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The Confessional Statement of the United Presbyterian Church of North America.

In 1925, the United Presbyterian Church of North America adopted a Confessional Statement which stands for the boldest official attempt within the Presbyterian family of Churches to restate the Reformed theology of the sixteenth century. It contains forty-four articles, whereas the Westminster Confession contains thirty-three articles. Some of the Westminster headings are omitted, such as 'of effectual calling,' of 'God's eternal decree,' and 'of the perseverance of saints,' and statements of similar or the same import are given under such headings as 'of the divine purpose,' 'of the Gospel call,' and 'of the security of believers.' The Confessional Statement omits for the most part distinctly theological and technical language, but accompanies all its articles with elaborate Scripture texts. Such expressions as elect persons, elect infants, foreordained, imputed, decree of election, covenant of works, covenant of grace, are not repeated, but in their stead such expressions are used as believers, children of God, chosen of God. The Assembly's act making the Statement law provides that 'wherever the Confession deviates from the Westminster standards, its declarations are to prevail.' The Preamble is as follows:

The United Presbyterian Church of North America declares afresh its adherence to the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms, Larger and Shorter, as setting forth the system of doctrine taught in the Scriptures, which are the only infallible and final rule of faith and practice. Along with this it affirms the right and duty of a living Church to restate its faith from time to time so as to display any additional attainments in truth 925it may have made under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Accordingly, by constitutional action consummated June 2, 1925, it adopted the following Confessional Statement. This Statement contains the substance of the Westminster symbols, together with certain present-day convictions of the United Presbyterian Church.

The articles treat of God, divine revelation, Holy Scripture, the divine purpose, creation, providence, angels, the sin of man, salvation, election, God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the atonement, the Gospel call, regeneration, saving faith, repentance, justification, adoption, sanctification, union with Christ, the security of believers, assurance, the law of God, the study of God's Word, prayer, praise, Sabbath observance, the sacraments, lawful oaths and vows, the Church, Church order, the ministry, Church fellowship, the family, civil government, the social order, the intermediate state, the second advent, the resurrection, the judgment, the life everlasting, Christian service and the final triumph. The following statements are given in full:

Art. X. Of Election.—We believe that the Eternal Father, before the foundation of the world, in His own good pleasure gave to His Son a people, an innumerable multitude, chosen in Christ unto salvation, holiness, and service; that all of these who come to years of discretion receive this salvation through faith and repentance; and that all who die in infancy, and all others who are given by the Father to the Son and are beyond the reach of the outward means of grace, are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Holy Spirit, Who works when and where and how He pleases.

Art. XV. Of the Gospel Call.—We believe that the gospel is a revelation of grace to sinners as such, and that it contains a free and unconditional offer of salvation through Christ to all who hear it, whatever may be their character or condition; that the offer is in itself a proper motive to obedience; and that nothing but a sinful unwillingness prevents its acceptance.

Art. XVII. Of Saving Faith.—We believe that saving faith is the gift of God; that in it there is not merely an assent to the truth that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Saviour of sinners, but also a cordial acceptance and appropriation of Him, and a fixed reliance upon Him, as our Saviour; that this faith, which involves the conviction of the mind, the trust of the heart, and the obedience of the will, rests solely upon the free and unlimited offer of Christ made in the gospel to sinners of mankind; and that such faith is the necessary and all-sufficient condition and channel for the communication of every spiritual gift and the progressive realization of salvation.

Art. XXXIV. Of the Ministry.—We believe that Jesus Christ as the Head of the Church has appointed therein the official ministry of reconciliation; that He calls men to this ministry through the working of the Holy Spirit in their hearts and by the orderings of providence; and that those thus called are to be set apart by ordination, whereby they are solemnly invested with the authority, powers, and duties of their sacred office.

Art. XL. Of the Second Advent.—We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, Who at His ascension was received up into heaven, will come again to earth in person, visibly, with power and great glory; that His coming marks the consummation of the Kingdom of God; that the time thereof is reserved in the Divine counsels; and that this blessed hope is to be cherished as an incentive to watchful living and faithful witness-bearing on the part of Christ's followers.

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