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The Wednesday Word: The Pathetic 12-Months of Mercy!

September 30, 2015 1 comment

Recently, I was stunned when reading the present Pope’s declaration concerning his upcoming ‘Year of Mercy’. Accordingly during that period Pope Francis will give priests a special dispensation of power to forgive those who have committed the sin of abortion.

A line from W.C. Fields sprang to my mind, “Hour of mischief, what kind of skulduggery is this?”

In his statement, the Pope expressed compassion for those who have aborted their babies. Furthermore, during the Holy Year of Mercy, he will permit priests to absolve penitent women of the sin of having had their pregnancies terminated.

How sweet of him, but who in the name of thunder does he think he is to give permission to anyone to forgive sins? Only God can forgive sins…and He doesn’t limit His forgiveness to a 12-month window of opportunity.

This entire Papal proposal reeks of arrogance from start to finish. It is another example of how Francis, mild-mannered as he is, assumes the position of God Almighty! How does he take it on himself to allow his priests to forgive a particular sin for a particular period of time?

All sin is sin against God (Psalm 51:4), it’s not against Pope Francis. Thus only God, not Francis, can forgive (Mark 2:7). Yet the Pope presumes to give power to his priests to do just that. But then again, there should be no surprise here for Francis claims to be the “Vicar of Christ.” That implies that he has the same power and authority that Christ has over the church. Why, in the light of this, do evangelicals in their droves now embrace the Pope as a Christian leader instead of declaring him to be Antichrist? Nary a whimper is to be heard from the pens and sermons of many Bible Believers as Francis perpetrates, perpetuates and promulgates his falsehoods and deceptions upon the gullible and the credulous.

There is only one priest who can deal with sin and his name is not Francis, His name is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the God-Man. He is able to save to the uttermost all who come to God by Him (Hebrews 7:25).

In contrast to Rome’s 12-month period of mercy, the Bible speaks of unlimited mercy found in God. We read in Ephesians 2:4-5, for example, that God is rich in Mercy… literally He’s ‘plush’ with mercy. And what is more, mercy for those who have aborted their babies is not limited to the time frame of one year. The throne of Grace is open to everyone who approaches by faith, at any time, for any sin regardless of the Pope’s sell by date. In fact, Hebrews 4:16 urges us to “come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” There is mercy for those who come to Christ. He is the faithful High Priest, no other priest is required.

As I read the Pope’s statement, I was also reminded of how some years ago an old lady was lying on her death bed. A local priest came to see her and announced that he was there to absolve her of her sins. ”Let me see your hands, “she demanded.

“My hands?”

“Yes, your hands.”

Reluctantly, the priest proffered his hands for examination. After a minute or so the old lady said; ”Sir, I perceive that you are an imposter. The only one who can absolve me has got nail scars in his hands….Scars that were received at the cross of Calvary.”

Perhaps someone who has had an abortion is reading this. It has deeply troubled your conscience. The guilt pierces you. You believe you are beyond forgiveness. I implore you, therefore, to look to Christ Jesus, plead guilty and throw yourself on His mercy. Your sins and iniquities He will remember no more.

May the Lord grant that you see the mercy and grace that is available to you in Christ Jesus. He is the only priest who can and will forgive sin for He alone is the God/Man!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles.

www.milesmckee.com 

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Dispensationalism and the Anti-Christ

August 26, 2013 1 comment

Dispensationalists hold that the appearance and reign of the Anti-Christ takes place during the seven year period after the Rapture. At the end of the seven years Christ returns with His saints, defeats and destroys the Anti-Christ and his armies in the battle of Armaggedon, and sets up an earthly kingdom in Jerusalem over which He rules in person for 1000 years. The reign of Christ on earth at that time according to Scofield, will be a sitting on the throne of David, as King of the Jews, literally, strictly and politically understood.

This Futuristic theory of the Anti-Christ propagated by Dr. Scofield is the Popish view. “Alarmed by the fact that the Reformers were pointing to the Pope as the Anti-Christ, the Jesuit Ribera at the end of the sixteenth century, invented or at least propagated futuristic views of the Anti-Christ, and pointed to a solitary Infidel Anti-Christ who would appear in the dim future. Ribera’s view soon infected the High Church party. J. N. Darby caught the contagion, and finally Dr. D. L. Scofield swallowed the Jesuit’s pill. Thus Ribera succeeded beyond his wildest dreams, for the attention of thousands of Protestants became deflected from the Papacy, a future Infidel Anti-Christ was looked for, and the historic Protestant view handed down by the Reformers was despised by many. These are the hard facts of history. A Protestantism saturated with Ribera’s Futurism is not the Protestantism of the Reformers, nor is it feared by the Papacy.” (The Roman Anti-Christ by Rev. F. S. Leahy).

In the days of the Apostle John there were many antichrists, heretics who denied either the divinity of Christ or His actual incarnation. “Even now” he writes “are there many antichrists.” He also says, “Little children, it is the last time: and ye have heard that Antichrist shall come.” (1 John 2:18). According to Matthew Henry the generality of Christians had been informed of the coming of the Antichrist. Paul’s 2nd Epistle to the Thessalonians Ch. 2:8-10 made it clear to them. He is called the Antichrist as though there were none but he, because he was so eminently above all others. He is, therefore, called “the man of sin” and “the son of perdition” and the system of which he is the head “the mystery of iniquity.”

The Meaning of Anti-Christ

All the Reformers and all the Churches of the Reformation and the great body of Protestant interpreters hold that the Pope of Rome or the Papacy is the Anti-Christ, the word anti-christos being composed of kristos meaning anointed (Christ) and the prefix anti. “Anti” means against also instead of or in the place of. “When prefixed to the name of an individual it indicates an agent who assumes that individual’s place, and at the same time acts in opposition to him. Thus Rome herself speaks of Anti-popes. Anti-Christ therefore means one who pretends to be a vicar of Christ, and assumes to act in His name, but who is at the same time His rival and greatest enemy.” (The Roman Anti-Christ by Leahy).

In the Smalcald Articles Martin Luther singles out one particular statement of the Apostle Paul which beyond all doubt labels the Pope as the Anti-Christ “- – – the Pope raised his head above all. This teaching shows forcefully that the Pope is the very Anti-Christ, who has exalted himself above and opposed himself against Christ, because he will not permit Christians to be saved without his power. This is properly speaking to exalt himself above all that is called God, as Paul said, (2 Thess. 2:4) (Smalcald Art 11, art. 4:9-10).

“No one else has ever and will never be able to exalt himself above all that is called God more than the Pope of Rome, who holds millions of people at his command and over four thousand priests as agents of his ambition. He dares to oppose and rejects even the central truth of the Scriptures. He condemns justification by faith, which is fundamental to all, the heart of the Gospel. He puts himself against Christ, he damns, curses this cardinal truth given by Christ.” (Who is the Antichrist? by J. Zacehello, D.D.).

“To submit to the Roman Pontiff, we declare, say, define and pronounce to be absolutely necessary to every human creature to salvation.” (Bull Unam Sanctam of Pope Boniface VIII).

“If anyone says that justifying faith is nothing else but confidence in the divine mercy which remits sin for Christ’s sake; or that this confidence alone is that whereby we are justified, let him be accursed.” (Council of Trent Can. 9.12).

The late Pope John XXIII was no sooner inaugurated in November 1958 than in his coronation address said: “Into this fold of Jesus Christ no one can enter it if not under the guidance of the Sovereign Pontiff; and men can securely reach salvation only when they are united with him, since the Roman Pontiff is the Vicar of Christ and represents His person on earth.”

The Babylon of the Apocalypse

As the Pope is the Anti-Christ, Babylon in the Book of the Revelation is the Church of Rome. Babylon cannot be the literal Babylon for it was not built on seven hills, nor was it the Queen of the earth in John’s time. Even the great Roman Catholic controversialists have been driven to admit that Rome fits the description of Babylon in the Revelation. ” St. John in the Apocalypse” says Cardinal Bellarmine, “calls Rome Babylon, for no other city besides Rome reigned in his age over the kings of the earth, and it is well known that Rome was seated upon Seven Hills.”

