The items I've listed in these posts (the pure preaching of the gospel, the right administration of the sacraments, and the exercise of church discipline) have some history behind them. They typically go by the call line "The 3 marks of a true church."
Many churches have become what the Bible terms, "synogogues of Satan." That is to say, they are no longer churches that are faithful to Christ. The question, of course, arises as to how to define a true church from a false one.
These were the traits that were developed during the Reformation as our Protestant father's sought to work through whether or not they should continue being aligned with the Catholic church.
Today these principles still are helpful for us. Churches come a dime a dozen. There is one on almost every corner in cities like Ashland and Mansfield. But which ones are faithful to Christ? Which ones are not?
You can typically tell by looking to see whether or not a church is practicing these three marks. If they are, it is likely that the church is serious about discipleship and are ready to nurture you & your family in the faith.
We still have two more posts to do in this series. We still have the mark of love, and we will be doing a post on traits that likely show a church is definitely not worth your time.