The Great Atrributes of the Church (Evening)
Americans are rugged individualist and have a generally low view of the church. Why do I need the church when I have my Bible? Why do I need the church when I can talk to God any time anywhere? Why do I need the church when I can have my own personal relationship with Jesus? Something else that starting in the 1950’s has undercut American’s view of the church and that is the rise of para-church organizations. Many of them have done great things but you have heard of the law of unintended consequences. Para-church organizations have always said they exist to help the church but they have actually eroded American’s commitment to church. Para-church organizations have drawn people and resources away from the church. The low view of the church today is traced by some back to the reformation. The reformation produced one of the greatest schisms in the church in history. The Roman Catholic Church maintained that she was the only true church and that submission to the pope was required. They said that the Reformers were throwing off the church by breaking from Rome. The Reformers had to work hard to show that the opposite was the case. They had a very high view of the church and because of their high view that was why they desired so strongly to reform the church, to return the church to her former apostolic and Biblical authority. The Reformed creeds and confessions gave much attention to this important doctrine of the church. It’s worth noting that ten out of the thirty-seven article of the Belgic Confession are devoted to the Reformed view of the church. From article 27 to 36 we will be considering the great doctrines concerning the church of Jesus Christ. As far back as the Nicene Creed Christians have been summing up their teaching on the church through four attributes: one, holy, catholic and apostolic. Let’s consider these four classic attributes of the Church of Jesus Christ. The glory of the church is that she is one, holy, catholic and apostolic.