9 Marks of the Biblical Church (from www.9Marks.org)
Below is how the "9 marks" undergird church-based family, educational, economic, and judicial institutions in the boardrooms, courtrooms, classrooms, and family rooms. The following diagram is based on a summary of God's 3 main institutions at https://www.covenant.net/3Institutions/); this summary links to additional pages explaining the connection of the church to businesses, courts/governments, schools, families and other institutions where Christians have opportunities to affirm the role of the Biblical church.
* In his book, The Upper Room, famed 19th-century theologian J.C. Riley reminds readers that the "upper room" was "the forerunner of every church and cathedral." Riley continues, "Here it was that professing Christians...first began to pray together, to worship, and to exhort one another." They focused on knowing God and the dimensions of His character. Following this example, mature church elders meet for communion, prayer, accountability. When preachers emphasize unified worship and prayer in the upper room, this focus on the Lord inspires communities to respect time-tested models for church-based family, educational, economic, and judicial institutions in the boardrooms, courtrooms, classrooms, and family rooms.
||1. Sound doctrine. The term can mean what the average person would think it means: theology that is biblical, or theology that accurately reflects what God has revealed of himself in his Word. Church leaders are often tempted to teach what's popular, what won't offend, and what people's "itching ears want to hear." They're tempted to do things for tradition's sake. A healthy church, however, places a premium on sound doctrine.
2. A way of interpreting the Bible.
||A good way to summarize this good news is to biblically unpack the words God, Man, and Christ:
1. God. God is the creator of all things (Gen. 1:1). He is perfectly holy, worthy of all worship, and will punish sin (1 John 1:5, Rev. 4:11, Rom. 2:5-8).
2. Man. All people, though created good, have become sinful by nature (Gen. 1:26-28, Ps. 51:5, Rom. 3:23). From birth, all people are alienated from God, hostile to God, and subject to the wrath of God (Eph. 2:1-3).
3. Christ. Jesus Christ, who is fully God and fully man, lived a sinless life, died on the cross to bear God's wrath in the place of all who would believe in him, and rose from the grave in order to give his people eternal life (John 1:1, 1 Tim. 2:5, Heb. 7:26, Rom. 3:21-26, 2 Cor. 5:21, 1 Cor. 15:20-22).
4. Response. God calls everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and trust in Christ in order to be saved (Mark 1:15, Acts 20:21, Rom. 10:9-10).
||What is it? An expositional sermon takes the main point of a passage of Scripture, makes it the main point of the sermon, and applies it to life today. Where is it in the Bible? According to Scripture, God accomplishes what he wants to accomplish through speaking (see Gen. 1:3, Isa. 55:10-11, Acts 12:24). […]
||What is it? A biblical understanding of conversion recognizes both what God does and what people do in salvation. In conversion, God gives life to the dead (Eph. 2:5) gives sight to the blind (2 Cor. 4:3-6) and gives the gifts of faith and repentance (Phil. 1:29; Acts 11:18). And in conversion, people repent of […]
||What is it? According to the Bible, church membership is a commitment every Christian should make to attend, love, serve, and submit to a local church. Where is it in the Bible? Throughout Old Testament history, God made a clear distinction between his people and the world (see Lev. 13:46, Num. 5:3, Deut. 7:3). Christ […]
||What is it? The Bible teaches that each local church should be led by a plurality of godly, qualified men called elders. Where is it in the Bible? Paul lays out the qualifications for elders in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. Passages that evidence a plurality of elders in one local church include Acts […]
||What is it? In the broadest sense, church discipline is everything the church does to help its members pursue holiness and fight sin. Preaching, teaching, prayer, corporate worship, accountability relationships, and godly oversight by pastors and elders are all forms of discipline. In a narrower sense, church discipline is the act of correcting sin in […]
||What is it? Scripture teaches that a live Christian is a growing Christian (2 Pet. 1:8-10). Scripture also teaches that we grow not only by instruction, but by imitation (1 Cor. 4:16; 11:1). Therefore churches should exhort their members to both grow in holiness and help others do the same. Where is it in the […]
||What is it? Evangelism is simply telling non-Christians the good news about what Jesus Christ has done to save sinners and urging them to repent and believe. In order to biblically evangelize you must: Preach the whole gospel, even the hard news about God's wrath against our sin. Call people to repent of their sins […]