What is the church?

And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister. Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
— Colossians 1:18-29

The church is the congregation of the saints in earth and heaven. "Visible church" refers to all those we see in the pews vs. "invisible church" which refers to all true believers who are elect of God in heaven and on earth. The gates of hell will not prevail against the church and she is the only eternal institution on the earth today. Worthwhile organization to be involved with, wouldn't you say?

Different analogies used in scripture to describe the church are army, body of Christ (He as the head), family of God...these are trying to describe the identity, function and wonder that is the church of Jesus Christ...we are the main thing God is about in his earth today, bringing glory to himself through the work and the worship of the church!

It's true, at times the church is a beautiful mess. But we are God’s beautiful mess! And to the hipster prophets of the day who would slam her with their better ideas, I have one word of caution for you, be careful how you talk about the wife of Christ, lest he take you behind the woodshed and teach you a church history lesson or two! Church is family and you are going to be spending the rest of eternity with these people, so you might as well learn to like ‘em!

God is gathering to himself, from every tongue, tribe and nation a people for his own possession to be his joy and great delight, of whom he says “They will be my people, and I will be their God.” That's what life is all about. In Acts it tells us believers met daily in the temple..under Solomon’s portico, and sometimes we wonder why we’re depressed, we weren't meant to do the Christian life alone!

In Prayer Today:

Praise God that you have the privilege of being a member of the only eternal institution on the earth today: the Church.