Four Marks of the Church

Topics: Christian terms, Christianity, Bishop Pages: 3 (658 words) Published: February 25, 2014


The 4 Marks of the Church

In the Nicene Creed we say that the Church is "one, holy, catholic and apostolic."

I. One/Unity

"There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all."[Eph. 4:5-6]One describes the unity of the body of Christ. These words from the Creed speak of the followers of Jesus Christ as united in their belief in one God, one Lord, and Jesus Christ. The Church is one because as the Church's members we are joined together by Jesus[Jn 17:20-23]" He prays for Christians to have unity, saying this unity will provide the most compelling evidence to the world that he is the Savior of the world.

II. Holy/Sanctity

Sacred means revered due to association with holiness. Holiness, or sanctity, is in general the state of being holy (perceived by religious individuals as associated with the divine) or sacred (considered worthy of spiritual respect or devotion; or inspiring awe or reverence among believers in a given set of spiritual ideas). In other contexts, "objects are often considered 'holy' or 'sacred' if used for spiritual purposes", such as the worship or service of gods. These terms can also be used in a non-spiritual or semi-spiritual context ("sacred truths" in a constitution). It is often ascribed to people ("a holy man" of religious occupation, "holy prophet" who is venerated by his followers), objects ("sacred artefact" that is venerated and blessed), times ("holy days" of spiritual introspection, such as during winter holidays), or places ("sacred ground", "holy place").

III. Catholicity

Shortly before convoking the council that inserted into the Nicene Creed the description of the church as catholic, Emperor Theodosius I issued the Edict of Thessalonica, which limited the ecclesiastical application of this term to upholders of the teaching of the First Council of Nicaea. These alone were authorized to use the title of...
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