In hell, “[demons] tortured him beyond anything that anybody has ever conceivedâ€¦ [Christâ€™s] emaciated, poured out, little, wormy spirit is down in the bottom of that thing [hell].” â€“ Kenneth Copeland. But if there is one who should be called “a little wormy spirit,” it is each one of us miserable sinners who does not deserve the devotion of our Savior’s and Sovereign’s sacred head.
In contrast to Philip Yancey’s three qualities of an “alive” and “healthy” church – diversity, unity and mission – are the three marks of a true church – gospel, sacraments, church discipline – set forth by the Protestant Reformers.
And among these five essentials, “Christ alone” is often attacked today, not only by non-Christians, but also by Christians of various colors in two ways: universalism and inclusivism. Throughout church history, but especially in our postmodern society, both universalism and inclusivism are affirmed by churches of various persuasions.
Does the Roman church exhibit any of these three marks? Maybe some, maybe sometimes. For sure, the true gospel of justification by faith alone in Christ alone by grace alone is not preached. Does the Roman church properly administer the sacraments in believing the doctrine of transubstantiation and baptismal regeneration? No. Does the Roman church exercise discipline among its clergy and people? We know it certainly does not.
Many Christians wouldn’t know what to say when confronted with the question: “What is God” or “Who is God.” But we don’t have to conjure up vague answers in our mind: the Confession already has a comprehensive one. Let’s look briefly at each portion of the Confession’s definition of God, and then think about some misconceptions related to that portion.