(note: This node is 30th in a series of 33 nodes. for the entire series, please see the metanode Westminster Confession of Faith
CHAPTER 30 - Of Church Censures
I. The Lord Jesus
, as king
and head of his Church
, hath therein appointed a government in the hand of Church officers, distinct from the civil magistrate
II. To these officers the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven
are committed, by virtue whereof they have power respectively to retain and remit sins, to shut that kingdom against the impenitent, both by the word and censures
; and to open it unto penitent sinners, by the ministry of the gospel, and by absolution from censures, as occasion shall require.
III. Church censures are necessary
for the reclaiming
of offending brethren; for deterring of others from like offenses; for purging out of that leaven which might infect the whole lump; for vindicating
, and the holy profession of the gospel; and for preventing the wrath of God, which might justly fall upon the Church, if they should suffer his covenant
, and the seals thereof, to be profaned by notorious and obstinate offenders.
IV. For the better attaining of these ends, the officer
s of the Church
are to proceed by admonition
, suspension from the sacrament
of the Lord's Supper
for a season, and by excommunication from the Church, according to the nature of the crime, and demerit
of the person.
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