Heidelberg Catechisms 83 – 85

Preacher: Rev Gavino Fioretti

Reading: Matthew 16: 13 – 20; Matthew 18: 15 – 20

Text: Matthew 18: 18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

83. What is the Office of the Keys?

The Preaching of the Holy Gospel and Church Discipline; by which two things the kingdom of heaven is opened to believers and shut against unbelievers.

84. How is the kingdom of heaven opened and shut by the Preaching of the Holy Gospel?

In this way: that according to the command of Christ, it is proclaimed and openly witnessed to believers, one and all, that as often as they accept with true faith the promise of the Gospel, all their sins are really forgiven them of God for the sake of Christ’s merits; and on the contrary, to all unbelievers and hypocrites, that the wrath of God and eternal condemnation abide on them, so long as they are not converted; according to which witness of the Gospel, will be the judgment of God both in this life and in that which is to come.

85. How is the kingdom of heaven shut and opened by Church Discipline?

In this way: that according to the command of Christ, if any under the Christian name show themselves unsound either in doctrine or life, and after repeated brotherly admonition refuse to turn from their errors of evil ways, they are complained of to the church or to its proper officers, and, if they neglect to hear them also, are by them excluded from the Holy Sacraments and the Christian communion, and by God Himself from the kingdom of Christ; and if they promise and show real amendment, they are again received as members of Christ and His Church.

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Christ-given authority:

Christ-limited authority: Under him, and his word

Christ-present authority:

1. Gospel Preaching:

Christ’s command:

Christ’s disciples:

Christ’s terms:

Christ’s merit:

Christ’s warning:

2. Church Discipline:

Christ’s command:

Christ’s terms:

Christ-given protocol:

Christ’s kingdom:

Christ’s encouragement: