Christus as Hoof van die kerk en die presbiteriale kerkregering
Van der Walt, Jan Jacobus
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Every system of church government, which declares to be Christian, takes its starting point in the New Testament revelation that Christ is the Head of his body, the church, (Col. 1:18); however each of these systems arrives at vastly different conclusions. The Presbyterian system of church government is founded on.the principle that Jesus Christ, the Son of God who became man, is the organic Head of the church, the elected mankind. "Bead" and "body" are bound together as one vital unity, undivided and unmixed. Therefore the church, as body of Christ, has no human head. Christ Himself governs the church, while He at the same time rules over heaven and earth. He, the Mediator, Who in the unity of his Person is indivisible, is Himself personally present in his church. He is also represented by the Holy Spirit, who works directly in the heart and mind of ail believers and speaks to them by means of the holy ~ Word of God. Christ reigns his church through his Holy Spirit by his Holy Word. The believers, as members ,in the body, the church, have come of age as a royal priesthood by anointment with the Holy. Spirit. Therefore the congregation is subject to the instructions of Christ to· the church. While the body still grows up unto Christ, its Head, He has given the off ices to the church for the perfecting of the saints in their ministry. The government of the Head is served in the church by the elders as a council of the church. Their instruction from the Head is to be shepherds to the saints and not to be lords over God's heritage. Of this ministration of the church government the congregation is the object. The Presbyterian church government, as organized in the Church Order of Dort (1618-19), maintains the church as an organic unity that lives for, through and to Christ. The church is the subordinate of its Personal Head, the living and present Jesus Christ. Therefore the Church Order of Dort maintains the ministerial character of the offices in the church, the coming of age· of the believers and the Word of God as the border of all ministerial authority and power. The Presbyterian church government is then, according to the principles of the Church Order of Dort, the ministration of the one supremacy of the one Head, Jesus Christ, in his church as one body.
- Theology