Reformed Confessions:

Second Helvetic Confession

Second Helvetic Confession 13:
The Ancients Had Evangelical Promises. The Gospel, is indeed, opposed to the law. For the law works wrath and announces a curse, whereas the Gospel preaches grace and blessing. John says: For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ (John 1:17). Yet not withstanding it is most certain that those who were before the law and under the law, were not altogether destitute of the Gospel. For they had extraordinary evangelical promises such as these are: The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent’s head (Gen. 3:15). In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed (Gen. 22:18). The scepter shall not depart from Judah . . . until he comes (Gen. 49:10). The Lord will raise up a prophet from among his own brethren (Deut. 18:15; Acts 3:22), etc.

Second Helvetic Confession 20:
What it Means To Be Baptized. Now to be baptized in the name of Christ is to be enrolled, entered, and received into the covenant and family, and so into the inheritance of the sons of God; yes, and in this life to be called after the name of God; that is to say, to be called a son of God; to be cleansed also from the filthiness of sins, and to be granted the manifold grace of God, in order to lead a new and innocent life. Baptism, therefore, calls to mind and renews the great favor God has shown to the race of mortal men. For we are all born in the pollution of sin and are the children of wrath. But God, who is rich in mercy, freely cleanses us from our sins by the blood of his Son, and in him adopts us to be his sons, and by a holy covenant joins us to himself, and enriches us with various gifts, that we might live a new life. All these things are assured by baptism. For inwardly we are regenerated, purified, and renewed by God through the Holy Spirit; and outwardly we receive the assurance of the greatest gifts in the water, by which also those great benefits are represented, and, as it were, set before our eyes to be beheld.

Second Helvetic Confession 8:
Sin. By sin we understand that innate corruption of man which has been derived or propagated in us all from our first parents, by which we, immersed in perverse desires and averse to all good are inclined to all evil. Full of all wickedness, distrust, contempt and hatred of God, we are unable to do or even to think anything good of ourselves. Moreover, even as we grow older, so by wicked thoughts, words and deeds committed against God’s law, we bring forth corrupt fruit worthy of an evil tree (Matt. 12:33 ff.). For this reason by our own deserts, being subject to the wrath of God, we are liable to just punishment, so that all of us would have been cast away by God if Christ, the Deliverer, had not brought us back.

Death. By death we understand not only bodily death, which all of us must once suffer on account of sins, but also eternal punishment due to our sins and corruption. For the apostle says: We were dead through trespasses and sins . . . and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, who is rich in mercy . . . even when we were dead through our tresspasses, made us alive together with Christ (Eph. 2:1 ff.). Also: As sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned (Rom. 5:12).

French Confession

French Confesion 18:
We believe that all our justification rests upon the remission of our sins, in which also is our only blessedness, as says David (Psa. 32:2).[1]  We therefore reject all other means of justification before God,[2] and without claiming any virtue or merit, we rest simply in the obedience of Jesus Christ, which is imputed to us as much to blot out all our sins as to make us find grace and favor in the sight of God.  And, in fact, we believe that in falling away from this foundation, however slightly, we could not find rest elsewhere, but should always be troubled.  For as much as we are never at peace with God till we resolve to be loved in Jesus Christ, for of ourselves we are worthy of hatred.

Thirty-Nine Articles

Article 9:
Original sin stands not in the following of Adam, (as the Pelagians do vainly talk;) but it is the fault and corruption of the Nature of every man, that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam; whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil, so that the flesh lusts always contrary to the Spirit; and therefore in every person born into this world, it deserves God’s wrath and damnation. And this infection of nature doth remain, yea in them that are regenerated; whereby the lust of the flesh, called in Greek, (which some do expound the wisdom, some sensuality, some the affection, some the desire, of the flesh), is not subject to the Law of God. And although there is no condemnation for them that believe and are baptized; yet the Apostle doth confess, that concupiscence and lust hath of itself the nature of sin.