“It is confessed by all” says Cardinal Baronius, “that Rome is signified in the Apocalypse by the name of Babylon.” And the language of the celebrated French Prelate Bousset, in his Exposition of the Book of the Revelation is: “The features (in the Apocalypse) are so marked, that it is easy to decipher Rome under the figure Babylon.”

The above quotations from Bellarmine, Baronius and Bousset are taken from “Is the Church of Rome the Babylon of the Apocalypse?” a classic by Charles Wordsworth, D.D., Canon of Westminster and later Bishop of Lincoln, who died in 1885.

“These Apocalyptic prophecies, which describe the Woman who is called Babylon and is seated on the Beast with seven heads and ten horns do not concern the older, literal, Assyrian Babylon. The inscription on the woman’s forehead is Mystery, indicating a spiritual meaning. This word had been used by the Apostle Paul in his description of the Mystery of Iniquity opposed to the Mystery of Godliness; and St. John adopts the word from St. Paul, and applies it to the same object as that which had been portrayed by that Apostle.

“Again, the Babylon of the Apocalypse is described as a city existing and reigning in St. John’s age; but the literal, or Assyrian Babylon had long ceased to be a reigning city when St. John wrote. Therefore the Babylon of the Apocalypse cannot be the literal or Assyrian Babylon.”

In the conclusion Canon Wordsworth writes: “We have been contemplating the TWO MYSTERIES of the Apocalypse. The word Mystery signifies something spiritual; it here describes a church. The first Mystery is explained to us by Christ Himself. “The Mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest – – – The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches” (Rev. 1:20). The second Mystery is explained also: “I will tell thee the Mystery of the Woman.” The Beast that carrieth her, which bath the seven heads, is described, and the seven heads are expounded to be seven mountains on which the woman sitteth. (Rev. 17:7.9).

      1. The first Mystery is the Mystery of the seven stars.

      2. The second Mystery is the Mystery of the seven hills.

The first mystery represents the universal church in its sevenfold fulness, containing within it all particular churches.

The second mystery represents a particular church, the church on the seven hills, the Church of Rome, claiming to be the church universal.

The first mystery represents the universal church, liable to defects, but not imposing errors as terms of communion; and therefore, by virtue of the Word and the sacraments, held together in Apostolic communion with St. John and Christ, who walketh in the midst of it, and governed by an apostolic ministry, shining like a glorious constellation in the hand of Christ.

2. The second mystery represents the particular Church of Rome, holding the cup of her false doctrines in her hand, and making all nations to drink thereof. And the voice from heaven cries, “Come out of her, my people that ye be not partakers of her sins and receive not her plagues.”

      The first mystery is a “Mystery of Godliness.”

      The second is a “Mystery of Iniquity.”

Such is the interpretation of the two Mysteries of the Apocalypse.

“If any minister or member of the Church of Rome can disprove this conclusion, he is hereby invited to do so. If he can, doubtless he will; and if none attempt it, it may be presumed that they cannot; and if they cannot, then as they love their salvation, they ought to embrace the truth, which is preached to them by the mouth of St. John, and by the voice of Christ.”

“This appeal was just made in a sermon preached by the Canon on Sunday, April 28th, 1850, in Westminster Abbey, and reiterated in Westminster Abbey on Sunday, February 16th, 1851. As far as the writer is aware, no reply has yet been made to it by any member of the Church of Rome. It is therefore repeated here.”

With reference to Paul’s description of the Anti-Christ in 2 Thess. 2:3-8, Dr. Charles Hodge of theological fame says, “This portrait suits the Papacy so exactly that Protestants have rarely doubted that it is the Anti-Christ which the apostle intended to describe.”

“So strikingly” says Richard Baxter, “does the Church of Rome resemble Anti-Christ that any one is justified in mistaking the similarity for sameness.”

“And the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sitteth” (Rev. 17:9). “And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH AND I SAW THE WOMAN DRUNKEN WITH THE BLOOD OF THE MARTYRS OF JESUS.” (Rev. 17: 5,6).

