Where is the temple of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament?
While not a biblical use of the word "church," today we often speak of a church denomination. What does this term mean?
Why is the church's primary meaning the Church Invisible, rather than the Church Visible?
FOUR NEW TESTAMENT USES OF THE TERM "CHURCH" ("EKKLESIA ")
1. The entire body of all true believers in heaven (Church Triumphant) or on earth (Church Militant) - the elect, the Church Invisible
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.
- Ephesians 5:25-27
2. The body of believers throughout the world; those who profess Christ and organize for purposes of worship under the guidance of appointed officebearers - the worldwide church, the Church Visible
And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
- I Corinthians 12:28
3. A circle of believers in a certain locality that worships together according to the procedures specified above - a local church
Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons.
- Philippians 1:1
4. The local church as represented by its appointed leaders - church officebearers
And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
- Matthew 18:17
The uses specified in this chart do not represent four different churches, but four different senses in which the church of God can be viewed or described. The connection between each of these views and how they stand in relationship to each other is as follows:
1. The essence and the primary meaning of "church" in Scripture is God's elect, all the regenerated who are spiritually united to Jesus Christ. Those in heaven are entitled the "Church Triumphant"; on earth, the "Church Militant." From this inward, spiritual, universal Church of Christ, all others are derived. This is the scriptural definition of the Church Invisible.