The Distinctive Nature of the New Testament Church Behind the historical church of the New Testament lies the purpose and wisdom of God. The New Testament church is a unique institution of divine origin. The systematic study of Scripture reveals that Christianity is ordered after a pattern and possess a distinct identity: designed by the Lord, conveyed through the words of the apostles, and seen in the practice of early Christians. Only when following this pattern can we fulfill the command to glorify God in the church. In this study, Edward C. Wharton establishes that Scripture contains a divine pattern for the church of Christ. He then presents a systematic study of the biblical passages relating to the church, creating a clear understanding of the pattern set by God.