Public Covenanting

Series: What It Means To Be Reformed Presbyterian

2 Chronicles 15:1-15
Historian David H. Fleming notes well that Scotland is pre-eminently the land of the Covenant. Clearly, the 16th century Reformation in Scotland led by John Knox galvanized around public covenants taken by nobility and commoners alike. The rationale for such public, civil covenants taken in support of the Reformation is found in Knox’ reading of the OT narratives of the kings of Judah leading national renewal through public covenanting. Knox argued that “that whatsoever God required of the Civil Magistrate in Israel or Judah concerning the observation of true religion during the time of the Law, the same doth he require of lawful Magistrates professing Christ Jesus in the time of the Gospel.” This practice of public covenanting not only prevailed under the leadership of Knox, it continued in Scotland all the way into the middle of the 17th century, culminating in the Solemn League and Covenant in 1643 between the Scottish and the British, which provided the legal framework for the Westminster Assembly. It is evident from reading the historical record of the 16th and 17th centuries in Scotland that Presbyterianism and public covenanting were inseparably related. To be a Presbyterian then, is to be a covenanter. This message provides a Biblical argument for the propriety of public covenanting and for the renewal of public covenanting in our day.

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