What is the Visible Church?

Devotion – Who is a member of the Visible Church?
James Bannerman, “The Church of Christ”, page 77

To answer this question, it is only needful to bear in mind the true nature of the visible as contradistinguished from the invisible Church. The visible Church consists of the whole body, not of the elect, but of professing Christians, scattered throughout the world. The profession of the true faith is that which is the essence of the visible Church, distinguishing it from all other societies, and constituting it the Church of Christ; and what constitutes the mark of the visible Church, considered as a separate body, is also the mark of every member of the Church, considered simply as a member. The profession of the true faith, as it makes a Christian church, so also is it the single element that makes a member of the Church, giving a right to its privileges, and a place in its communion. A visible profession of belief in the Gospel – comprehending under the word profession not only the confession of the lips, but also a corresponding life and conduct – is the single qualification necessary to rank a man a member of the visible Church of Christ.

Matthew 16:15-17