§ 157. The community of the regenerate, or of all those who believe in Christ and are justified by faith,1 is the invisible 2 Church of Christ on earth, the one holy catholic Church,3 in the proper sense of the word, the spiritual body of Christ,4 of which Christ is the only spiritual Head,5 the spiritual house and temple of God,6 of which Christ is the sole foundation,7 and this is the Church which is to endure forever and against which the gates of hell shall not prevail. 8
1. The community of the regenerate, or of all those who believe in Christ and are justified by faith,…
Ephesians 2:19-22 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief Corner Stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
I Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Ephesians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons.
Colossians 1:2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
John 10:26-27 But ye believe not, because ye are not of My sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
2. …is the invisible
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
II Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
Luke 17:20-21 And when He was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, He answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo here! or lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
1 Kings 19:14, 18 And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken Thy covenant, thrown down Thine altars, and slain Thine prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. (18) Yet, I have left Me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.
3. …Church of Christ on earth, the one holy catholic Church,
Ephesians 4;3-6 Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
I Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
Romans 12:4-5, 12 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: so we being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. (12) Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.
John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be one fold, and one Shepherd.
Revelation 5:9-10 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
4. …in the proper sense of the word, the spiritual body of Christ,
Ephesians 1:23 Which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.
Romans 12:4-5 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
Ephesians 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.
5. …of which Christ is the only spiritual Head,
Ephesians 1:22 And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the Head over all things to the Church.
Ephesians 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ.
Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the Head of the Church: and He is the Savior of the body.
Colossians 1:18 And He is the Head of the body, the Church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence.
6. …the spiritual house and temple of God,
Ephesians 2:21-22 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye are also builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
II Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
7. …of which Christ is the sole foundation,
Ephesians 2:20 And we are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief Corner-Stone.
I Corinthians 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
I Peter 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief Corner-Stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded.
8. …and this is the Church which is to endure forever and against which the gates of hell shall not prevail.
Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this Rock I will build My Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
John 10:27-28 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.