The Keys of the Kingdom
|Minister:||Rev. Ronald Van Overloop|
|Text:||Ezekiel 2, 3; Lord's Day 31|
|Psalters:||214, 336, 223, 132|
|Installation of Elders and Deacons|
- The concept.
- The idea of the keys is that the church is as a kingdom or fortress with walls and gates.
- Ezekiel 33:1-11 portrays the church as a city with watchmen who are to warn the inhabitants of dangers without and within.
- The church is in the midst of a world which hates her (Jn 17:14) and the devil seeks always to attack or to infiltrate her.
- Another danger is the citizens: they are in constant need of admonition, lest they leave off a holy walk.
- The Presbyterian/Reformed form of church government is Christ’s rule through elders (Acts 20:17,28; I Cor. 12:28; Heb. 13:17). All elders are equal in authority, with a plurality in each congregation (Acts 14:23; I Peter 5:1).
- Who exercises the keys? Who are the guardians of the Church?
- Centrally and essentially this authority and ability belongs only to Christ (Rev. 1:18; 3:7,8).
- Christ exercises the keys through the instrumentality of the Apostles and the elders (Matt. 18:18; John 20:23; Heb. 13:17).
- The apostles transferred this authority to the elders they ordained in every city.
- The authority of elders is implied in their names, their duties, and the calling to submit to them.
- The keys are a spiritual (not a physical) power by pronouncing what the Bible teaches.
- There are three purposes for the exercise of the keys of the kingdom of heaven.
- The glory of God.
- The well-being of the church.
- The salvation and spiritual well-being of the believer.