The Doom of the Papacy

“As sure as the Papacy has had its glory, so surely shall its doom come. Paul before closing his prophecy pauses, and in solemn and awful words foretells the night of horrors in which its career is to end. “That wicked — whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.” (2 Thess. 2:8). This day of wrath will be unspeakably great and will mark as one of the greatest days of vengeance since the foundation of the world. Paul despatches it in a single sentence; John expands it into a whole chapter. And in what other chapter of the Bible or of human history is there such another spectacle of judgement — such another picture of horrors of awestruck consternation, of loud and bitter wailings and cries of woe as in the eighteenth chapter of the Apocalypse? The kings of the earth shall bewail her and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas! Alas! That great city Babylon, the mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. (Rev. 18: 9,10).

But this dark scene has one relieving feature. It is a scene that will not be repeated for it will close earth’s evil days and begin the hallelujahs of the nations. “And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down and shall be found no more at all. Rejoice over her, thou heavens, and holy apostles and prophets: for God hath avenged you on her – – – and in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all that were slain upon the earth.” (Rev. 18: 20, 21, 24). (The Papacy is the Anti-Christ — p. 128 by Rev. J. A. Wylie).

An excerpt from an article entitled “The Scofield Bible and Dispensationalism” found at http://www.theologue.org

Response to comment on Immersion

I placed a quote up by John A. Broadus entitled “Immersion is scriptural and essential to baptism.”

I received the response below and decided to comment on it with a blog post.

 

“It is an error. Ignoring around 1800 years of experience is not wise. Come home to the Catholic Church. The Holy Spirit cannot be responsible for such Chaos. Reformation has brought about many changes and there is not even one branch. Strictly based on the Scripture we have to love tradition and embrace it. (2Thessalionians 2:15; 1Cor 11:2) Please see that it is questioning God. He knew when He had to come and what He has to do for His Church to happen. Others did not.”

 

(I did not approve this comment due to the fact that I am not allowing someone else to comment and therefore leave a link to their blog, on my blog, when I can’t read the language on the commenter’s blog. If I can’t read the blog, then I have no idea what my blog is being linked to).

 

 

First let me start off by stating that this comment nowhere directly disproves my quote from John A. Broadus. Just stating that a quote is in error doesn’t necessarily prove that it is.

Secondly, I want to say that the Roman Catholic Church is not our home. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that salvation is by Faith plus, Christ’s merit, plus our Own merit. Since we are fallen creatures and all our righteousness is as filthy rags in God’s sight and since a natural man cannot please God because what he does is not done in faith, then there is no way that one can have any merit in God’s sight without an imputed righteousness. This imputed righteousness is not our own, but was merited for us by the Lord Jesus Christ. God takes the initiative in salvation and works alone to effectually apply Christ’s merit to those of whom he has chosen from the foundation of the world. Grace is given to these individuals, not to aide them in coming to Christ, but to effectually regenerate them, so that they come to Christ, because of the work of regeneration wrought in their hearts by the Holy Spirit. Therefore the Roman Catholic Church’s system of an inherent righteousness is an apostate system. It is a system derived from man and will lead men to Hell.

Thirdly, we recognize that there are certain things handed down from tradition and there are also certain things within the RCC that are held as traditional. Nevertheless, tradition is not our guide. There are two means of revelation given to us by God that we might learn about him and learn what pleases him. These are general revelation and special revelation. No doctrines are to be built upon general revelation, nor tradition, but we derive our doctrines from special revelation or from scripture alone. In other words, general revelation and tradition can never usurp what God has commanded or revealed through and in his Holy Word. Since there are certain things held traditionally within the RCC that are not commanded or revealed in scripture, then we conclude that the RCC has erred and has placed man made precepts in place as commands of God. Again I will state that the RCC is an apostate system and will lead men to Hell.

Finally, the comment above is just some isolated sentences that are placed together within a paragraph, that give no coherent thought or theme to the comment in question. The above comment jumps from stating that my John A. Broadus quote was error, to giving me a warning that ignoring church history is not wise, to stating that the Holy Spirit is not involved in chaos, to the Reformation bringing about change, to etc, etc…. This kind of incoherence cannot be properly answered because there is no unity, theme, or thought pattern within this comment. The best anyone could do is answer each sentence of the paragraph and show what we as Protestants believe the RCC to be. 