Belgic Confession

Belgic Confession 24:
Therefore He has commanded all those who are His to be baptized with pure water, into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, thereby signifying to us, that as water washes away the filth of the body when poured upon it, and is seen on the body of the baptized when sprinkled upon him, so does the blood of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit internally sprinkle the soul, cleanse it from its sins, and regenerate us from children of wrath unto children of God. Not that this is effected by the external water, but by the sprinkling of the precious blood of the Son of God; who is our Red Sea, through which we must pass to escape the tyranny of Pharaoh, that is, the devil, and to enter into the spiritual land of Canaan.

Synod of Dort

Dort 1:1:
As all men have sinned in Adam, lie under the curse, and are deserving of eternal death, God would have done no injustice by leaving them all to perish and delivering them over to condemnation on account of sin, according to the words of the apostle: That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may be brought under the judgment of God (Rom. 3:19). And: For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23).  And: For the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23).

Dort: 1:4:
The wrath of God abides upon those who believe not this gospel. But such as receive it and embrace Jesus the Savior by a true and living faith are by Him delivered from the wrath of God and from destruction, and have the gift of eternal life conferred upon them.

Rejection of Errors 1:4:
Who teach: That in the election unto faith this condition is beforehand demanded that man should use his innate understanding of God [1] aright, be pious, humble, meek, and fit for eternal life, as if on these things election were in any way dependent.

For this savors of the teaching of Pelagius, and is opposed to the doctrine of the apostle when he writes: Among whom we also all once lived in the lust of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest; but God, being rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace have ye been saved), and raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus; that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus; for by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, that no man should glory (Eph. 2:3-9).

Dort 2:2:
Since, therefore, we are unable to make that satisfaction in our own persons, or to deliver ourselves from the wrath of God, He has been pleased of His infinite mercy to give His only begotten Son for our Surety, who was made sin, and became a curse for us and in our stead, that He might make satisfaction to divine justice on our behalf.

Dort 2:4:
This death is of such infinite value and dignity because the person who submitted to it was not only really man and perfectly holy, but also the only begotten Son of God, of the same eternal and infinite essence with the Father and the Holy Spirit, which qualifications were necessary to constitute Him a Savior for us; and, moreover, because it was attended with a sense of the wrath and curse of God due to us for sin.

Rejection of Errors 2:5:
Who teach: That all men have been accepted unto the state of reconciliation and unto the grace of the covenant, so that no one is worthy of condemnation on account of original sin, and that no one shall be condemned because of it, but that all are free from the guilt of original sin.

For this opinion is repugnant to Scripture which teaches that we are by nature children of wrath (Eph. 2:3).

Dort 2/3:3:
Therefore all men are conceived in sin, and are by nature children of wrath, incapable of saving good, prone to evil, dead in sin, and in bondage thereto; and without the regenerating grace of the Holy Spirit, they are neither able nor willing to return to God, to reform the depravity of their nature, or to dispose themselves to reformation.

Rejection of Errors 5:3:
Who teach: That the true believers and regenerate not only can fall from justifying faith and likewise from grace and salvation wholly and to the end, but indeed often do fall from this and are lost forever.

For this conception makes powerless the grace, justification, regeneration, and continued preservation by Christ, contrary to the expressed words of the apostle Paul: That, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, shall we be saved from the wrath of God through him (Rom. 5:8, 9). And contrary to the apostle John: Whosoever is begotten of God does no sin, because his seed abides in him; and he can not sin, because he is begotten of God (I John 3:9). And also contrary to the words of Jesus Christ: I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who hath given them to me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand (John 10:28, 29).

Heidelberg Catechism

Q84:  How is the kingdom of heaven opened and shut by the preaching of the Holy Gospel?
A84:  In this way: that, according to the command of Christ, it is proclaimed and openly witnessed to believers, one and all, that as often as they accept with true faith the promise of the Gospel, all their sins are really forgiven them of God for the sake of Christ’s merits; and on the contrary, to all unbelievers and hypocrites, that the wrath of God and eternal condemnation abide on them so long as they are not converted. According to this testimony of the Gospel, God will judge men both in this life and in that which is to come.

Westminster Confession and Shorter and Larger Catechisms

Westminster Confession 6:6:
Every sin, both original and actual, being a transgression of the righteous law of God, and contrary thereunto, doth, in its own nature, bring guilt upon the sinner, whereby he is bound over to the wrath of God, and curse of the law, and so made subject to death, with all miseries spiritual, temporal, and eternal.

