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Chapter 25. The Gifts Freely Given to the Kirk

Albeit that the word of God truly preached, and the sacraments rightly ministered, and discipline executed according to the word of God, be the certain and infallible signs of the true kirk; yet do we not so mean that every particular person joined with such a company be an elect member of Christ Jesus.168168Matt. 13:24, etc. For we acknowledge and confess, that darnel, cockle, and chaff may be sown, grow, and in great abundance lie in the midst of the wheat: that is, the reprobate may be joined in the society of the elect, and may externally use with them the benefits of the word and sacraments; but such being but temporal professors in mouth, but not in heart, do fall back and continue not to the end;169169Matt. 13:20-21. and therefore have they no fruit of Christ's death, resurrection, nor ascension.

But such as with heart unfeignedly believe, and with mouth boldly confess the Lord Jesus (as before we have said) shall most assuredly receive these gifts:170170Rom. 10:9,13. first, in this life, remission of sins, and that by only faith in Christ's blood, insomuch that, albeit sin remains and continually abides in these our mortal bodies, yet is it not imputed unto us, but is remitted and covered with Christ's justice.171171Rom. 7; 2 Cor. 5:21. Secondly, in the general judgment there shall be given to every man and woman resurrection of the flesh;172172John 5:28-29. for the sea shall give her dead, the earth those that therein be enclosed; yea, the Eternal, our God, shall stretch out his hand upon the dust, and the dead shall arise incorruptible,173173Rev. 20:13. and that in the substance of the selfsame flesh that every man now bears,174174Job 19:25-27. to receive according to their works, glory or punishment.175175Matt. 25:31-46. For such as now delight in vanity, cruelty, filthiness, superstition, or idolatry, shall be adjudged to the fire unquenchable, in which they shall be tormented for ever, as well in their own bodies, as in their souls, which now they give to serve the devil in all abomination. But such as continue in well doing to the end, boldly professing the Lord Jesus, we constantly believe that they shall receive glory, honour, and immortality, to reign for ever in life everlasting with Christ Jesus,176176Rev. 14:10; Rom. 2:6-10. to whose glorified body all his elect shall be made like,177177Phil. 3:21. when he shall appear again to judgment, and shall render up the kingdom to God his Father, who then shall be, and ever shall remain all in all things, God blessed for ever:1781781 Cor. 15:24,28. to whom, with the Son, and with the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, now and ever. Amen.

Arise, O Lord, and let thy enemies be confounded: Let them flee from thy presence that hate thy godly name: Give thy servants strength to speak thy word in boldness; and let all nations cleave to thy true knowledge.179179Num. 10:35; Ps. 68:1; Acts 4:29.

So be it.

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