Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Second London Baptist Confession

Chapter 26 - The Church

26.7 To each of these churches thus gathered according to the divine will made known in His Word, the Lord has given all the power and authority requisite for the carrying on of the form of worship and discipline which He has appointed for their observance. This extends to the provision of such commands and rules as are needful for the rightful and proper use of the power conferred on the churches. Matt. 18:17,18; 1 Cor. 5:4,5; 5:13; 2 Cor. 2:6-8.

26.8 A local church, gathered and fully organized according to the mind of Christ, consists of officers and members. By Christ's appointment the officers to be chosen and set apart by the church as called and gathered, are bishops (otherwise called elders) and deacons. It is their special responsibility to arrange for the carrying out of what the Lord has ordained, and to use the powers entrusted to them for the execution of their duties; and such arrangements are to continue in the church until the world ends. Acts 20:17,28; Phil. 1:1.

26.9 By Christ's appointment, any person who has been qualified and given the necessary gifts by the Holy Spirit for the work of bishop or elder in a church, must be chosen and called to that office by the common suffrage of the church itself. He must be solemnly set apart by fasting and prayer, with the laying on of the hands of the existing eldership, if there be such. Similarly, deacons are to be chosen by the common suffrage of the church, and set apart by prayer and the laying on of hands. Acts 6:3,5,6; 14:23; 1 Tim. 4:14.

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