Belgic Confession 28: Everyone’s Duty to Join the Church

23 Mar


We believe, since this holy assembly and congregation is the assembly of the redeemed and there is no salvation outside of it,1 that no one ought to withdraw from it, content to be by himself, no matter what his status or standing may be. But all and everyone are obliged to join it and unite with it,2 maintaining the unity of the church. They must submit themselves to its instruction and discipline,3 bend their necks under the yoke of Jesus Christ,4 and serve the edification of the brothers and sisters,5 according to the talents which God has given them as members of the same body.6

To observe this more effectively, it is the duty of all believers, according to the Word of God, to separate from those who do not belong to the church7 and to join this assembly8 wherever God has established it. They should do so even though the rulers and edicts of princes were against it, and death or physical punishment might follow.9

All therefore who draw away from the church or fail to join it act contrary to the ordinance of God.

1. Mat 16:18-19; Acts 2:47; Gal 4:26; Eph 5:25-27; Heb 2:11-12; Heb 12:23. 2. 2 Chron 30:8; John 17:21; Col 3:15. 3. Heb 13:17. 4. Mat 11:28-30. 5. Eph 4:12. 6. 1 Cor 12:7, 1 Cor 12:27; Eph 4:16. 7. Num 16:23-26;Isa 12:11-12; Acts 2:40; Rom 16:17; Rev 18:4. 8. Psalm 122:1; Isa 1:3;Heb 10:25. 9. Acts 4:19-20.

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