The invisible Church consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, orwill be united under the Lordship of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:10). The Church in Scripture is called Christs bride (Ephesians 5:22-33; Revelation 21:2), Christs body(1 Corinthians 12:27), even the dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit (Ephesians2:22). It is important to realize that as such the Church is far more important than any humanorganization, whether social or political, and will certainly endure past them all as Christhas said, Matthew 16:18 on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hadesshall not prevail against it. It is a high privilege, no matter how the world regards us,to be faithfully involved in the ministry of the Church. Church work is a vocationworthy of our utmost efforts (Acts 20:28).
The visible Church, which is also universal in nature, its members being drawn from every people (Revelation 7:9), consists of all those who have made a credible profession of faith in Christ, and their children (Acts 2:37-39). This visible Church is therepresentative of Christ on earth and has the responsibility of being a witness to Him andHis glory here. The Church is to be light in a dark place, and salt in a rotting world, a world deteriorating because of sin (Matthew 5:13-16). The Church is to be ruled differently than the governments of this world, as its leaders are called to be servants(Luke 22:25-27). The chief distinguishing characteristic of the Church is love, even Christ-like love, among its members (John13:34-35). The church is not a society of perfect people. The church is made up of a group of people saved and sanctified by grace. The church has been rightly called the society of the forgiven and the forgiving.