John Piper retracts the term ‘Heresy’ in his stance on Roman Catholicism

March 19, 2013 11 comments

Well it seems that Piper can’t be consistent and stand upon what the Reformed faith teaches. When I first heard of Piper he was on the radio. It wasn’t long thereafter that he switched strictly Internet for his broadcast each week. When I first heard of him, he was preaching through Romans. His sermons were some of the best that I have ever heard.

Since then I have lost confidence in Piper. He has embraced some odd teachings, including the charismatic doctrines. On top of this he has held conferences with some of the odd balls and down right erroneous teachers who profess the Christian faith in modern Christianity. Now he makes a statement, a few years ago, that Roman Catholicism is heretical; yet when the Roman Catholic Church elects a new Pope, Piper shrinks from his original position. Go figure.

I want to state that I stand with the Reformers. The Reformers declared that the Roman Catholic Church is an apostate Church. I see no reason to not affirm the same view today. Have they retracted their doctrines of:

 

Faith + Works

Grace + Merit

Christ + Myself?

 

If not, then they are still an apostate church.

Here is a portion of the article as reported by Christianpost:

“As Pope Francis began his first full day as leader of the Roman Catholic Church on Thursday, Desiring God founder, John Piper, attempted to clarify a controversial statement he made in 2009 about heresy in Roman Catholic theology.

During the reign of Pope Benedict XVI in 2009, Piper was asked on video if he had two minutes to question the Pope on an issue, what would he ask, and he chose the subject of justification.

“I think Rome and Protestantism are not yet ready – I don’t think the Reformation is over. I don’t think that enough change has happened in Roman understanding of justification, and a bunch of other things,” he said in the video.

He then proceeded to detail the question he would ask the Pope. “‘Do you teach that we should rely entirely on the righteousness of Christ imputed to us by faith alone as the ground of God being 100 percent for us, after which necessary sanctification comes? Do you teach that?'” he said in the clip.

“And if he said, ‘No, we don’t,’ then I’d say, ‘I think that right at the core of Roman Catholic theology is a heresy,’ or something like that,” he added.

In a new post on Thursday, however, Piper conceded that ‘heresy’ is a strong word and attempted a more nuanced explanation of what he meant by his comments.”

 

Read the entire article here.

Christ the head over all things to the church

We will now take up the second thought: Christ the head over all things to the church. Not the head of the church; we have just discussed that, but the head over all things to the church, which is a very different thought. It means that by virtue of his sacrificial expiation here upon the earth, and the atonement made in heaven based upon that expiation on the cross, he received the name which is above every name, was made King of kings and Lord of lords, that he now holds in his hand the scepter of universal dominion, and that he is over all things to, or in behalf, of, the church. We see him express this thought when by anticipation he commands his church, assembled upon a mountain in Galilee, about 500 being present, to go out and preach the gospel to every creature. The statement, “And all authority in heaven and upon earth is given unto me,” means that he is the head of all things to the church; that he exercises the entire sovereignty of the universe in behalf of the church.

B. H. Carroll Commenting on Ephesians 1:22-2:10

Christ is the head of the Church—there is no other

October 26, 2012 2 comments

If Christ is the head of the church in the sense of sovereign or ruler, then it is impious to call anybody else the head of the church. Some claim to be the head of the church in the sense of vicegerent, or vicar. For example, the Pope claims to be the head of the church in that he is Christ’s vicar. The only vicar that Christ has is the Holy Spirit. When Jesus went up to heaven he did send a vicegerent to take his place; another Paraclete to abide with and to guide the church. It is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit for a mere man to claim to be the head of the church.

