105 Question. What descriptions should be given to Christ’s Church?
Answer. Christ’s Church should be described as Catholic, visible, and invisible (1 Cor. 12:12, 13).
106 Q. What is meant by Christ’s Church being Catholic?
A. The word Catholic means Universal, which teaches us that the Church of Christ is one in all nations.
107 Q. Is it correct to speak of the Church of Rome as the Catholic Church?
A. No; it is not correct to speak of the Roman Catholic Church as the Catholic Church, because it is not the Universal Church in any sense.
108 Q. What do we mean by the term “the visible Church”?
A. The visible Church is made up of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion, together with their children (Acts 2:39).
109 Q. What do we mean by the term “the invisible Church”?
A. By the term ‘the invisible Church’ we mean the whole number of the elect that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one under Christ the Head (Eph. 1:10, 22, 23; Eph. 5:23, 27).
110 Q. In what sense is Christ the head of the Church?
A. Christ has a universal headship as God which is his natural right to rule and dispose of all his creatures. As Mediator he has a universal headship donated from the Father over all things to the Church (Eph. 1:22). To the visible Church, Christ is a head of government and direction (Isa. 9:6; Psa. 2:6). To the invisible Church, he is also a head of vital spiritual power and influence (Eph. 5:23; Col. 2:19).
111 Q. Does the Church have any human head?
A. No. In opposition to Romanists and Erastians the Confession of Faith affirms that “there is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ,” and goes on to say, “nor can the Pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof; but is that antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the church against Christ, and all that is called God” (Westminster Confession of Faith, 25.6, cf. 2 Thess. 2:3-9).
112 Q. How should we describe the Free Presbyterian Church?
A. The Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland should be described as a branch of the visible Church in the world.
113 Q. Why do we call our Church the Free Presbyterian Church?
A. The Free Presbyterian Church is so named to indicate: (1) its connection with the Disruption Free Church of 1843; and (2) that its government is Presbyterian as distinct from Independency or Episcopacy.
114 Q. What are the other Presbyterian Churches in Scotland?
A. The other Presbyterian Churches in Scotland today are the Church of Scotland, the United Free Church, the Free Church, the Free Church (Continuing), the Reformed Presbyterian Church, the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster, the Associated Presbyterian Churches and the International Presbyterian Church
115 Q. What is the meaning of the term “Presbyterian”?
A. The term “Presbyterian”’ refers to the rule of presbyters and means that the church government is by elders.
116 Q. Are all elders in a Presbyterian Church of the same kind?
A. No, in a Presbyterian Church there are teaching elders and ruling elders.
117 Q. What is the difference between a teaching and a ruling elder?
A. The teaching elder is the minister or pastor, whose calling is to preach and teach as well as to rule; the ruling elder’s primary work is in ruling and oversight.
118 Q. Is there any Scripture authority for this distinction between teaching and ruling elders?
A. Yes, the distinction between teaching and ruling elders is expressed in 1 Timothy 5:17, where it is written: “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine” (see also Eph. 4:11 and 1 Cor. 12:28).
119 Q. Are presbyters or elders the only office-bearers in a Presbyterian Church?
A. No, in a Presbyterian Church there are also deacons; but there are no other permanent office-bearers identified in the New Testament.
120 Q. What is the nature of the office and what are the qualifications of a deacon?
A. The main function of a deacon is to look after the temporal and financial affairs of the congregation, as in Acts 6:2-3 where they are authorised to “serve tables”. The deacons are to be “grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre, holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience” (1 Tim. 3:8-9)
121 Q. Are not bishops mentioned in the New Testament?
A. Yes, the word “bishop” appears in a number of places in the New Testament, but not in the Episcopalian sense of one man ruling over inferior clergy.
122 Q. What is the meaning of ‘bishop” in the New Testament?
A. In the New Testament a bishop is one who superintends or oversees the flock, and is the same in office as a presbyter or elder (Acts 20:28; Heb. 13:17).
123 Q. Give examples of this usage of the word “bishop’ in the New Testament?
A. In Acts 20:17, we read that Paul called the elders or presbyters of the Ephesian Church together and then addressed the elders by the name of bishops – “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers” (episkopoi, i.e. bishops). In 1 Peter 5:1 the Apostle exhorts elders or presbyters, and in verse 2 he charges these elders to feed the flock of God, taking the oversight thereof (episkopountes, i.e. the bishopric thereof).
124 Q. In the Apostolic Church were there more bishops than one in particular cities and churches?
A. Yes, there was more than one bishop in some places in the Apostolic Church, for Paul in writing to the Church at Philippi addresses the bishops; there were a number of bishops in Ephesus, as appears from Acts 20:17-28; and Titus was instructed to ordain elders in every city and these elders are named bishops in Titus 1:7.
125 Q. What is the necessary conclusion from the Scripture evidence regarding presbyters and bishops?
A. We may learn from Scripture that in the New Testament Church bishops did not have the oversight of ministers or elders but were themselves ordinary presbyters and that therefore Presbyterian ministers and elders are bishops in the New Testament sense.
126 Q. What is Episcopacy?
A. Episcopacy is the system of Church government in which there is an hierarchy of bishops exercising rule.
127 Q. What Churches are ruled by Episcopal bishops?
A. The Roman Catholic Church, the Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches, and the Church of England are all Episcopal Churches in government.
128. Q. Are there other forms of Church government adopted by men professing to follow the New Testament?
A. Yes, there is the Independent or Congregational form of government in which congregations are not in subjection to superior courts, and frequently no distinction is made between teaching and ruling elders.
129 Q. What Churches hold the Independent form?
A. There are now many Independent Churches in Britain, including Baptists, Congregationalists, and many Charismatic groups.
130 Q. Which form of Church government is to be regarded as Scriptural?
A. Our Scottish Reformers maintained that Presbyterianism is the only government sanctioned by the Word of God, the other forms being more or less the inventions of men; and with this we agree.
 The historic differences between some of these Churches and the Free Presbyterian Church are set out in the History of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, 1893-1970, Appendix III, pp. 365-84; this dates from 1962 but many of the issues remain current.
 See Free Presbyterian Synod Resolution on the Formula for Deacons, Appendix III.4 on page 47.