Exactly four hundred years ago today, the Synod of Dordt ended. What was the Synod of Dordt and why does it matter for my life today? I’m glad you asked!
The Synod of Dordt was an international church gathering of pastors, professors, and politicians that met in the Dutch city of Dordrecht from November 13, 1618 – May 29, 1619. The Synod convened primarily to deal with teaching that threatened the gospel of grace.
And that’s why the Synod mattered—and still matters today.
If you believe and proclaim a gospel that starts and ends with God: a gospel that was planned (2 Tim 1:9; Titus 1:2), accomplished (John 19:30), applied (Eph 2:4-5), and preserved (Jude 24-25) all by the grace of the Triune God, then you are indebted to these Christians who defined and defended the gospel of grace at this Synod. After all, what could be more important than the gospel of grace?
So, on this day, I encourage you to take your Bible in hand, and with it work your way through the most important product of the Synod—the Canons of Dordt. Though you may not agree with every jot and tittle, you will rejoice and be encouraged in the biblical truth summarized with brevity, beauty, and balance, demonstrated in this small sampling:
Before the foundation of the world, by sheer grace, according to the free good pleasure of his will, he chose in Christ to salvation a definite number of particular people out of the entire human race, which had fallen by its own fault from its original innocence into sin and ruin. Those chosen were neither better nor more deserving than the others, but lay with them in the common misery (1.7).
What this brief statement means is that if you are a Christian, it isn’t because you are smarter, prettier, or better than anyone else. You are a Christian—as the Bible teaches, and the Canons summarize—“by sheer grace!”