One of the greatest evidences of God’s blessing in a church is the public confession of faith by young people in that congregation. For the pastor, elders, and parents this is cause for great rejoicing! It is the visible fruit of the Holy Spirt working in the hearts of young people, blessing the many years of instruction and catechism teaching that they have received. But what does confession of faith mean for you personally? Maybe you haven’t really given it much thought and simply view it as one of the many “next steps” in your life. Like so many other events, it’s just another box to check as you make your way through adolescence:
- Graduate from grade school
- Begin high school
- Turn sixteen and get a driver’s license
- Start first job
- Complete all of the necessary catechism classes
- Make public confession of faith
Or, maybe you have been considering confession of faith very carefully and are left with a lot of questions unanswered. When should I make confession of faith? How do I know I’m ready? What does confession of faith say about me and the church to which I belong? The goal of this issue is to look more closely at what it means to make public confession of faith and to help answer some of the questions you may have been pondering as you begin to consider making this public confession for yourself.
As you continue to mature in your faith, make it your prayer that the Lord will grant you conviction of heart that when asked the following three questions, you are able out of strength in Christ to answer: Yes!
- Do you acknowledge the doctrine contained in the Old and New Testaments and in the Articles of the Christian faith and taught here in this Christian Church to be the true and complete doctrine of salvation?
- Have you resolved by the grace of God to adhere to this doctrine; to reject all heresies repugnant thereto and to lead a new, godly life?
- Will you submit to church government, and in case you should become delinquent (which may God graciously forbid) to church discipline?
When reading through this issue, remember the words of Christ in Matthew 10: “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”
This month we are excited to welcome three new members to our Beacon Lights staff. Dr. Brendan Looyenga has accepted the position of editor for the magazine. Dr. Looyenga is currently a member of Zion Protestant Reformed Church where he attends with his wife Kelly and their five daughters. He has taught at Calvin University for the past eight years and is in the process of moving from the academic world into commercial biotechnology research and development. We have been encouraged in the past by Dr. Looyenga’s writing, and we are thankful for his willingness to serve in this capacity. We desire that you pray for him and his family as he completes the transition from reader to leader.
Aaron Van Dyke and Joshua Harris are also joining us on the Beacon Lights staff, having agreed to take on the position of writer correspondents. Aaron is currently a member of Faith Protestant Reformed Church and is looking forward to beginning his first year of instruction at the PRC seminary this fall. Josh has been a member at Hope Protestant Reformed Church for the past two years after he moved to west Michigan from Wales, United Kingdom. Josh is currently attending Grand Valley State University where he is studying Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences. We thank these two young men for their desire to serve you, the readership of Beacon Lights. If you have an idea for an article you’d like to see written or would be interested in writing for the magazine yourself, don’t hesitate to contact one of these two young men.
Originally published May 2021, Vol 80 No 5