Spurgeon in his many volumes of sermons has one polemical volume. One of the sermons in that polemical volume is the most excoriating denunciation of the claim that the sovereign of England is head of the church that I have ever seen. He read a proclamation: “I, Victoria Regina, by the grace of God head of the church.” Then immediately following that he quoted Paul’s words: “I suffer not a woman to teach nor to usurp authority.” Everybody should read, particularly, that eighth volume of Spurgeon’s sermons. The greater part of Christendom today is under bondage to the thought that the Pope of Rome is the head of the church. They mean by that that he stands in the place of God, and that whatever he speaks, ex cathedra, is infallibly true, and that his authority is ultimate.

In 1870 the capstone was put on the papacy by the Vatican Council, in servile obedience to the Pope, proclaiming his infallibility as head of the church. The head of the church also carries with it the idea of authority, which is called the key of power. Christ is the head of the church. There is no other. We see on earth a body, but the head is above the clouds; we cannot see it. The head of the church is in heaven, the body here on the earth. It is a vital and fundamental article of the Christian faith that we should accept no head of the church of Jesus Christ except the Lord Jesus Christ himself.

B. H. Carroll Commenting on Ephesians 1:22-2:10

Chapter XXVI : Of the Church

September 26, 2012 Leave a comment

1. The Catholick or universal Church, which (with respect to the internal work of the Spirit, and truth of grace) may be called invisible, consists of the whole (a) number of the Elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

a Heb. 12.23. Col. 1.18. Eph. 1.10,22.23. & ch. 5.23,27,32.

2. All persons throughout the world, professing the faith of the Gospel, and obedience unto God by Christ, according unto it; not destroying their own profession by any Errors everting the foundation, or unholyness of conversation, (b) are and may be called visible Saints; (c) and of such ought all particular Congregations to be constituted.

b 1 Cor. 1 2. Act. 11.26.

c Rom. 1.7. Eph. 1.20,21,22.

3. The purest Churches under heaven are subject (d) to mixture, and error; and som have so degenerated as to become (e) no Churches of Christ, but Synagogues of Satan; nevertheless Christ always hath had, and ever shall have a (f) Kingdome in this world, to the end thereof, of such as believe in him, and make profession of his Name.

d 1 Cor. 15. Rev. 2. & ch. 3. [Most modern editions cite 1 Corinthians 5 rather than 1 Corinthians 15 here.]

e Rev. 18.2. 2 Thes. 2.11,12.

f  Mat. 16.18. Ps. 72.17. & Ps. 102.28. Rev. 12.17.

4. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, in whom by the appointment of the Father, (g) all power for the calling, institution, order, or Government of the Church, is invested in a supream & soveraigne manner, neither can the Pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof, but is (h) that Antichrist, that Man of sin, and Son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the Church against Christ, and all that is called God; whom the Lord shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.

Col. 1.18. Mat. 28.18,19.20. Eph. 4.11,12.

h 2 Thes. 2.3-9.

5. In the execution of this power wherewith he is so intrusted, the Lord Jesus calleth out of the World unto himself, through the Ministry of his word, by his Spirit, (i) those that are given unto him by his Father; that they may walk before him in all the (k) ways of obedience, which he prescribeth to them in his Word. Those thus called he commandeth to walk together in particular societies, or (l) Churches, for their mutual edification; and the due performance of that publick worship, which he requireth of them in the World.

i Joh 10.16. chap. 12,32.

k Mat. 28.20.

l Mat. 18.15-20.

6. The Members of these Churches are (m) Saints by calling, visibly manifesting and evidencing (in and by their profession and walking) their obedience unto that call of Christ; and do willingly consent to walk together according to the appointment of Christ, giving up themselves, to the Lord & one to another by the will of God, (n) in professed subjection to the Ordinances of the Gospel.

Rom. 1.7. 1 Cor. 1.2.

n Act. 2.41,42. ch. 5.13.14. 2 Cor. 9.13.

7. To each of these Churches thus gathered, according to his mind, declared in his word, he hath given all that (o) power and authority, which is any way needfull, for their carrying on that order in worship, and discipline, which he hath instituted for them to observe; with commands, and rules, for the due and right exerting, and executing of that power.

o Mat. 18.17,18. 1 Cor. 5.4,5. with v.13. 2 Cor. 2.6,7,8.

