Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Remembering Ordination Vows

A small handful of events and discussions recently have led me to re-read and remember the vows I took in ordination to be a Teaching Elder in the PCA. They are as follows:
  1. Do you believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as originally given, to be the inerrant Word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and practice?
  2. Do you sincerely receive and adopt the Confession of Faith and the Catechisms of this Church, as containing the system of doctrine taught in the Holy Scriptures; and do you further promise that if at any time you find yourself out of accord with any of the fundamentals of this system of doctrine, you will on your own initiative, make known to your Presbytery the change that has taken place in your views since the assumption of this ordination vow?
  3. Do you approve of the form of government and discipline of the Presbyterian Church in America, in conformity with the general principles of Biblical polity?
  4. Do you promise subjection to your brethren in the Lord?
  5. Have you been induced, as far as you know your own heart, to seek the office of the holy ministry from love to God and a sincere desire to promote His glory in the Gospel of His Son?
  6. Do you promise to be zealous and faithful in maintaining the truths of the Gospel and the purity and peace and unity of the Church, whatever persecution or opposition may arise unto you on that account?
  7. Do you engage to be faithful and diligent in the exercise of all your duties as a Christian and as a minister of the Gospel, whether personal or relational, private or public; and to endeavor by the grace of God to adorn the profession of the Gospel in your manner of life, and to walk with exemplary piety before the flock of which God shall make you an overseer?
  8. Are you now willing to take the charge of this church, agreeable to your declaration when accepting their call? And do you, relying upon God for strength, promise to discharge to it the duties of a pastor?

These are beautiful vows, and they are weighty and convicting vows. They require a love and subjection to Scripture and its teachings. They include a commitment to accountability, zeal for purity, peace and unity, and a life of grace-filled, Spirit-dependent living. And they represent a call to pastoring God's church-- watching over the flock, exercising government and discipline, visiting the people, instructing, comforting, nourishing, and guarding them, praying with and for them.

Today I'm remembering my vows, and praying that God will make my commitment and devotion to them even stronger; that He will use them to fortify my personal piety and dependence on Him; and that He will continue to re-shape and make me into His own image, a new creation in Christ!

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