The term ekklesia (translated as church in English) is found 114 times in the Greek New Testament. The term actually means sent out or called out. God has called out a people for His glory – the church. The most common use of the term ekklesia (90 times) refers to the local church or churches. This means that the church of the Lord Jesus is God’s plan A for reaching the world. There is no plan B.
What is the visible church? Some writers use the visible/invisible designations to refer to two different distinctions of the church – saints on earth (visible) and saints in heaven (invisible). We are very careful in doing this because we affirm only one body and only one redeemed people of God for all time. We believe that local churches are not just parts of the body of Christ, but rather, according to 1 Corinthians 12:27, the local assembly is the body of Christ. There is no distinction between the saints already in heaven and those presently working on earth – we are all one sacred assembly!
Our aim is simply to emphasize the importance of carrying out the work of the Lord Jesus in the ‘here and now.’ Therefore, we are using the term visible to refer specifically to the redeemed of the present age; believers who are presently on earth engaging culture with the Gospel. When the world looks at the church (not buildings, but God’s people!) they should see a living testimony of the person and work of Jesus Christ. The church is a visible manifestation of Christ.
In the end, we arrive at a simple purpose statement for our blog: to help local churches glorify God and fulfill the Great Commission.
Our prayerful desire is that each blog post be used to nurture disciples of Jesus Christ. In so doing, may the kingdom of God be advanced and His glory made known throughout all the earth (Ps. 67:1-7).
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