Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Marks of the Church
If you think in these terms: "I can know where the church is because she is doing these things," then you will inevitably have questions. Namely, is that church doing them right? Is the preaching pure, or pure enough? And what is pure enough? With thinking like this, the marks really aren't marks at all, but question marks. For whenever you try to base your confidence and faith on what man does, you can never be sure.
However, the Marks of the Church are the Marks of the Church not because the Church does these things, but because these things do the Church! Or in other words, the Church is where the Gospel is preached and the Sacraments are administered precisely because Christ has promised to work through these means to create and sustain His Church. Thinking like this, then, gives us not questions, but confidence, because it is all based on Christ and His promises, not on what man does. Therefore we know where the Church is because of what Christ is doing; because He has promised to be there and to build His Church through these means. Thanks be to God!