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Questions Relative to the Christian Church.


Questions Relative to the Christian Church.

James Dodson

1. FOR what end did God appoint a Church in the world?

God appointed the Church, in order to display his own glory in the redemption of man [a], and to prepare the redeemed for happiness [b].

[a] Psalm 50. 2. “Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.” [b] Eph. 4. 11, 12. “And he gave some apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints.”

2. What rule is the Church to observe, in endeavouring to glorify God, and lead the redeemed to the enjoyment of him?

The whole system of divine revelation is the only supreme rule [a]; and the scriptures of the New Testament more particularly define the constitution and order of the Christian Church [b].

[a] 2 Tim. 3. 16, 17. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect.” [b] Gal. 5. 1. “Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free.”

3. What is the use of human reason, in matters of religion?

Human reason, whether it be intended to signify the faculty of reasoning, or the exercises of that faculty, is, in no sense, the law of the Church; but every man is bound to make use of all his powers of reasoning, in discovering and applying the will of the supreme Lawgiver.

2 Cor. 10. 5. “Casting down reasonings [Λογισμοις.], and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ?”

4. With what disposition is man to investigate Christ’s law?

Man should investigate the sacred writings with a humble sense of his own imperfection [a]; faithful dependence on God’s spirit [b]; diligent endeavours to discover truth, and sincere resolution to hold it fast [c]; and with anxiety to have a saving interest in it [d].

[a] Ps. 119. 96. “I have seen an end of all perfection.” [b] Ps. 51. 11. “Take not thy holy spirit from me.” [c] 1 Thes. 5. 21. “Prove all things: Hold fast that which is good.” [d] Phil. 3. 10. “That I may know him and the power of his resurrection.”

5. What do the scriptures teach concerning Church?

The scriptures teach what CHRIST’s CHURCH IS: they describe the Fellowship, the Government, the Worship, and the Discipline, of the Church.