2. Another argument for the importance of creeds and confessions appears from considering what the church was established to be, namely a depository, a guardian, and a witness of the truth.
Scripture represents Christians, collectively as well as individually, as witnesses for God. They are exhorted to contend earnestly for the faith and to hold fast to the form of sound words which they have received and to strive together for the faith of the Gospel.
Surely this implies taking effective measures to distinguish between truth and error. Surely this implies the duty of drawing a line between those who profess to believe the Bible, while in reality denying its essential doctrines, and those who humbly receive the truth.
There is only one way that this can be done. The only way a distinction can be made between those who deny the essential doctrines of Scripture and those who embrace them – while both professing to receive and believe the Bible – is by ascertaining and explicitly declaring how the church understands and interpret the Bible. In other words the church must extract articles of faith from the Scriptures and compared those articles with the professed belief of those whom she suspects to be heretics. But what is this if not a creed or Confession of faith? To this point, Samuel Miller writes, “It does really appear to me that those orthodox brethren, who admit that the church is bound to raise her voice against error, and to 'contend earnestly' for the truth; and yet denounce creeds and confessions, are, in the highest degree inconsistent with themselves.” A truer sentence was never written.
Demanding a church members and her ministers uphold a truth, while refusing to give them the tools to do it, beyond a naked “I believe in the Bible,” is like the Egyptian taskmasters sending the Israelites to their brickwork without supplying down the necessary materials to meet their quota. There really is no other alternative. You must either have “a form of sound words” (2 Tim. 1:13), or you can have no security that any two decisions about the faith will be made on the same basis.