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Chap. XVI. — Of the Church.

Q. 1. How are the elect called, in respect of their obedience unto Christ, and union with him?

A. His church.
Acts xx. 28; Eph. v. 32.

485Q. 2. What is the church of Christ?

A. The whole company of God’s6868   The elect angels belong to this church. 6969   No distance of time or place breaks the unity of this church: heaven and earth, from the beginning of the world unto the end, are comprised in it. 7070   No mention in Scripture of any church in purgatory. 7171   This is the catholic church; — though that term be not to be found in the Word in this sense, the thing itself is obvious. 7272   The pope, challenging unto himself the title of the head of the catholic church, is blasphemously rebellious against Jesus Christ. elect, acalled bof God, cby the Word and Spirit, dout of their natural condition, to the dignity of his children, and eunited unto Christ their head, by faith, in the bond of the Spirit.
aActs ii. 47; 1 Tim. v. 21; Heb. xii. 22–24. bRom. i. 5, 6, ix. 11, 24; 1 Cor. iv. 15; 2 Tim. i. 9. cActs xvi. 14; John iii. 8; 1 Cor. iv. 15; 1 Pet. i. 23; Heb. viii. 10. dEph. ii. 11–13; Col. i. 13; Heb. ii. 14, 15; 1 Pet. ii. 9. eJohn xvii. 21; Eph. ii. 18–22.

Q. 3. Is this whole church always in the same state?

A. No; one part of it is militant, the other triumphant.

Q. 4. What is the church militant?

A. That portion of God’s elect which, in their generation, cleaveth unto Christ by faith, and fighteth against the world, flesh, and devil.
Eph. vi. 11, 12; Heb. xi. 13, 14, xii. 1, 4.

Q. 5. What is the church triumphant?

A. That portion of God’s people who, having fought their fight and kept the faith, are now in heaven, resting from their labours.
Eph. v. 27; Rev. iii. 21, xiv. 13.

Q. 6. Are not the church of the Jews before the birth of Christ, and the church of the Christians since, two churches?

A. No; essentially they are but one,7373   This is that ark out of which whosoever is shall surely perish. differing only in some outward administrations.
Eph. ii. 11–16; 1 Cor. x. 3; Gal. iv. 26, 27; Heb. xi. 16, 26, 40.

Q. 7. Can this church be wholly overthrown on the earth?

A. No; unless the decree of God may be changed, and the promise of Christ fail.
Matt. xvi. 18, xxviii. 20; John xiv. 16; John xvii.; 1 Tim. iii. 15; 2 Tim. ii. 19.

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