Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Encouraged about the Invisible Church

I happen to be more encouraged about the state of the ‘Church” than I have been up to now in my 40-year Christian journey. But, I need to make Augustine’s distinction between the Visible and Invisible church. I am at once dismayed and elated ( a state I find myself in often about many things) by the Visible church. God is shaking the visible church from Reformed to mainline to Charismatic and the shaking hurts. It is good to see the chaff flying swiftly away. Many Roman Catholic, Episcopalian, Charismatic, Presbyterian (USA), and even fundamentalist church strains are displaying clearly how absurdly unbiblical they are and people are deserting accordingly.

The Invisible church, on the other hand, are all of the true members of the Body of Christ set apart (holy) to God by virtue of the invisible Spirit of Christ living inside of them regenerated to be firmly and perseveringly in Christ (to borrow Paul’s pervasive phrase). Most of the Invisible church, happily, is embedded in the Visible Church—Baptists, Presbyterians, Assemblies of God, Methodists, Anglicans, etc. along with boatloads of tares. The invisible Church of Christ has been being tested sorely for quite awhile and the Lord is raising up tested leaders who are beginning to transcend denominational boundaries. Trans-denominational partnerships in many parachurch ministries are thriving. Cooperative efforts like Together for the Gospel, the Gospel Coalition, the Acts 29 network, even the increasingly reinvigorated Southern Baptist Convention, I think, harbingers a strengthening of the impact of true believers. Let’s be of good cheer and seek our place (where are you to be a joint or a ligament?) in serving and strengthening the Body of Christ so that we are “holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.” (Colossians 2:19). God is establishing and strengthening His true Church for upcoming impact. Let’s pray the primary prayers of Paul for the increasing of spiritual maturity and growth in wisdom & understanding for the members of the Invisible Church. I am convinced that the days ahead will be glorious for properly prepared believers.


Lindele said...

I like this post

Ann said...

You write beautifully, Ed. And there is so much here to digest, to think about.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I'll return to yours.