. God will make all things new and will be glorified for ever.
A more elaborate and scholarly version of our articles of faith can be found in the following:
Belgic Confession of Faith
Canons of Dordt