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all ages, notwithstanding the opposition of all enemies; (1) and of enjoying the communion of saints, the ordinary means of salvation, (2) and offers of grace by Christ, to all members of it, in the ministry of the gospel, testifying that whosoever believes in him shall be saved, (3) and excluding none that will come unto him. (4)
Q. 64. What is the invisible church?
A. The invisible church is the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one under Christ the head. (5)
(1) Matt. xvi. 18. And upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Isa. xxxi. 4, 5. Zech. xii. 2, 3, 4, 8, 9. Ex, iii. 2, 3. Ps. cxv. throughout.
(2) Acts ii. 42. They continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
(3) Ps. cxlvii. 19, 20. He showeth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judg ments, they have not known them. Rom. ix. 4. Mark xvi. 15, 16.-Preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved. Acts xvi. 31. Isa. xlv. 22. Rev. xxii. 17.
(4) John vi. 37.—And him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.
(5) Eph. i. 10. That in the dispensation of the fulness of times, he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him. John xi. 52. And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. John x. 16. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Eph. i 22, 23.
Q. 65. What special benefits do the members of the invisible church enjoy by Christ? A. The members of the invisible church, by Christ, enjoy union and communion with him in grace and glory. (1)
Q. 66. What is that union which the elect have with Christ?
A. The union which the elect have with Christ is the work of God's grace, (2) whereby they are spiritually and mystically, yet really and inseparably, joined to Christ as their head and husband; (3) which is done in their ef fectual calling. (4)
Q. 67. What is effectual calling?
A Effectual calling is the work of God's almighty power and grace, (5) whereby (out
(1) John xvii. 21. That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us. Eph. ii. 5, 6. 1 John i. 3.-And truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. John xvii. 24. Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory.
(2) Eph. ii. 6, 7, 8.-For by grace are ye saved, through faith and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.
(3) 1 Cor. vi. 17. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. John x. 28. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand. Eph. v. 23, 30.-Even as Christ is the head of the church.-For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
(4) 1 Cor. i. 9. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Pet. v. 10.
(5) Eph. i. 18, 19, 20.-That ye may know what is the hope of his calling,—and what is the exceeding great
of his free and especial love to his elect, and from nothing in them moving him thereunto) (1) he doth in his accepted time invite and draw them to Jesus Christ, by his word and Spirit; (2) savingly enlightening their minds, (3) renewing and powerfully determin
ness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places. 2 Tim. i. 8, 9.-Who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus, before the world began.
(1) Tit. iii. 4, 5. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. Eph. ii. 4 to 10. God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ; (by grace ye are saved)Not of works, lest any man should boast. Rom. ix. 11. -According to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth.
(2) 2 Cor. v. 20. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you, in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. 2 Cor. vi. 2. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. John vi. 44. No man can come to me, except the Father, who hath sent me, draw him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 2 Thess. ii. 13, 14. But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth; where urto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the Jory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(3) Acts xxvi. 18. To open their eyes, and to turn
ing their wills, (1) so as they (although in themselves dead in sin) are hereby made willing and able, freely to answer his call, and to accept and embrace the grace offered and conveyed therein. (2)
Q. 68. Are the elect only effectually called? A. All the elect, and they only, are effectually called; (3) although others may be, and often are outwardly called by the ministry of the word, (4) and have some common operations of the Spirit, (5) who, for their wilful neglect and contempt of the grace offered to them, being justly left in their unbelief, do never truly come to Jesus Christ. (6)
them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
(1) Ezek. xi. 19. And I will put a new spirit within you and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh. Ezek. xxxvi. 26,
(2) John vi. 45.—And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. Phil. ii. 13. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Deut. xxx. 6. Eph. ii. 5.
(3) Acts xiii. 48.—And as many as were ordained to eternal life, believed.
(4) Matt. xxii. 14. For many are called, but few are chosen.
(5) Matt. xiii. 20, 21. But he that received the seea into stony places, the same is he that heareth the wordyet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for awhile; for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. Heb. vi. 4, 5, 6.
(6) Ps. lxxxi. 11, 12. But my people would not
Q. 69. What is the communion in grace, which the members of the invisible church have with Christ?
A. The communion in grace, which the members of the invisible church have with Christ, is their partaking of the virtue of his mediation, in their justification, (1) adoption, (2) sanctification, and whatever else in this life manifests their union with him. (3)
Q. 70. What is justification?
A. Justification is an act of God's free grace unto sinners, (4) in which he pardoneth all
hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me. So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust; and they walked in their own counsels. John xii. 38, 39, 40. That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart; and be converted, and I should heal them. Acts xxviii. 25, 26, 27 John vi, 64, 65. Prov. i. 24 to 32. Ps. xcv. 9 to the end.
(1) Rom. viii. 30. Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
(2) Eph. i 5. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus to himself.
(3) 1 Cor i. 30. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.
(4) Rom. iii. 22, 24, 25. Even the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all, and upon all them that believe; for there is no difference :-being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, &c. Rom. iv. 5.