Church/Bible/Doctrine

I made profession of faith many years ago as a young teenager. But it was group pressure that made me do it, not a genuine belief in God. I have now come to a true faith. Can I make profession of faith again?

Absolutely! By all means! It isn't necessary, of course, since you’ve already been admitted into church membership. But if you have now truly experienced a new and vibrant faith in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, why wouldn't you shout it from the rooftops?

It sounds as if you’re hesitating a little. Is it possible that you’re comparing this to the rite of baptism? If you were to ask me the same question about wanting to be baptized again, I would say absolutely not. Why? Because baptism is a sacrament. In it, God is adopting you as his own, setting you aside to serve him and promising to be with you forever. God is the main actor, not you. And we must never doubt God’s promise. Allowing rebaptism eventually casts doubt on what God has done. But profession of faith is different. It’s not a sacrament. It’s a liturgical rite, yes, but one in which you are the main actor, not God. You are confessing your faith. You’re making the commitment to follow your Lord and to join his body, the church. This commitment is repeated every time we say the Apostles’ Creed together as God’s people.

Let me hasten to add that, of course, this “true faith” you’ve now come to is God’s gift to you. God is behind it all. Authentic faith is planted in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. And I don’t mean to deny any of that. We must all thank God for doing what God promised in our baptisms. But the rite of public profession of faith is something we do in response to the Spirit’s work.

Making profession of faith again should include your story. I’m convinced it would be a blessing to all if you told it yourself in a testimony or through the pastor.

About the Author

Henry De Moor is professor of church polity emeritus at Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Mich. He is author of the Christian Reformed Church Order Commentary (Faith Alive, 2011), which interprets the CRC’s Church Order and offers practical advice on how to apply it.

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