The First Helvetic Confession, 1536, on God’s Love for the Human Race





The First Helvetic Confession was the first reformed confession to bind all of Switzerland (Helvetia).  It was authored by: Heinrich Bullinger (1504-1575), Samuel Gyrnaeus (1539-1599), Oswald Myconius (1488-1552), Leo Jud (1482-1542) and Kaspar Megander (1495-1545).  Martin Bucer (1491-1551) and Wolfgang Capito (1478-1541) had an influential advisory role upon the confession.  The First Helvetic Confession was to lay the foundation for Bullinger’s most accomplished theological summary thirty years later: The Second Helvetic Confession. 

The excerpt below was translated by James Dennison, Jr. from the Latin text found in Niemeyer (pp. 115-22) and is found in Reformed Confessions of the 16th and 17th Centuries in English Translation, Volume 1, 1523-1552, edited by James Dennison, Jr., 2008, p. 344-5



The First Helvetic Confession

5. The Objective of Scripture

The principle intent of all canonical Scripture is that God wishes to be good to mankind, and that He has declared that benevolence through Christ, His only Son.  This kindness comes to us and is received by faith alone, but this faith is effective through love for our neighbors. (Gen. 3; John 3; Eph. 2)

10. The Eternal Counsel of God Concerning the Renewal of Man

Thus, through his fault, man was given over to damnation and incurred just indignation; nevertheless, God the Father never ceased to care for him.  This is manifest from the first promises, and the whole law (which stirs up but does not extinguish sin), and from Christ who was ordained and appointed for that purpose. (Eph. 1; Rom. 7)




Related Pages

The Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel

Historic Reformed Quotes on the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel

Confessions, Documents and Bible Notes on the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel

1500’s Quotes on the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel