7 marks of a church by Martin Luther

I think many of you might be familiarized with Mark Dever’s 9 marks of a healthy church. Nevertheless, today I’d like you introduce you all to the marks of a church according to Martin Luther.

1. The word
“First, the holy Christian people are recognized by their possession of the holy word of God. And even if there were no other sign than this alone, it would still suffice to prove that a Christian, holy people must exist there, for God’s word cannot be without God’s people, and conversely, God’s people cannot be without God’s word.”

2. Baptism
“God’s people or the Christian holy people are recognized by the holy sacrament of baptism, wherever it is taught, believed, and administered correctly according to Christ’s ordinance.”

3. The Lord’s supper
“God’s people, or Christian holy people, are recognized by the holy sacrament of the altar, wherever it is rightly administered, believed, and received, according to Christ’s institution. This too is a public sign and a precious, holy possession left behind by Christ by which his people are sanctified so that they also exercise themselves in faith and openly confess that they are Christian, just as they do with the word and baptism.”

4. “God’s people or holy Christians are recognized by the office of the keys exercised publicly. That is, as Christ decrees in Matthew 18:15– 20, if a Christian sins, he should be reproved; and if he does not mend his ways, he should be bound in his sin and cast out. If he does mend his ways, he should be absolved. That is the office of the keys.”

5. Biblical offices
“The church is recognized externally by the fact that it consecrates or calls ministers, or has offices that it is to administer.”

6. Worship
“The holy Christian people are externally recognized by prayer, public praise, and thanksgiving to God. Where you see and hear the Lord’s Prayer prayed and taught; or psalms or other spiritual songs sung, in accordance with the word of God and the true faith; also the creed, the Ten Commandments, and the catechism used in public, you may rest assured that a holy Christian people of God are present.”

7. Suffering
“The holy Christian people are externally recognized by the possession of the sacred cross. They must endure every misfortune and persecution, all kinds of trials and evil from the devil, the world, and the flesh.”

Source: Luther’s works Vol.41

Rediscover Church by Collin Hansen and Jonathan Leeman–Book Review

Rediscover Church

In these days after the COVID crisis drove us to avoid large gatherings, many people fell away from the Sunday morning routine of church attendance; others became accustomed to “doing” church on Zoom or YouTube. In this book, authors Hansen and Leeman, explain why we need to “rediscover church” — why it is important to keep meeting together in person. Regular worship along with others is an essential part of our walk with Jesus.

They begin with this definition of church:

A church is a group of Christians

who assemble as an earthly embassy of Christ’s heavenly kingdom

to proclaim the good news and commands of Christ the king

to affirm one another as his citizens through the ordinances

and to display God’s own holiness and love

through a unified and diverse people

in all the world

following the teaching and example of elders

Each portion of the definition is discussed more thoroughly in the following chapters. At the end of each chapter there are recommended readings for further study.

The teaching is clear and Biblical. You’ll learn why participating in a congregation is essential to spiritual growth toward maturity, and how technology has affected the church in ways that are not always positive.

VERDICT: 5 STARS. I highly recommend it!

If you would like to purchase this book, follow the link below:

Rediscover Church: Why the Body of Christ Is Essential | Crossway

The Lutheran Ladies received a free e-copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CPR 255.

For more posts about the church see:

What Is the Church?

Do I help or hurt the Church?

We (the Laity) Are the Church