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Catechism Class H/C31B ‘The Keys’ Part 2.

07/06/2020

Keys of the Kingdom – Part 2

Lord’s Day 31, Q 85

At our last catechism class we looked at The Keys of The Kingdom.  Matthew 16:19  We saw that our catechism instructor teaches us that the ‘Keys of the Kingdom’ is THE PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL, which opens the door to the kingdom of heaven for those who will come and be saved, and which closes the door of the kingdom of heaven to those who refuse to repent.

To listen to this Class as a Podcast, please click this link.

There is a second way in which the ‘Keys of the Kingdom’ are employed – 

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2 The Keys of the Kingdom is Church Discpline. 

Q. How is the kingdom of heaven closed and opened by church discipline?

How can church discipline relate to the individual’s membership of God’s kingdom?  Can putting a person out of fellowship in a local assembly keep them out of heaven?   The Catechist reminds us of:  

  1. The system of church discipline. According to the command of Christ, people who call themselves Christians but show themselves to be un-christian in doctrine or life are first repeatedly admonished in a brotherly manner. If they do not give up their errors or wickedness, they are reported to the church, that is, to the elders. We find this in Matthew 18:15-17.
  2. The consequence of church discipline.   
    • DISMISSAL. they are forbidden the use of the sacraments, and they are excluded by the elders from the Christian congregation, It is a formal, public disfellowshipping of an individual, particularly in the case of serious doctrinal error or heresy, or immoral behaviour. 1st Corinthians 5:11  Cf 1st Corinthians 5:12-13.  
    • DISCLOSURE.  Not only is such church censure an open rebuke of a disobedient or defiant person, but it is also to be an open disclosure that such a person, devoid of repentance and humility, cannot be a true Christian – and by God himself from the kingdom of Christ. Our exercise of church discipline should be a reflection of what will ultimately happen at judgement day, when God will separate the wheat from the tares in the church.
  1. The objective of church discipline.  But what if a person who is subject to Church discipline and dismissed from fellowship realises that he has sinned, and repents?  That is the true objective of discipline, that the one who repents can be restored to fellowship in due time.  Catechist:  They are again received as members of Christ and of the church when they promise and show real amendment.  

We have finished our short examination of Lord’s Day 31. We have discovered what Jesus meant when he promised the Peter, (in his office as an elder of the church) would have the Keys of the Kingdom.  These ‘Keys’ are the preaching of the Gospel, and the proper exercise of church discipline.   

Please Read: 1.Mt 18:15-20; 1 Cor 5:3-5; 11-13; 2 Thess 3:14, 15. * 2.Lk 15:20-24; 2 Cor 2:6-11. 

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