Second Reformation Principles

The Second Reformation applied the principles of God’s Word to both Church and Nation. Scotland flourished under God’s blessing as a consequence. The following are some of the key principles asserted and defended during this period.

  1. The Supreme Authority of the Word of God in all matters of faith, worship, government and practice
  2. The Regulative Principle of Worship. Worship must include only what God has appointed in His Word. We must exclude from worship everything that God has not appointed in His Word.
  3. Uniformity. There should be one form of doctrine, worship, government and practice according to the Scriptures
  4. The Lord Jesus Christ is the only King and Head over the Church. He has committed the government of the Church to teaching and ruling elders. The State has no right to interfere in this.
  5. Nations and their rulers are to be subject unto God and acknowledge Him and His law.  They have an obligation from God to give support to the Church of Christ.
  6. The duty of nations to covenant with God and the continuing obligation of these religious covenants.
  7. We must preserve and hold fast any reformation already attained. We must advance in reformation and encourage others in the work of reformation as far as possible.
  8. Personal Reformation in holiness and godliness according to the Word of God
  9. Family Reformation according to the Word of God. This especially involves daily family worship and catechising children in biblical truth.


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Matthew Vogan is the General Manager at Reformation Scotland Trust. He has written various books including volumes about Samuel Rutherford and Alexander Shields.

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