1. To confess (or profess) is to speak the same thing (from the Greek verb homologeō). It is to agree in that which is faithful and true to God’s Word—our supreme and only infallible standard of faith and practice.
2. We are not only to confess our sins to God and one another by agreeing that our sins are a violation of God’s holy commandments (1 John 1:9; James 5:16), but we are also to confess the truth of God’s Word before God and one another by way of agreeing that doctrine, worship, government, and discipline are either agreeable or contrary to Holy Scripture (Romans 10:9; 1 Timothy 6:12-13, 20-21; Hebrews 4:14; 10:23). 3. Creeds, Confessions of Faith, Catechisms, Covenants, and Directories are consistent with the practice of Christ, the prophets, and the apostles (as noted above). The Church in the Old Testament was a confessing church (Deuteronomy 6:4-9), as was the Church in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 15:3-8; Hebrews 10:23), as has been the Church since the apostles (Apostles Creed, Nicene Creed, Westminster Confession of Faith, etc.).
4. Creeds, Confessions of Faith (and other human formularies) are subordinate in authority to Holy Scripture (which alone is supreme in authority). All such subordinate standards must be agreeable to Holy Scripture (i.e. must confess and/or summarize in the words of men what the Scripture confesses). Where Creeds, Confessions of Faith (and other human formularies) depart from the truth of Scripture, they lack Christ’s authority—for Christ’s authority can only be used for the truth, and not against the truth (2 Corinthians 13:8), and must be what He has commanded in Scripture (Matthew 28:19-20). Even the apostles were not lords over the consciences of God’s people, but used their apostolic authority in teaching and preaching as helpers to the joy and faith of God’s people (2 Corinthians 1:24).
5. All truth finds its origin in God, and not in man (1 Thessalonians 2:13). God’s truth is not subject to change by man, but endures forever (Psalm 117:2). God does not have different versions of the truth that contradict one another—as there is one Lord, so there is one faith and body of truth that proceeds from Him (Ephesians 4:5).
6. It is the revealed will of Jesus Christ (the only Head and King of His Church) that His Visible Church be one in the truth (John 17:20-21). This also was the inspired teaching of the prophets (Amos 3:3) and of the apostles (Romans 15:5-6; 1 Corinthians 1:10; Philippians 3:16). Christ’s love within us rejoices not in error, but rejoices in the truth (1 Corinthians 13:6). Because Creeds, Confessions of Faith (and other human formularies) call God’s people to confess and to agree in the truth of Scripture, they become necessary to promote the peace, purity, and unity of Christ’s Visible Church.