The doctrine of the church is the accepted and written teachings of a religious group of people while the church is a structure used for worship by Christians. There are four marks of the church which are linked to each other. The first ideology is that the church is one as there are several reasons for this. It relates to the fact that Jesus Christ shed his blood on the cross for the forgiveness of humankind so that people could be saved and unite. Second is the Holy Spirit, which resides in the hearts of the faithful and unites them into a communion of believers and guides the church; and lastly, the holy trinity comprises of the Father (Benz, 2017), the son and the holy spirit collectively as a single body.
The church is holy where the Lord is regarded as the source of holiness for all the believers, that is, He is the mediator of the human kind and the way of salvation (Benz, 2017). Christ also provides the sanctification of the church and it is through the sermons and ministries that the lord showers His grace to humankind following the sacraments. This argument holds that it is through the teachings and prayer that presents the church as a sign of holiness (Benz, 2017).
The church is catholic and this was anciently used to described it as Universal. The church truly is catholic because Christ is universally present in the church and he has commissioned the church to go into the world and preach of His existence (Metcalf, 2015). It is also quoted in the scripture in matt 28:19. Finally, the church is Apostolic. Christ is the founder of the church and entrusted this to His apostles that is St peter, First Pope and Bishop of Rome to be his vicar on earth (Metcalf, 2015). The church is also considered apostolic basing in the faith found in both traditional and the sacred scripture which was preserved and passed down to other apostles through the guidance of the holy spirit.
It is through the oneness that Christians of today are united in the creed as well as other teachings, the taking of the sacraments and the hierarchical structure. That is regardless where a person is the mass is still the same, same readings, prayers and structure except for the only difference in the language used for preaching (Metcalf, 2015). Today, people are brought to holiness through baptism this means that a person has been cleansed of their sins and filled with grace and are accepted into the church. The church is universal today in that the word is preached all over the world and the Christians are exposed to the same teachings (Benz, 2017). The church being apostolic is related to todays’ church in that the succession of the of bishop to bishop and also through the priests and deacons.
The teachings of God’s word, a healthy and good church will always uphold God’s word that is the desire to reach the wayward and bring them back to holiness. It is important for churches today in various denominations to teach the word of God, this is the reason most churches are growing in love and care (Metcalf, 2015). Impacting worship, this is the passion and vigour to please and worship God, that is the heart of a person is what counts. It is through worship that people express devotion to God although different denomination has different styles of worship (Benz, 2017). The passion of the Lord was expressed through Jesus Christ dying on the cross. Heartfelt prayer is the sense of urgency and passion of worship towards God. The making of the disciples was initiated at the time of Jesus as he had twelve disciples hence all churches today should embrace to have so many disciples.
Love and care are quoted in the bible as the greatest commandment which should be applied in the Christian life and finally leadership development call upon churches to prioritize this above all (Benz, 2017). leaders should be loving and caring and can only be effective leaders if they believe in Christ. Lastly, the church is the body of divine which is supposed to proclaim gospel throughout the world. The church is the body of Christ since baptism unites all people into one body and one spirit. Secondly, the local church recently arose because the missionary activities of apostles the elders and bishops were recently recognized. Unity of the church should be upheld, and this does not mean that the believers should not be in touch with the pagans but they are not to participate in their idolatrous feasts (Metcalf, 2015). Lastly, the problem of schism this regards the issues of divisions that were experienced in the early days. The separation was severe when the protestant church broke away from the original roman catholic church and differences in theological points (Olson, 2016). Lastly, there is need for a practical approach to the problem of unity as there will always be disagreements on theological ideas and divisions and conflicts within the church which should be avoided, and it will be more crucial for organisations with different theological ideas to have separate ministries instead of making it a single mass.
Benz, E. (2017). The Eastern Orthodox Church: Its Thought and Life. Routledge.
Metcalf, S. (2015). Beyond the Local Church: How Apostolic Movements Can Change the World. InterVarsity Press.
Olson, D. (2016). Introduction to the Mystery of the Church by Benoît-Dominique de La Soujeole, OP. The Thomist: A Speculative Quarterly Review, 80(2), 324-327.