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Lawful Oaths and Vows

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Published on May 27, 2012

Lawful Oaths and Vows (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord's Day 36-37; II Corinthians 1) by Rev. Angus Stewart
I. The Assertory Oath
II. The Promisary Vow

Westminster Confession 22:7: "No man may vow to do any thing forbidden in the word of God, or what would hinder any duty therein commanded, or which is not in his power, and for the performance whereof he hath no promise of ability from God. In which respects, Popish monastical vows of perpetual single life, professed poverty, and regular obedience, are so far from being degrees of higher perfection, that they are superstitious and sinful snares, in which no Christian may entangle himself."

G. I. Williamson: "To 'take' God's name means, centrally, to become a Christian. A woman 'takes' her husband's name when she takes her marriage vows ... In a similar way, we profess our faith in Jesus Christ and are privileged to be called Christians. But, if we are not sincere and become covenant breakers, we have 'taken his name in vain' ... In churches all across the world there are people who profess the name of Jesus and then live just as they please. They do not tremble at his Word. They do not keep his Sabbath. They do not respect the lawful authority of the church elders. And we could go on. But there is no need. It is this great sin that the third commandment is concerned with. God hates nothing so much as hypocrisy. And what is hypocrisy? It is the wearing of a false mask. It is claiming to be in submission to Jesus Christ as Lord, while not really being in submission at all. And what could deserve the wrath of God more richly than that?"

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