A three-fold cord is not easily broken (Cf. Ecclesiastes 4:12). Three strong strands of the woven church cord are:
1. Orthodoxy – right belief
Believing the Bible and being faithful to its doctrines of the faith is a requirement of God's people. Who can say he loves God and not believe & keep His words? The word of God is given by inspiration of God (II Tim 3:16-17). The faithful Christian believes it and studies to show himself approved of God (II Tim 2:15). All doctrines and teachings are brought to its mirror to see whether these things are so (Acts 17:11).
2. Orthopraxy – right practice
The work of the church is summed up in what is best known as the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20). This summary is displayed fully in the New Testament in the recorded outworkings of the Holy Spirit through His church. New Testament Christianity means New Testament practice (I Cor. 11:2; 14:33). The faithful representing of Christ and the gospel to the world is faithful to the Word of God in the New Testament, which is our only rule of faith and practice (Acts 20:2027-28; II Tim. 4:2).
3. Orthokardy – right heart
If the heart of the matter is not right, our doctrine and practice is merely a noisy racket that is annoying and unappealing (I Cor. 13:1-3). A supreme evidence of genuine Christianity is the love of brothers and sisters in Christ (John 13:35; I John 3:14). The “local church” (gathered congregation) is not just an important doctrine -- it is a functioning reality. The true heart of love spills out in committed fellowship for and blessed unity with one another.
Too often we try to make the cord with one strand, or two at the most. May God help us not weave amiss.
[Note: “orthokardy” suggested by Francis Shaeffer's “orthokardia of community” via Trevin Wax.]