8. A particular Church gathered, and compleatly Organized, according to the mind of Christ, consists of Officers, and Members; And the Officers appointed by Christ to be chosen and set apart by the Church (so called and gathered) for the peculiar Administration of Ordinances, and Execution of Power, or Duty, which he intrusts them with, or calls them to, to be continued to the end of the World are (p) Bishops or Elders and Deacons.

p Act_20:17, with v.28. Phil. 1.1.

9. The way appointed by Christ for the Calling of any person, fitted, and gifted by the Holy Spirit, unto the Office of Bishop, or Elder, in a Church, is, that he be chosen thereunto by the common (q) suffrage of the Church it self; and Solemnly set apart by Fasting and Prayer, with imposition of hands of the (r) Eldership of the Church, if there be any before Constituted therein; And of a Deacon (s) that he be chosen by the like suffrage, and set apart by Prayer, and the like Imposition of hands.

q Act. 14.23: See the original.

r 1 Tim. 4.14.

s Act. 6.3.5.6.

10. The work of Pastors being constantly to attend the Service of Christ, in his Churches, in the Ministry of the Word, and Prayer, (t) with watching for their Souls, as they that must give an account to him; it is incumbent on the Churches to whom they Minister, not only to give them all due respect, (u) but also to communicate to them of all their good things according to their ability, so as they may have a comfortable supply, without being themselves (x) entangled in Secular Affairs; and may also be capable of exercising (y) Hospitality toward others; and this is required by the (z) Law of Nature, and by the Express order of our Lord Jesus, who hath ordained that they that preach the Gospel, should live of the Gospel.

t Act. 6.4. Heb. 13.17:

u 1 Tim. 5.17,18. Gal. 6.6,7.

x 2 Tim. 2.4.

y 1 Tim. 3.2.

z 1 Cor. 9.6.-14.

11. Although it be incumbent on the Bishops or Pastors of the Churches to be instant in Preaching the Word, by way of Office; yet the work of Preaching the Word, is not so peculiarly confined to them; but that others also (a) gifted, and fitted by the Holy Spirit for it, and approved, and called by the Church, may and ought to perform it.

a Act. 11.19,20,21. 1 Pet. 4.10.11.

12. As all Believers are bound to joyn themselves to particular Churches, when and where they have opportunity so to do; So all that are admitted unto the priviledges of a Church, are also (b) under the Censures and Government thereof, according to the Rule of Christ.

b 1 Thes. 5.14. 2 Thes 3.6.14,15.

13. No Church-members upon any offence taken by them, having performed their Duty required of them towards the person they are offended at, ought to disturb any Church order, or absent themselves from the Assemblies of the Church, or Administration of any Ordinances, upon the account of such offence at any of their fellow-members; but to wait upon Christ, (c) in the further proceeding of the Church.

c Mat. 18.15.16,17. Eph. 4 2,3.

14. As each Church, and all the Members of it are bound to (d) pray continually, for the good and prosperity of all the Churches of Christ, in all places; and upon all occasions to further it (every one within the bounds of their places, and callings, in the Exercise of their Gifts and Graces) so the Churches (when planted by the providence of God so as they may injoy opportunity and advantage for it) ought to hold (e) communion amongst themselves for their peace, increase of love, and mutual edification.

d Eph. 6.18. Ps. 122.6.

Rom. 16.1,2. 3 Joh. 8,9,10.

15. In cases of difficulties or differences, either in point of Doctrine, or Administration; wherein either the Churches in general are concerned, or any one Church in their peace, union, and edification; or any member, or members, of any Church are injured, in or by any proceedings in censures not agreeable to truth, and order: it is according to the mind of Christ, that many Churches holding communion together, do by their messengers meet to consider, (f) and give their advice, in or about that matter in difference, to be reported to all the Churches concerned; howbeit these messengers assembled are not entrusted with any Church-power properly so called; or with any jurisdiction over the Churches themselves, to exercise any censures either over any Churches, or Persons: or (g) to impose their determination on the Churches, or Officers.

f Act. 15.2,4,6. & 22,23.25.

g 2 Cor. 1.24. 1 Joh. 4.1

The 1677/89 London Baptist Confession of Faith