Preserve Peace of Church

1. Jesus as Mediator has been granted by the Father all authority in heaven and upon earth (Matthew 28:18) over all creation (whether rational or non-rational, whether angelic or human, whether individuals, families, churches, nations, or any other institution) in order to promote the good and welfare of His Church (Ephesians 1:19-23).

2. Jesus is both King of all earthly kings (Revelation 19:16) and King of all saints that profess faith in Him (Revelation 15:3).

3. Jesus is the alone Head and King of His Church in heaven and upon earth (Ephesians 5:23). All authority to govern in Christ’s Church comes from the King, Jesus Christ; for the government of the Church has been placed by the Father upon His shoulders (Isaiah 9:6-7).

4. Government in Christ’s Church promotes its peace, purity, and unity in the bonds of love (Ephesians 4:1-16). The lawful use of government and authority is abused when it is not for the truth, but against the truth (2 Corinthians 13:8). The truth of Christ and the love of Christ are never opposed to one another in the exercise of Christ’s government and authority (1 Corinthians 13:1-6).

5. Government in Christ’s Church is administered by men, lawfully called (Romans 10:15; Hebrews 5:4) and qualified in faith and practice (1 Timothy 3:1-15; Titus 1:5-9) to serve as Christ’s officers (Matthew 23:8-9) to the glory of God and to the edification of Christ’s sheep (Ephesians 4:11-16). The ordinary and perpetual officers of Christ’s Church include: pastors (Ephesians 4:11; 1 Peter 5:2), teachers/doctors (1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11), elders (Romans 12:8; 1 Timothy 5:17; Titus 1:5), and deacons (Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:8-13).

6. The appointed means by which King Jesus exercises His authority in His Church through His officers are by means of the keys of the kingdom (Isaiah 22:22; Matthew 16:19): the key of knowledge/doctrine (Luke 11:52) and the key of jurisdiction/discipline (Matthew 18:15-20; Revelation 3:7).

7. Government in Christ’s Church promotes not only its peace and purity (by means of doctrine and discipline that is agreeable to Scripture), but also promotes unity (by means of doctrine and discipline that is agreeable to Scripture) among particular /regional/national churches in the world, while condemning the schism that sinfully divides Christ’s Visible Church into various denominations (1 Corinthians 1:10; Ephesians 4:1 16; Philippians 3:16).

8. Therefore, government in Christ’s Church promotes unity (in doctrine, worship, and discipline) beyond the government of the local congregation, a Session; to include all of the Sessions within a region, a Presbytery; to include all of the Presbyteries within a larger region, a Synod; to include all of the Synods within a nation, a General Assembly (Acts 15); to include all of the General Assemblies of nations in the world, an Ecumenical Assembly (John 17:20-21).