23.5 Vow: To God Alone

Table of Contents

The Text

The Chapter

A vow, which is not to be made to any creature, but to God alone, is to be made and performed with all religious care and faithfulness; but popish monastical vows of perpetual single life, professed poverty, and regular obedience, are so far from being degrees of higher perfection, that they are superstitious and sinful snares, in which no Christian may entangle himself.

The Confession

A vow, which is not to be made to any creature, but to God alone, is to be made and performed with all religious care and faithfulness

Psalm 76:11 (CSB) Make and keep your vows to the LORD your God; let all who are around him bring tribute to the awe-inspiring one.

Genesis 28:20–22 (CSB) Then Jacob made a vow: “If God will be with me and watch over me during this journey I’m making, if he provides me with food to eat and clothing to wear, and if I return safely to my father’s family, then the LORD will be my God. This stone that I have set up as a marker will be God’s house, and I will give to you a tenth of all that you give me.”

but popish monastical vows of perpetual single life

1 Corinthians 7:2–9 (CSB) But because sexual immorality is so common, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman should have sexual relations with her own husband. A husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise a wife to her husband. A wife does not have the right over her own body, but her husband does. In the same way, a husband does not have the right over his own body, but his wife does. Do not deprive one another—except when you agree for a time, to devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again; otherwise, Satan may tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all people were as I am. But each has his own gift from God, one person has this gift, another has that. I say to the unmarried and to widows: It is good for them if they remain as I am. But if they do not have self-control, they should marry, since it is better to marry than to burn with desire.

professed poverty

Ephesians 4:28 (CSB) Let the thief no longer steal. Instead, he is to do honest work with his own hands, so that he has something to share with anyone in need.

and regular obedience, are so far from being degrees of higher perfection, that they are superstitious and sinful snares, in which no Christian may entangle himself

Matthew 19:11 (CSB) He responded, “Not everyone can accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given.