Introduction to the Belgic Confession of Faith

To start the theological discussion in this blog, I think it would be best to go through one of the great confessions of faith of the 16th century Protestant Reformation: the Belgic Confession of Faith.

This Confession is one of the “Three Forms of Unity” (Heidelberg Catechism, Belgic Confession of Faith, and the Canons of Dort) of Reformed churches. It is often called the Belgic Confession because it was written in what is now known as Belgium. Its chief author was Guido de Brès, one of several itinerant preachers during the days of persecution of Reformed churches by King Philip II of Spain.

Reformed believers then were accused of being rebels, so de Brès wrote this confession primarily as a testimony to the Spanish king to prove that the Reformed believers were not rebels, but law-abiding citizens who professed only the teachings of Holy Scripture. In 1562 a copy was sent to the Spanish king, accompanied by a petition for relief from persecution, in which the petitioners declared that they were ready to obey the government in all lawful things, although they would “offer their backs to stripes, their tongues to knives, their mouths to gags, and their whole bodies to fire,” rather than deny the truth of God’s Word. De Brès was true to his faith, being martyred by Philip II in 1567 at the age of 47.

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