Westminster Larger Catechism – Lord’s Day 17

Q & A 61
Q Are all they saved who hear the gospel, and live in the church?
A All that hear the gospel, and live in the visible church, are not saved; but they only who are true members of the church invisible *1.

Q & A 62
Q What is the visible church?
A The visible church is a society made up of all such as in all ages and places of the world do profess the true religion *2, and of their children *3.

Q & A 63
Q What are the special privileges of the visible church?
A The visible church has the privilege of being under God’s special care and government *4; of being protected and preserved in all ages, notwithstanding the opposition of all enemies *5; and of enjoying the communion of saints, the ordinary means of salvation *6, and offers of grace by Christ to all the members of it in the ministry of the gospel, testifying, that whosoever believes in him shall be saved *7, and excluding none that will come unto him *8.

Q & A 64
Q 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 *9.

Q & A 65
Q 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 *10.

*1 John 12:38-40; Romans 9:6; Matthew 22:14; Matthew 7:21; Romans 11:7.
*2 1 Corinthians 1:2; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Romans 15:9-12; Revelation 7:9; Psalm 2:8; Psalm 22:27-31; Psalm 45:17; Matthew 28:19-20; Isaiah 59:21.
*3 1 Corinthians 7:14; Acts 2:39; Romans 11:16; Genesis 17:7.
*4 Isaiah 9:5-6; 1 Timothy 4:10.
*5 Psalm 115:1-2, 9; Isaiah 31:4-5; Zechariah 12:2-4, 8-9
*6 Acts 2:39, 42.
*7 Psalm 147:19-20; Romans 9:4; Ephesians 4:11-12; Mark 16:15-16.
*8 John 6:37.
*9 Ephesians 1:10; Ephesians 1:22-23; John 10:16; John 11:52.
*10 John 17:21; Ephesians 2:5-6; John 17:24.

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