151. When does a congregation belong to Jesus Christ’s church?

A congregation belongs to the universal Church of Jesus Christ if, like the apostles and the early Christian congregations, it is based solely on salvation in Christ; when they recognise the Holy Scripture as the word of God, preach the gospel truthfully and administer the sacraments (baptism and the Lord’s Supper) according to the way Jesus instituted them.

  • They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. (Acts 2:42)
  • We believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they. (Acts 15:11)
  • You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. (John 5:39)