In the Nicene Creed the church confesses that there is only “one holy catholic and apostolic church.” This means that the Christian faith and life of the true church of Jesus Christ as she is manifested today in various denominations and congregations is rooted in the church of the past. Times may have changed but the church today shares with the church of the past the same Lord, the same faith, the same battle, the same hope, and the same purpose—to bring glory to name of our great God. The church must be conscious of her past history in order to be sure that she is continuing on the right path. In other words the study of church history is important.
The study of church history is all the more important because of the constant attack of enemies who seek to knock her off of the “old paths.” Satan desires that the members of the church be ignorant of their history. Lack of interest in church history plays into the evil one’s hands. Church history can then be distorted and used to spread false doctrine and support wicked behavior, as is often attempted today. The study of church history is an important part of the battle of faith she must wage to remain faithful to God.
That the church carries on this battle and remains faithful to God is of course not due at all to her own strength. God’s is the glory for his sovereign work through Jesus Christ of gathering, defending, and preserving his church. Do you confess you are and always will be a living member of the one holy catholic and apostolic church of Jesus Christ? Then church history is the history of God’s amazing faithfulness to you. So reading church history is important—to know what God has done—to thank God for what he has done.
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