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    knowledge and outward life style. A consistory must judge these outward matters, but it cannot judge the person's heart. (That is a matter between God and each person.)

    3. Congregational approval - no member bringing any lawful objection to the consistory against a person desiring to make public confession of faith, after his name has been announced to the congregation for two weeks.

After these three steps have been successfully completed, public confession of faith before God and His church may take place.

When making public confession of faith, a person should be of adult age, as determined by the society in which he lives. In our society, this would be about eighteen or nineteen years of age and older.

    At sixteen years of age, Jack wanted to purchase a car. However, state (or provincial) law did not permit him to legally sign the purchase agreement or loan authorization. His parents had to sign for him and carry the legal responsibility.

    At nineteen, however, Jack is allowed to sign for himself. The state (or province) recognizes that at this age he is mature enough to understand and bear full responsibility for the long-term results of his decisions.

    How does this same principle underlie the age requirement for making public confession of faith in the church?

Why should a person be of adult age when making public confession of faith?

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