Of the Church.
Chapter 26, Paragraph 1.
“The Catholick or universal Church, which (with respect to the internal work of the Spirit, and truth of grace) may be called invisible, consists of the whole number of the Elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.”
Ephesians 1:10,22,23, 5:23,27,32
They are out there. You may pass them on the street, never knowing they belong. There is no outward mark that signifies who they are. Yet members of the invisible church walk among us. If you are a Christian, you are among that number.
The work of the Holy Spirit in regenerating a person is not a solitary, one-time event that only occurs to one person in the whole of history. God has chosen a people, from all walks of life, from all epochs, to be His elect and receive eternal life. This group of elect people make up the catholic, or universal, church. A Christian is not alone in her salvation, but is one among many.
Being part of the universal, invisible church is more than being part of a club. As one of the elect, you are a vital part of the body of Christ, and you also make up His bride. You have been called, as numerous others have been and will be, to glorify Him on earth by doing the good works He has prepared beforehand for you. (Ephesians 2:10). Through sanctification, your remaining corruption is killed off, and you are strengthened to practice holiness. As the bride of Christ, the universal church will one day be fully spotless, and we will rejoice with all the saints at the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:9).
There may be times, Christian, when it appears you are alone in your love for Christ. Remember that is not so! Those that are His may be scattered across time and space, but they are joined together in Him.
Questions to Consider
- What comfort can you take from knowing the church is universal?