This post is actually a response to a couple of comments made about my quotation of Cyprian on Facebook. Cyprian said that there is no salvation outside the Church. And I have heard that Calvin agreed with this and said that there was as much hope for those outside the Church as there was for those outside the ark. The comments made about this were similar and yet had different conclusions. The first comment was approving the quote. It was saying that the Church was the elect and so of course there is not salvation outside of that. Basically, that the Church was not a meeting place but rather the elect. The second comment was seperating salvation from "entrance" into the ark/Church. That comment said that salvation takes place and then you enter the Church... so salvation is essentially "outside" the Church. So, this person had some problems with the way that the words sounded. So, this was my response to these two comments. Please forgive me if it sounds a bit choppy... I copied and pasted.
First of the Church is able to be seen. It is not "invisible" as commonly understood. There is an invisible aspect of the Church and that would be those who have gone before us. But the Body of Christ can be seen and it does "meet." It has its sacraments and other physical aspects. So when I say the Church I mean just that. Even as Paul addressed the Church in his letters. These were people that he could name and shake hands with. These were people that he could find and which included all those who gathered to hear his letters.
Secondly, you cannot seperate the Body of Christ from the Church. If you are in the Church you are in the Body. So when we say that there is no salvation outside the Church we are saying there is no salvation outside the Body. When you are baptized you are baptized into the Body of Christ and without any distinction into the Church. You cannot be part of Christ and not be part of His body which is the Church. Thus, salvation is in the Church and absolutely nowhere else. It is wrong to divide Church and Body. And to be part of the Body is to be in Christ. Your heart cannot be part of your body and not part of you. So for it to be in your body is to be in YOU. The ark was salvation and Christ is salvation. That is why Peter says that baptism is an antitype and that it now saves. Because to be baptized is to enter into the true Ark. And just as entrance into the ark saved so now does entrance into The ARK.