Like his father Charles V, who confronted Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms, Philip was obsessive in his desire for unchallenged authority. Global hegemony was his aim. He rightly perceived that the Reformed faith and its adherents were obstinate obstacles in his grand pursuit.
In the Belgic Confession, de Brès carefully adhered to the Bible teaching he had learned from his mentors, John Calvin and Theodore Beza, taking a cue from their French Reformed Confession published two years earlier. Even so, de Brès pioneered the pattern for most of the confessions that would follow in the succeeding years: starting with the doctrine of God (Theology Proper), and then moving on to the doctrines of man (Anthropology), Christ (Christology), salvation (Soteriology), the church (Ecclesiology), and last things (Eschatology).
Translated into Dutch in 1562, the Belgic Confession became a rallying point for resistance to Hapsburg rule in the Lowlands. In 1567, de Brès was martyred for his faith. Yet, “he being dead, still speaks.” To this day, his confession remains one of the essential Three Forms of Unity.