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The confession is recognized as one of the best official summaries of Reformed doctrine. The Reformed Church in America has not made any amendments to the Belgic Confession.The text of Article 36 is presented in two forms in this edition because the Christian Reformed Church in 19 decided to revise it from the original text in order to set forth what it judged to be a more biblical statement on the relationship between church and state, and to eliminate language that denounced “Anabaptists, other anarchists . However, when the Reformed Church in America adopted the Belgic Confession in 1792 as one of the three confessional Standards of Unity, it also adopted the Explanatory Articles that reconciled the statements in the three standards and the Church Order of Dort with the situation in which it existed in the newly independent United States of America.The Belgic Confession, written in 1561, owes its origin to the need for a clear and comprehensive statement of Reformed faith during the time of the Spanish inquisition in the Lowlands.Guido de Brès, its primary author, was pleading for understanding and toleration from King Philip II of Spain who was determined to root out all Protestant factions in his jurisdiction.The confession’s chief author was Guido de Brès, a preacher of the Reformed churches of the Netherlands, who died a martyr to the faith in the year 1567.During the sixteenth century the churches in this country were exposed to terrible persecution by the Roman Catholic government.
In 1566 the text of this confession was revised at a synod held at Antwerp.
And so it must follow that the one who is called God, the Word, the Son, and Jesus Christ already existed before creating all things.
Therefore the prophet Micah says that Christ’s origin is “from ancient days.” In regard to order, the Spirit is the third person of the Trinity— of one and the same essence, and majesty, and glory, with the Father and the Son, being true and eternal God, as the Holy Scriptures teach us.
Nevertheless, this distinction does not divide God into three, since Scripture teaches us that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit each has a distinct subsistence distinguished by characteristics— yet in such a way that these three persons are only one God.
In all these passages we are fully taught that there are three persons in the one and only divine essence.