Westminster Confession 20:1:
The liberty which Christ hath purchased for believers under the gospel consists in their freedom from the guilt of sin, the condemning wrath of God, the curse of the moral law; and, in their being delivered from this present evil world, bondage to Satan, and dominion of sin; from the evil of afflictions, the sting of death, the victory of the grave, and everlasting damnation; as also, in their free access to God, and their yielding obedience unto him, not out of slavish fear, but a childlike love and willing mind. All which were common also to believers under the law. But, under the new testament, the liberty of Christians is further enlarged, in their freedom from the yoke of the ceremonial law, to which the Jewish church was subjected; and in greater boldness of access to the throne of grace, and in fuller communications of the free Spirit of God, than believers under the law did ordinarily partake of.

Shorter Catechism 19:
Q19:  What is the misery of that estate whereinto man fell?
A19:  All mankind by their fall lost communion with God are under his wrath and curse, and so made liable to all miseries in this life, to death itself, and to the pains of hell for ever.

Shorter Catechism 84:
Q84: What doth every sin deserve?
A84: Every sin deserves God’s wrath and curse, both in this life, and that which is to come.

Short Catechism 85:
Q85: What doth God require of us, that we may escape his wrath and curse due to us for sin?
A85: To escape the wrath and curse of God due to us for sin, God requires of us faith in Jesus Christ, repentance unto life, with the diligent use of all the outward means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of redemption.

Larger Catechism 27:
Q27:  What misery did the fall bring upon mankind?
A27:  The fall brought upon mankind the loss of communion with God, his displeasure and curse; so as we are by nature children of wrath, bond slaves to Satan, and justly liable to all punishments in this world, and that which is to come.

Larger Catechism 28:
Q28:  What are the punishments of sin in this world?
A28:  The punishments of sin in this world are either inward, as blindness of mind, a reprobate sense, strong delusions, hardness of heart, horror of conscience, and vile affections; or outward, as the curse of God upon the creatures for our sakes, and all other evils that befall us in our bodies, names, estates, relations, and employments; together with death itself.

Larger Catechism 77:
Q77:  Wherein do justification and sanctification differ?
A77:  Although sanctification be inseparably joined with justification, yet they differ, in that God in justification imputes the righteousness of Christ; in sanctification his Spirit infuses grace, and enables to the exercise thereof; in the former, sin is pardoned; in the other, it is subdued: the one doth equally free all believers from the revenging wrath of God, and that perfectly in this life, that they never fall into condemnation; the other is neither equal in all, nor in this life perfect in any, but growing up to perfection.

Larger Catechism 96:
Q96:  What particular use is there of the moral law to unregenerate men?
A96: The moral law is of use to unregenerate men, to awaken their consciences to flee from wrath to come, and to drive them to Christ; or, upon their continuance in the estate and way of sin, to leave them inexcusable, and under the curse thereof.

Larger Catechism 152:
Q152:  What doth every sin deserve at the hands of God?
A152:  Every sin, even the least, being against the sovereignty, goodness, and holiness of God, and against his righteous law, deserves his wrath and curse, both in this life, and that which is to come; and cannot be expiated but by the blood of Christ.

Larger Catechism 153:
Q153:  What doth God require of us, that we may escape his wrath and curse due to us by reason of the transgression of the law?
A153:  That we may escape the wrath and curse of God due to us by reason of the transgression of the law, he requires of us repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, and the diligent use of the outward means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of his mediation.

[Notes: 1) I post these comments because many Calvinists are reluctant to accept that the living unbelieving elect are actually subject to the wrath, curse or hatred of God. The principle cause of this hesitation is their commitment to Owen’s Double Payment argument. 2) On the other hand, many Hypercalvinists will not accept that the living unbelieving elect are ever subject to the wrath, curse or hatred of God because of their commitment to eternal justification and related ideas, or because they imagine that it is impossible for God to be ill-disposed to those whom he is otherwise well-disposed. The rationalism is that God cannot express actual wrath or hatred to those whom loves, and conversely, in no sense can God be well-disposed to those whom he is does not electingly love, namely, the non-elect. Hypercalvinists, generally, are unable to conceptualize the Reformed doctrine of judicial and non-judicial hatred.]

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