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8 Marks of a true church by Billy Graham

…The Church Eterna

By Dr. Francis Akin-John

The church is in turmoil today. Why is this? The church —the body of Christ—will never fail; however, when “churches” turn away from God’s Word to chase after the worldly system, they stumble and fall. What is the true church?

  1. The church belongs to Jesus Christ. He founded the church. He is the great cornerstone and the foundation upon which it is built (Ephesians 2:20). The church does not be-long to pastors or con-gregations but to Christ alone. It is His dwelling pla-ce on earth, through the lives of His followers. We have no right to bring worldly ways into His church.
  2. Jesus died for the church and is over the church. “He is the head of the body, the church…that in all things He may have the preeminence” (Coloss-ians 1:18). If we were to examine church programs today, would Christ really be preeminent? Believers should reflect Christ in every way. What a respon-sibility. What a privilege!
  3. The church is to be built up in His Word. Many churches now mold their programs around the community—not the Word of God. Church bulletins often reflect this by ann-ouncing grand programs and activities with little to no emphasis on God’s Word. The Lord did not design the church to cater to peo-ple’s wishes—the Lord breathed life into the church to learn, pro-claim, and live out His truths. We are to build one another up in the Word of God (Jude 20).
  4. The church is to fellow-ship together. When Jesus birthed the church, believ-ers submitted to the tea-ching of the apostles—the inspired Word of God. They also joined in fellow-ship together, prayed to-gether, and shared the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:42). For them, this fellowship was a taste of Heaven on earth.
  5. The church’s message is Jesus Christ crucified, ri-sen, and coming again. As people observed their wit-ness for Christ, they shou-ted, “These…have turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6). Is the church today making that kind of impact? Or has it become complacent like the church at Laodicea, whom the Lord rebuked by say-ing, “You are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot” (Revelation 3:16)?
  6. The church’s mission is to make Jesus Christ known. Making Christ known is not a command exclusively given to prea-chers. I believe one of the greatest priorities of the church is to mobilize the laity to do the work of proclaiming the Gospel. Why?


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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.