1. May they come to the Lord’s Supper who are unbelieving and ungodly?
Indeed not, lest God’s wrath be kindled against the whole church.
2. How must the church deal with such members?
The church must warn and exclude them from its fellowship by the keys of the kingdom, instituted by Christ himself. (Matt. 18:17,18)
3. Which are the keys of the kingdom?
These are the preaching of the gospel and church discipline. By these Christ’s kingdom is opened to believers and shut against unbelievers. (Matt. 16:19)
4. To whom has Christ entrusted these keys?
To the congregation of believers who exercise these through the office-bearers ordained by Christ. (Titus 3:10,11)
5. What do these keys require of us as members of the church?
First, that we exercise careful watch over our own lives in obedience to Christ; secondly, that we warn and seek to win those who go astray; and finally, that we cooperate with the office-bearers to preserve the congregation in the unity of the true faith.
Things to Look Up:
- How and why should we respond to the office-bearers in the church? Hebr. 13:17; I Thess. 5:12,13.
- Which rules did Christ institute for church discipline? Matt. 18:15-17.
- Prove that Christ instituted the keys of the kingdom in his church. Matt. 16:19; John 20:22,23.
- Prove that the church is called upon to exercise sound discipline. I Cor. 5:11-13.
- How should believers exercise spiritual care for themselves and their fellow church members? Jude, vs. 21-23.