Confession of the
Evangelical Church
in Germany:

9. Of the Office of Christ

XIX. Of the office of Christ we believe that He is our Saviour who reconciles us to God through His death, and He makes such a reconciliation known to us, and allows this to be known; also, that He claims His faithful ones for His own and preserves and protects them unto eternity. For it is written: “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15) “Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them: and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:19). “I give eternal life to My sheep, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand” ( John 10:28).

11. Of the Power of Christ’s Death

XXV. Of the power of Christ’s death, we believe that although Christ’s death is the atonement for the sins of the whole world, as is read in John, such reconciliation profits no one except those alone who believe on Him. For it is written: That whoever believes in Him shall not be lost, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). "Whoever does not believe, he will be condemned" (Mark 16:16)."The wrath of God abides on him" ( John 3:36). Namely, that which by nature abides in all men; as the verse says, "We are all by nature children of wrath" (Eph. 2:3).

“Confession of the Evangelical Church in Germany (1614)” in, Reformed Confessions of the 16th and 17th Centuries in English Translation, ed., James T. Dennison, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Reformation Heritage Books, 2010), 3: 63.

When John Sigismund (1572-1619) received the Lord’s Supper in accordance with the Reformed rubric on Christmas Day 1613, he nor only made a formal break with Lutheranism and the Book of Concord, he also set in motion a vigorous reaction against his endorsement of Calvinism (cf. the full introduction to the Confession of John Sigismund [1614], which follows this document). That reaction labeled the "Second Reformation" (Lutheranism to Calvinism) a "deformation," and regarded the conversion of John Sigismund as virtual apostasy and heresy. Charges were openly made that Calvinism (1) repudiated the omnipotence of God (alleged from the non-ubiquitous presence of the glorified body of Christ); (2) affirmed that God was the author of evil (alleged from divine predestination of whatsoever comes to pass); (3) "Nestorianized" the union of’ the divine and human natures of Christ (denied a true hypostatic union and communion of the two natures; i.e., divided the natures); (4) advocated rank antinomianism (i.e., the elect are saved regardless of whether they live an immoral life). The confession below was drafted to answer these and other gross caricatures of the Reformed faith.

It was signed on May 10, 1614, at Colln, a city of old Berlin located on an island in the Spree River. John Sigismund was joined in promoting this statement of the Reformed faith by his eldest son, George William 1595-1640), Margrave of Brandenburg (1619-1640) and his brother, John George (1577-1624).

Our translation is based on the German version printed in Heinrich Heppe, Die Bekenntnisschriften der reformirten Kirchen Deutschlands (1860), 202-83. Corrected Scripture citations are indicated by square brackets [ ].

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