Is the Church Visible Without a Sect Organization?
Another plea for sect idolatry is that the church is invisible, unless organized in sect order. This is another superstition of the dark age. The Holy Spirit, who organizes the church, is indeed invisible, but His organization is visible. As the invisible wind, which is a symbol of the Spirit, produces visible effects, so the church of God is a visible effect of His unseen power. Being composed of actual men and women, a city set upon a hill, the light thereof cannot be hid; as “terrible as an army with banners,” (Song 6:4,10) she always was visible, and needed no sect-founder to make her such.
Paul was not addressing disembodied spirits at Corinth when he said: “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” (1 Corinthians 12:27) Nor is it only the hidden man of the heart that belongs to the church; but “Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ?” (1 Corinthians 6:15)
Our physical bodies do not become invisible when God sets us into the body of Christ, and remain so until a sect builder comes along and organizes us into visibility. Not only are the members of the true church visible, but so is the organization itself. Every gift and office that makes up the divine institution is visibly exercised in all the members, by all the members, by the invisible operation of God, “who is above all, and through all, and in you all,” (Ephesians 4:6) and who “worketh all in all.” (1 Corinthians 12:6)