Read John 15
On the surface, it seems obvious the Church is visible. We think of visible structures like church buildings or tangible items like crosses. But the Church isn’t a physical building or the things in it—rather, it’s the people who make up the body of Believers. When we remember that fact, our mission to be visible in the world becomes far more than just occupying a building. Those who have joined God’s Church through a relationship with Jesus should be marked by certain characteristics. Through these characteristics, the Church can recognize those who belong to it.
In John 15, Jesus tells us how the Church can remain visible. First, each disciple should remain connected to Jesus, the True Vine. It is only through that life-giving relational connection with our Savior we are capable of displaying the fruit of the Spirit and the visible evidence of a Christian life (see Galatians 5:22–23). In John 15:8, Jesus says this fruit proves we are indeed part of God’s Church. Next, He explains the Church should demonstrate the same sacrificial love He showed them. This kind of love is one of the fruits that comes from abiding in a relationship with Jesus. In the final section of chapter 15, Jesus warns true members of the Church will be persecuted by the world. While Believers should not seek to be hated, Jesus explains hatred from the culture around us will be a natural byproduct of following the One the world already rejected.
God never intended for the people who belong to His Church to be a mystery. His Word tells us a true disciple is a person who demonstrates obedience to His commands (see Matthew 28:19–20, 1 John 2:3) and produces good fruit (see Matthew 7:16, Ephesians 5:8–9). As we do those things, we will reveal the Church to the world.
Pray for the members of the Church to remain connected to the True Vine so our lives will show fruit.