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The church is both visible and invisible. The visible church is the public congregating of the church. The invisible church contains those who are truly converted. The invisible church is within the visible church.


The church universal extends through time and place. However, not all Christians can congregate at one time, therefore, the church is also gathered in various local congregations. The administration of the ordinances, instruction, etc., takes place within the local congregation.

Images of the Church

Paul Minear found 96 images used to describe the church  in the New Testament. From that, one can conclude, “The richness of descriptions of the church teaches us that no single image can comprehend all aspects of the church” (10). However, Dever notes four major “image clusters”:  (1) The church as the “people of God”; (2) the church as “the new creation”; (3) the church as a fellowship; and (4) the church as “the body of Christ”.

Mark Dever

The Church, 9-12