Second, the confessions help us understand the seamless nature of the Christian gospel and the beauty of its coherence. They tell the whole story of the Bible as fulfilled through the person and work of Jesus Christ, helping us understand the larger purpose of God’s revelation. The Bible announces from Genesis to Revelation, in the person and work of Jesus Christ, peace and reconciliation with God through the forgiveness of sin. The confessions capture these central truths of the gospel for our spiritual edification. Westminster Larger Catechism 70, for instance, speaks of justification as an act of God’s free grace in which He pardons all our sins, accepts us, and accounts us righteous only because of the righteousness of Christ imputed to us and received by faith alone. This truth is intended to have a freeing effect in the life of the believer. Christians who do not have a good understanding of the central goal of God’s revelation to us in the gospel will struggle with assurance and confidence before God. The confessions help us see this larger coherence.
Third, the confessions help us love the Lord in our sanctification. This love is demonstrated when we live thankfully according to God’s law and commune with Him in prayer. In the gratitude section of the Heidelberg Catechism, for instance, there is an extensive treatment of the law meant to help the believer walk in the newness of life. This is followed by a very uplifting section explaining the Lord’s Prayer intended to motivate daily conversation with God. The heart of Christian piety has to do with putting sin to death, striving to be holy, and spending time in prayer. The Reformed confessions were written with these goals in mind, to provide daily help for believers in their Christian walk.
The church’s confessions and catechisms are not lifeless documents; they are biblical truths summarized with the intention to give Christians help in their lives. Dear Christians, open your church’s confessions, for they are a treasury of resources that will help shape your piety and help you grow in love for God.