Twenty-eight Marks of the True Church

1. She was built by Jesus Christ. “I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matt. 16:18.

2. Her theme is love (1 Jn. 3:14; Matt. 5:44; 1 Cor. 13:1-8, 13). “…Love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God…” 1 Jn. 4:7.

3. She was called out of sin by the gospel (Rom. 1:16; 10:13; 2 Thess. 2:14). “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy…” 1 Pet. 1:15.

4. The church is the body of Christ; there is only one true church (1 Cor. 1:2; 12:27; John 10:16). “There is one body…” Eph. 4:4.
a. She is not divided (1 Cor. 1:10, 13).
b. She shares the same mind, judgment, and faith (Eph. 4:4-5; Jude 3).
c. Her members are of one heart and of one soul (Acts 4:32).
d. Her congregations share the same standards and ministry (1 Cor. 4:17; 11:16; 14:33; Eph. 4:11-13; Acts 15:23, 28).

5. The members of Christ’s body, the church, are saints, holy as He is holy (1 Pet. 1:16; 1 Cor. 1:2; Eph. 1:1). “…called to be saints…” Rom. 1:7.

6. Her people are of every kindred, tongue, people, and nation, including believing children and adults (Rev. 7:9; Matt. 19:14). “…thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” Rev. 5:9.

7. Her people are all equal and available to be called of God to any office or duty, regardless of race, social status, nationality, or gender. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” Gal. 3:28.

8. The Lord has set her members in the body, calling and placing them where He will (Acts 13:2; 20:28; Eph. 4:8, 11). “But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.” 1 Cor. 12:18.

9. Her ministry–apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers–for the edification of the body and in the interest of being accountable for the souls of the people, has been given binding and loosing power, having rule over the people of God as helpers of their joy (2 Cor. 12:19; Heb. 13:17; 2 Cor. 1:24). “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matt. 16:19.

10. She keeps the ordinances of baptism of believers by immersion (Jn. 3:23; Acts 8:38); the Lord’s supper and feet washing (1 Cor. 11:23-26; Jn. 13:14-15), and the holy kiss (Rom. 16:16). “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…” Matt. 28:19-20.

11. She believes in divine, physical healing of the body (Matt. 8:16-17). “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.” James 5:14.

12. She continues in the doctrine of the apostles and prophets, holding the holy scriptures, the Bible, as the infallible, inspired, and complete divine revelation (Acts 2:42; 2 Pet. 1:20-21; Jude 3). “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Tim. 3:16.

13. She believes in the Tri Unity of God, three Persons in one God (Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 4:4-6). “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” 1 Jn. 5:7.

14. She teaches that mankind is depraved by nature since the fall of Adam and that the atonement of Christ and call to salvation applies to all of mankind, “whosoever will” (Rom. 5:15-19; Rev. 22:17). “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Rom. 5:12.

15. Her converts “go on to perfection” after their initial conversion to receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost, purifying their hearts from the depraved nature received from Adam (Heb. 6:1; 4:3; Acts 15:8-9: Eph 1:13; 2 Pet. 1:4). The evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost is holy living and is not unintelligible utterances erroneously called by some, “speaking in tongues” (1 Cor. 3:16-17; Eph. 5:9; 2 Tim. 2:22). “…John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.” Acts 11:16.

16. All of her converts are truly new creatures in Christ, having been born again – Jn. 3:3. (Drawn by the Father through the Spirit – Jn. 6:44, 12:32made to have godly sorrow through the gospel – 2 Cor. 7: 8-10; Acts 2:37; led to repentance and faith – Rom. 2:4; 10:17; having confessed their sins to the Lord – 1 Jn. 1:9; having forsaken all sin – Rom. 6:1, 2, 18; having called upon the name of the Lord for salvation – Acts 2:21; Rom. 10:13; their spirit having received a witness by His Spirit that they are the children of God– Rom. 8:16; and having begun and continued making restitution of all past sins – Luke 19:8; Acts 19:19; to walk in the light of God’s Word and Spirit – 2 Pet. 1:19; Gal. 5:16). “ Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Cor.5:17.

17. She is separate from the spirit of the world inwardly, and from its every outward manifestation, including but not limited to its entertainments, dress, patriotism, pursuits, and all of its sins. Therefore, she uses the clothing ordained of God, plain and modest outward apparel coming from a meek and quiet spirit (1 Cor. 2:12; 1 Jn. 5:19; 1 Pet. 3:3-4). “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…” Rom. 12:2.

18. She is non-violent (inflicting injury upon none; not participating in any way in carnal military action) (Lk. 3:14; Jn. 18:36; 2 Cor. 10:4). “…Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you…unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other…” Lk. 6:27-29.

19. Her worship services are led of the Holy Ghost in every aspect including singing (without the encumbrance of mechanical musical instruments) – Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; including who shall pray, testify, exhort, or preach; including which songs are called, and the sequence in which all things are done (1 Cor. 12:4-7; 14:15, 40). “…every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part…” Eph. 4:16.

20. She has been called in these last days to make the judgments of God manifest to all nations, calling all souls out of false religion and the world (Babylon) into the one, true fold (Matt. 13:38-41, Mk. 16:15; Rev. 18:1-4). “And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.” Rev. 15:1.

21. She teaches there will be everlasting punishment and everlasting reward according to the deeds done in the body (Matt. 25:46; 2 Cor. 5:10). “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Rev. 22:12.
22. She executes corporate judicial action within the church (1 Cor. 5:4-5; 2 Thess. 3:14-15). “…do not ye judge them that are within?…Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.” 1 Cor. 5:12-13.

23. She lives sacrificially for the sake of Christ and the gospel (Matt. 19:29; Lk. 14:33; Rom. 12:1). “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me…” Mk. 8:34-35.

24. She believes in the sanctity of marriage, one man and wife for life (Matt. 19:5-6; Lk. 16:18; Rom. 7:2-3). “Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.” Mk. 10:11-12.

25. Her people are the true Jews, Jews inwardly. The physical nation of natural Jews will never again, as a whole, be the people of God (Gal. 4:25-31; 1 Thess. 2:14-16). “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly…but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter…” Rom. 2:28-29.

26. She looks for Christ to return in the clouds at His second and final coming on the Judgment Day, wherein there will be the resurrection of the just and unjust. (There will be no “millennial reign” on earth, for the saints are in the kingdom now, and no secret rapture from the earth before that day.) Heaven and earth will then pass away (Heb. 9:27-28; Jn. 5:28-29; Acts 24:15; 1 Cor. 15:52; 1 Thess. 4:15-17; 2 Pet. 3:7, 10-11). “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him…” Rev. 1:7.

27. She teaches that it is possible for a saint to fall from grace, losing his salvation (Acts 1:25; 1 Cor. 10:12; Gal. 5:4). “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.” Rom. 11:22.

28. She is the church of God (Acts 20:28; 1 Cor. 10:32; 15:9; 1 Tim. 3:5). “…unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia.” 2 Cor. 1:1.


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