Monday, May 29, 2017

2nd Helvetic Confes.

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CHAPTER VII

Of The Creation of All Things:
Of Angels, the Devil, and Man

GOD CREATED ALL THINGS. This good and almighty God created all things, both visible and invisible, by his co-eternal Word, and preserves them by his co-eternal Spirit, as David testified when he said: “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all their host by the breath of his mouth” (Ps. 33:6). And, as Scripture says, everything that God had made was very good, and was made for the profit and use of man. Now we assert that all those things proceed from one beginning. MANICHAEANS AND MARCIONITES. Therefore, we condemn the Manichaeans and Marcionites who impiously imagined two substances and natures, one good and the other evil; also two beginnings and two gods contrary to each other, a good and an evil one.

OF ANGELS AND THE DEVIL. Among all creatures, angels and men are most excellent. Concerning angels, Holy Scripture declares: “who makest the winds thy messengers, fire and flame thy ministers” (Ps 104:4). Also it says: “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?” (Heb. 1:14). Concerning the Devil, the Lord Jesus Himself testifies: “He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). Consequently we teach that some angels persisted in obedience and were appointed for faithful service to God and men, but others fell of their own free will and were cast into destruction, becoming enemies of all good and of the faithful, etc….

OF MAN. Now concerning, Scripture says that in the beginning he was made good according to the image and likeness of God; that God placed him in paradise and made all thing subject to him (Gen. chp 2). This is what David magnificently sets forth in Psalm 8. Moreover, God gave him a wife and blessed them. We also affirm that man consists of two different substances in one person: an immortal soul which, when separate from the body, neither sleeps nor dies, and a mortal body which will nevertheless be raised up from the dead at the last judgement, in order that then the whole man, either in life or in death, abide forever.

THE SECTS. We condemn all who ridicule or by subtle arguments cast doubt upon the immortality of the soul, or who say that the soul sleeps or is a part of God. In short, we condemn all opinions of all men, however many, that depart from what has been delivered unto us by the Holy Scriptures in the Apostolic Church of Christ concerning creation, angels, and demons, and man.

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