Home > Church > The Glory of a True Church- The Power of the Keys, with Church-Discipline, and Members Duties one to another

The Glory of a True Church- The Power of the Keys, with Church-Discipline, and Members Duties one to another

The Power of the Keys, with Church-Discipline, and Members Duties one to another

1. We judge it necessary that a Day monthly be appointed particularly for Discipline, and not to manage such affairs on the Lord’s-day, which should be spent on the publick Worship of God, of a different nature: besides, such things may (on the account of Discipline) come before the Church which may not be expedient to be heard on the Lord’s-day, lest it disturb the Spirits of any Members, and hinder their Meditation in the Word which they have newly heard: tho in small Congregations perhaps a day in two or three Months may be sufficient.

2. The Power of the Keys, or to receive in and shut out of the Congregation, is committed unto the Church:53 The Political Power of Christ, saith Dr. Chauncy, is in the Church, whereby it is exercised in the Name of Christ, having all lawful Rule and Government within it self, which he thus proves, viz.

1. The Church essential is the first Subject of the Keys.

2. They must of necessity to their Preservation, purge themselves from all pernicious Members.

3. They have Power to organize themselves with Officers. Yet I humbly conceive I may add, that the Concurrence of the Presbytery is needful hereunto.

4. If need be that they call an Officer from without, or one of another Church, they must first admit him a Member, that they may ordain their Officer from among themselves.

5. They have Power to reject a scandalous Pastor from Office and Membership.

This Power of Christ is exerted as committed to them by the Hands of the Elder appointed by Christ, the due management whereof is in and with the Church to be his Care and Trust, as a Steward, whereof he is accountable to Christ and the Church, not lording it over God’s Heritage. And that the Power of the Keys is in the Church, appears to me from Mat. 18. If he will not hear the Church; it is not said, if he will not hear the Elder, or Elders. As also that of the Apostle, in directing the Church to cast out the Incestuous Person,54 he doth not give this Counsel to the Elder or Elders of the Church, but to the Church;55 so he commands the Church to withdraw from every Brother that walks disorderly. Purge out the old Leaven, that you may be a new Lump.56

Benjamin Keach- The Glory of a True Church, And its Discipline Displayed (1697)

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