一.教会的君王和元首主耶稣将教会管理权交于教会圣职人员之手;但他们与国家官员不同(赛9:6-7;提前5:17;帖前5:12;徒20:17,28;来13:7,17,24;林前12:28;太28:18-20)。

The Lord Jesus, as king and head of His church, hath therein appointed a government in the hand of church officers, distinct from the civil magistrate.

二.天国的钥匙交给了这些圣职人员,因此他们有权不免去或赦免人的罪,按照情形的需要,用圣道和劝惩向不悔改的人关闭天国,又藉着宣讲福音和撤除劝惩,向悔改的人开放天国(太16:19;18:17-18;约20:21-23;林后2:6-8)。

To these officers the keys of the kingdom of heaven are committed, by virtue whereof they have power respectively to retain and remit sins, to shut that kingdom against the impenitent, both by the word and censures; and to open it unto penitent sinners, by the ministry of the gospel, and by absolution from censures, as occasion shall require.

三.若教会任凭罪恶昭彰和刚愎自负的罪人,亵渎上帝的圣约和印记,就会有上帝的震怒公平地临到。为了矫正并得着那犯罪的弟兄,防止他人犯同样的过犯,并除去那能够感染全团的酵,维持基督的尊荣与福音的纯正,避免上帝的震怒,教会的劝惩乃是必不可少的(林前5;提前5:20;太7:6;提前1:20;林前11:27-34;犹23)。

Church censures are necessary for the reclaiming and gaining of offending brethren; for deterring of others from like offenses; for purging out of that leaven which might infect the whole lump; for vindicating the honor of Christ, and the holy profession of the gospel; and for preventing the wrath of God, which might justly fall upon the church, if they should suffer His covenant, and the seals thereof, to be profaned by notorious and obstinate offenders.

四.为了更完美地达成以上目的,教会圣职人员应当按照犯罪的性质和犯罪者的罪状予以训诫,或暂停圣餐,或逐出教会(帖前5:12;帖后3:6,14-15;林前5:4,5,13;太18:17;多3:10)。

For the better attaining of these ends, the officers of the church are to proceed by admonition, suspension from the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper for a season, and by excommunication from the church, according to the nature of the crime, and demerit of the person.