• Apostles

    Ephesians 2:19–20

    The prophets and apostles have given us a sure foundation—the inerrant and infallible Scriptures. We do not expect God to give us new revelation today but only to lead the church into a deeper understanding of the truth He ...Read More

  • Embracing the Penitent

    Luke 15:11–31

    Although not everyone who has been subjected to church discipline repents, there are many times when a disciplined sinner is humbled by the church’s treatment and, forsaking sin, returns to the fold. When this happens, church leaders and laypeople ...Read More

  • The Authority of the Church

    1 Corinthians 5

    Today’s passage is a proof text for question and answer 85 of the Heidelberg Catechism, which deals with how church discipline opens and shuts the door to the kingdom of heaven. Excommunication shuts the door by declaring that the ...Read More

  • The Key of Church Discipline

    Psalm 7:11–13

    Dr. R.C. Sproul has often said that we must first understand the bad news if we are going to know the good news of the gospel. There is bad news for all the natural-born sons and daughters of Adam ...Read More

  • The Church and Forgiveness

    John 20:19–23

    John Calvin comments that Christ “does not convey to [the Apostles and their successors] what is peculiar to himself. It belongs to him to forgive sins… . [Instead, He] enjoins them, in his name, to proclaim the forgiveness of sins, that ...Read More

  • The Keys of the Kingdom

    Matthew 16:13–20

    There are two extremes when it comes to church authority. One extreme says that the church is always right no matter what it says. The other extreme says the church has no authority over the individual Christian. God’s Word ...Read More

  • The Marks of the Church

    Acts 2:42

    True churches are identified by their faithfulness to the Word of God, not by their size or influence in the community. A church that hears and obeys Scripture cannot help but reach out to the society around it, but the ...Read More

  • Servants of the Lord

    Philippians 1:1–2

    Scripture places a high premium on our love for other believers. Simply put, loving other Christians and treating them with respect is not optional. If we do not treat them well and love them, then we do not know God ...Read More

  • The Apostolic Church

    Ephesians 2:18–22

    It may be important to know the historical succession of church leaders, but it is more important to preach the gospel faithfully. A church can be built on the Apostles only if it loves what the Apostles loved and affirms ...Read More

  • The Holiness of the Church

    Ephesians 1:1

    God does not see His people in the same way that He sees the unregenerate world. He sees us as holy, but He sees those outside of Christ as unholy. This does not mean He is ignorant of our remaining ...Read More

  • Christian Unity

    John 17

    Today the invisible church, consisting of all those who have true faith in Christ Jesus, is united in the Savior. In time, the visible church may be united once again as well, but true visible unity will occur only as ...Read More

  • The Body of Christ

    1 Corinthians 12:12–31

    In summarizing today’s passage and the communion of saints, answer 55 of the Heidelberg Catechism says that “each member should consider it a duty to use these [spiritual] gifts … for the service and enrichment of the other members.” One ...Read More

  • Gathered, Protected, and Preserved

    John 10:27–30

    Today’s passage is clear that no one can snatch God’s people out of His hand. There is no doubt that the elect will be redeemed, and if there is no doubt that the elect include people from every ...Read More

  • The Holy Catholic Church

    Revelation 5:9–10

    The existence of the church is not a “plan b” that God turned to when “plan a” did not work out. Instead, the church is the goal toward which the Lord has been working from the beginning. A church made ...Read More

  • The Deception of Empty Words

    Ephesians 5:6

    There are men and women struggling with sexual sin in all of our congregations. They want to please God and are seeking to mortify the flesh, and we should do all that we can to help them. This means creating ...Read More