Monday, September 21, 2009

In my reading this past week, I came across Louis Berkhof's three most important ingredients for a local church:

1. THE TRUE PREACHING OF THE WORD OF GOD - This is the most important mark of the Church--John 8:31, 32, 47; 14:23; 1 John 4:1-3; II John 9. It means that its preaching must be true to the fundamentals and must have a controlling influence on faith and practice. Naturally, the Church that excels in its adherence to the Word of God is the best Church.

2. THE RIGHT ADMINISTRATION OF THE SACRAMENTS - The sacraments should never be divorced from the Word of God, as they are in the Church of Rome (=Roman Catholic Church). They should be administered by lawful ministers of the Word, in accordance with the divine institution, and only to believers and their seed (Matt 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:42; 1 Cor 11:23-30).

3. THE FAITHFUL EXERCISE OF DISCIPLINE - The faithful exercise of discipline is quite essential for maintaining purity of doctrine and safeguarding the holiness of the sacraments. Churches that are lax in discipline soon find the light of the truth eclipsed, and that which is holy abused. The Word of God insists on proper discipline in the Church of Christ (Matt 18:18; 1 Cor 5:1-5, 13; 14:33, 40; Rev 2:14, 15, 20).

From Berkhof, Manual of Christian Doctrine, 286-87.


dave said...

Some thoughts to think about...thanks for the post

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