The United Church of Northern
India adopting the following as its Confession of Faith, to be subscribed by
ministers, licentiates* and elders, does not thereby reject any of the
doctrinal standards of the parent Churches, but on the contrary, commends
them-especially the Westminster Confession of Faith, and the Confession and Canons
of the Synod of Dort, the Heidelberg Catechism,
Luther's Catechism and the Augsburg Confession-as worthy exponents of the Word
of God, and as systems of doctrine to be taught in our Churches and seminaries.
(*Note: Licentiates are
called probationers in the revised Constitution).
The Scriptures of the
Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, and the only infallible rule of
faith and duty.
There is but one God, and
He alone is to be worshipped. He is a Spirit, self-existent, omnipresent yet
distinct from all other spirits and from all material things: infinite,
eternal, and unchangeable, in His being,
wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, truth and love.
In the Godhead there
are three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and these three are
one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.
All things visible and
invisible were created by God by the word of His power, and are so preserved
and governed by Him, that while He is in no way the author of sin, He worketh all things according to the counsel of His will,
and they serve the fulfilment of His wise and good
and holy purposes.
God created man, male and
female, after His own image, in knowledge, righteousness and holiness, with
dominion over the creatures. All men have the same origin and are brethren.
Our first parents, being
free to choose between good and evil, and being tempted, sinned against God;
and all mankind descending by ordinary generation from Adam, the head of the
race, sinned in him and fell with him. To their original guilt and corruption,
those capable of so doing have added actual transgressions. All justly deserve
His wrath and punishment in this' present life and in that which is to come.
To save men from the
guilt, corruption and penalty of sin, and to give them eternal life, God in His
infinite love sent into the world His eternal and only begotten Son, the Lord
Jesus Christ, in whom alone God has become incarnate, and through whom alone
men can be saved. The eternal Son became true man and so was and continueth to be true man, in two distinct natures and one
person for ever. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and
of the Virgin Mary, yet without sin. For sinful men He perfectly obeyed the law
of God, and offered Himself a true and perfect sacrifice to satisfy divine
justice and reconcile men to God. He died on the Cross, was buried, and rose
again from the dead on the third day. He ascended to the right hand of God
where He maketh intercession for His people, and
whence He shall come again to raise the dead and to judge the world.
The Holy Spirit who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, maketh
men partakers of salvation, convincing them of their sin and misery,
enlightening their minds in the knowledge of Christ, renewing their wills,
persuading and enabling them to embrace Jesus Christ freely offered to them in
the Gospel, and working in them all the fruits of righteousness.
While God chose a people in
Christ before the foundation of the world, that they should be holy and without
blemish before Him in love; having foreordained them unto adoption as sons
through Jesus Christ unto Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on them in
the Beloved; He maketh a full and free offer of
salvation to all men, and commandeth them to repent
of their sins, to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour,
and to live a humble and holy life after His example and in obedience to God's
revealed will. Those who believe in Christ and obey
Him are saved; the chief benefits which they receive being justification,
adoption into the number of the sons of God, sanctification through the
indwelling of the Spirit, and eternal glory.
Believers may also in this life enjoy assurance of their salvation. In his
gracious work the Holy Spirit useth the means of
grace, especially the Word, Sacraments and Prayer.
instituted by Christ are Baptism and the Lord's Supper. Baptism is the washing
with water in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and
is a sign and seal of our union to Christ, of regeneration and renewing of the
Holy Spirit, and of our engagement to be of the Lord's. It is to be
administered to those who profess their faith in Christ, and to their children.
The Lord's Supper is the
partaking of the bread and of the cup as a memorial of Christ's death and is a
sign and seal of the benefits thereof to believers. It is to be observed by His
people till He comes, in token of their faith in Him and His sacrifice, of
their appropriation of its benefits, of their further engagement to serve Him,
and of their communion with Him and with one another.
The benefits of the Sacraments are not from any virtue
in them, or in him that doth administer them, but only from the blessing of
Christ and the working of His Spirit in them that by faith receive them.
It is the duty of all
believers to unite in Church fellowship, to observe the Sacraments and other ordinances
of Christ, to obey His laws, to continue in prayer, to keep holy the Lord's
Day, to meet together for His worship, to wait upon the preaching of His Word,
to give as God may prosper them, to manifest a Christ-like spirit among
themselves and towards all men, to labour for the
extension of Christ's Kingdom throughout the world, and to wait for His
On the last day the
dead shall be raised, and all shall appear before the judgement-seat
of Christ, and shall receive according to the deeds done in this present life
whether good or bad. Those who have believed in Christ and obeyed Him shall be
openly acquitted and received into glory; but the unbelieving and wicked, being
condemned, shall suffer the punishment due to their sins.