§ 170. Since an erring church, or a church contaminated with erroneous doctrine, is still a church 1 as long as it has and sets into operation the essentials of the Gospel,2 the ministers called by such church are still ministers of Christ and of the Church of God, 3 and their official acts are valid as far as their performance is an administration of the means of grace.4
1. Since an erring church, or a church contaminated with erroneous doctrine, is still a church 1 as long as it has and sets into operation the essentials of the Gospel,…
Galatians 1:2 compare with Galatians 3:1; 4:10,11; Galatians 5:4,9:—
Galatians 1:2 And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia.
Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
Galatians 4:10,11 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain.
Galatians 5:4,9 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the Law; ye are fallen from grace. (9) A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
2. …as long as it has and sets into operation the essentials of the Gospel
Cf. § 159.
3. …the ministers called by such church are still ministers of Christ and of the Church of God,
Revelation 3:1-3 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith He that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
Revelation 3:14-18 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
4. …and their official acts are valid as far as their performance is an administration of the means of grace.