Tweeting the 39 Articles

Some years ago I tweeted (at that time 144 characters only) the 39 Articles (statements of doctrines and practices in the Church of England during the time of the Reformation, finalised in 1571). Here they are:

1. Trinity. There is but one living and true God, everlasting & of infinite power: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

2. The Son. Christ, very God and very man; was crucified, dead, and buried to reconcile his Father to us for the sin of men.

3. Christ died for us, was buried and went down into hell.

4. Resurrection. Christ did truly rise again from death; ascended into heaven – until he returns to judge all men.

5. Spirit | The Holy Spirit is of one substance, majesty, and glory, with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God.

6. Holy Scripture contains all things necessary to salvation; whatsoever is not therein, is not an article of the Faith

7. The OT is not contrary to the New: for both in the OT & NT everlasting life is offered to mankind by Christ

8. The 3 Creeds: Nicene, Athanasius’ and Apostles’ Creed are certain warrants of Holy Scripture.

9. Original sin is the fault & corruption of the nature of every man. This infection doth remain in them that are regenerated.

10. Free-Will. Man cannot turn to faith by his own natural strength without the grace of God.

11. Justification. We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Only By Faith.

12. Good works follow after justification & by them a lively faith may be as evidently known as a tree discerned by the fruit.

13. Works done before justification are not pleasant to God, forasmuch as they spring not of faith in Jesus Christ.

14. (against R.Cath.) Voluntary works besides, over and above God’s Commandments are no ‘brownie points’.

15. Christ was made like us in every respect except that of sin. But all the rest of us still offend in many ways.

16. Sin after baptism. After we have received the Holy Ghost, we may fall into sin & by the grace of God we may arise again.

17a. Predestination is the eternal purpose of God whereby he has decreed whom he has chosen in Christ. By grace they obey.
17b. The consideration of predestination and of our election in Christ is full of sweet comfort to the godly.
17c. But for unspiritual predestination is snare which drives them either into desperation or into recklessly immoral living.

18. It is only in the name of Jesus Christ that men must be saved. Not by the rule of life or by religion.

19. The visible church is a congregation of believers in which the pure Word of God is preached & sacraments are rightly administered.

20. It is not lawful for the church to order anything contrary to God’s written Word.

21. General church councils sometimes have erred. Anything commanded by them necessary to salvation must be taught by Scripture.

22. The Roman doctrine concerning purgatory, pardons & worshipping saints is repugnant to the Word of God.

23. Ministering in the congregation is only for those who have been chosen and called to work as ministers in the Lord’s vineyard.

24. It is unacceptable for public prayer or the administration of sacraments to be done in a language not understood by people.

25. The sacraments (Baptism & Lord’s Supper) are sure witnesses and effectual signs of God’s grace and good will towards us.

26. The sacraments are effectual because of Christ’s institution and promise, even though they may be administered by evil men.

27. Baptism is sign of new birth. Promises of forgiveness and of our adoption are visibly signed and sealed.

28. The Lord’s Supper is a sacrament of our redemption. Transubstantiation can’t be proved. We receive the body by faith.

29. The wicked are in no way partakers of Christ. By eating & drinking the sacrament they bring condemnation upon themselves.

30. The cup of the Lord is not to be denied to the laity. Both parts of the Lord’s sacrament ought to be administered to all.

31. The offering of Christ made once is perfect redemption for all sins of the world. There is no other satisfaction for sin.

32. It is not commanded by any decree of God that bishops, presbyters or deacons take a vow of celibacy or abstain from marriage.

33. Any person who has been excommunicated is regarded as a “pagan & tax-collector” until he is openly reconciled by repentance.

34. Customs & forms of worship may be altered acc. to the differing nations, times & habits as long as not contrary to God’s Word.

35. The ‘Second book of homilies’ (21 topics) contains godly teaching which is necessary & ought be read diligently.

36. Whoever is ordained according to the regulations of the church is rightly, duly and lawfully ordained.

37. The Sovereign has the chief power in England. We do not grant our rulers the ministry of God’s Word or of the sacraments.

38. Possessions of Christians are not common. Nevertheless, everyone ought to give freely to the poor.

39. The vain swearing of oaths is forbidden. However, the swearing of an oath isn’t prohibited when the state requires it.