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what is church in the bible

This will be an unprecedented event. The Greek word for church in this verse is ekklesia, which means out-calling, or assembly of called out ones. The New Testament church is a body of believers that has been called out from the world by God to live as his people under the authority of Jesus Christ: This group of believers or "the body of Christ" began in Acts 2 on the Day of Pentecost through the work of the Holy Spirit and will continue to be formed until the day of the rapture of the church. Is the church an organization of people who believe in Jesus Christ? Proud member ", Learn Religions uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Is the church a building Christians go to on Sundays to worship? It appears that the meetings were daily, and definitely not monotonous. Copyright © 2020, Bible Study Tools. The first mention of the word church in the entire Bible is in Matthew 16. Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! The local church differs only in size from the universal, but not in essence. By taking another look at Matthew 16:18, we see that it refers to the church when it says “and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” Jesus’s statement here does not present a small and fearful group of timid believers. All verses are quoted from the Holy Bible Recovery Version. But what makes a person one of these people? The phrase the church of God tells us Paul is addressing the ekklesia, the assembly of called out people, and the phrase those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus tells us something about those called out people. California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. The church reaches out (scatters) to spread the love of Christ and the gospel message to unbelievers in the world (Matthew 28:18-20). It literally means “assembly,” “congregation,” or “meeting.”. The church carries out the work of discipleship just by existing in the world. Article Images Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. The idea of a group of clergy taking responsibility for all Christian ministry while a mass of laypeople simply receive the benefits is totally foreign to Scripture. A particular problem in addressing this question is that Bible churches are each independent churches that do not belong to a specific denomination. The church, both in the universal and local sense, is important because it is the primary vehicle through which God carries out his purposes on earth. Salem Media Group. . The future of the Lord’s church is a glorious one. So, the purpose of the church is to minister to believers and unbelievers. Monday, October 21, 2019. Some have identified the condition of the modern church as the “80/20 syndrome”: a small percentage of the members (20 percent) take on the responsibility of ministerial work, while the other 80 percent are mere spectators. To discover what God’s thought is concerning the church, we must come to the Bible. The church was designed to be holy and blameless. After such an important revelation, we might think the Lord would speak more about it. The church, the ekklesia, is the assembly of people called out by God. Individually, we are the saints; corporately, we are the church.”. What Does the Bible Say About Church Discipline? The church isn’t a physical building; it’s a group of people. Never a prisoner of buildings, we see the church meeting in the temple, in a synagogue, in the street, beside the sea, in public places, and often in homes. As the members identify their gifts and take on the responsibility of administering them under the leading of the Holy Spirit, the church increases its capacity to bless and to fulfill its mission on earth. According to Paul, every believer has a function in the church, just as the different parts of a body have a specific function. This confession of faith is the rock upon which the church is built, and just like Peter, everyone who confesses Jesus Christ as Lord is a member of the church. The church that we see in the New Testament is dynamic. A similar term was used in the Old Testament referring to experiences such as “the day of the assembly,” “the Lord’s congregation,” or “meeting before the Lord.”. This life, which is just Christ Himself, is the sole qualification for our membership in the church. Christian Reformed Church Beliefs and Practices, What It Means to Be Baptized in the Holy Spirit, The Purpose of Baptism in the Christian Life, Assemblies of God Church Beliefs and Practices. A good principle in reading the Bible is to pay special attention to the first mention of a matter. God desired to bring Jews and Gentiles together into one people: the church. Until then, we rely on the local expression in order to experience communion. The word "church" is mentioned more than 100 times in the New Testament. Is the church a building? Is it the place where believers gather to worship? They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. “Church” is the translation of the Greek term ekklesia, and is used in the New Testament to identify the community of believers in Jesus Christ. In Ephesians 3:10, Paul explains what is currently happening with the church, “so that God’s multi-faceted wisdom may now be made known through the church to the rulers and authorities in the heavens.” We cannot fully understand the greatness of the church. So we need to find out, what is the church Christ reveals here in Matthew? Although many believe Jesus noted the meaning of Peter's name here as rock, there was no supremacy given to him by Christ. The future of the church was established on the mission statement in Matthew 28:19: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations . When we receive Christ as our Savior, we are reborn with the divine, eternal life of God. This is the Great Commission, to go out into the world and make disciples. For the purpose of this study, we will look at the church in the context of "the Christian church," which is a New Testament concept. Therefore, the ministerial responsibility of the local church falls upon the members as a whole. Let’s look at the note on this phrase in the New Testament Recovery Version to see what it means: “In Christ means in the element and sphere of Christ. The church will not only be victorious in heaven, but here on earth as well. The word church in the Bible comes from the Greek word ecclesia, which The emphasis of the metaphor is on the union of Christ and the church and between the believers themselves—some- thing indispensable to the understanding of how the church functions under the authority of Jesus Christ. All rights reserved. What Does the Bible Say About Attending Church? The “first church” is the church that is recorded in the New Testament, especially in the Book of Acts and the Epistles of Paul. For example, one would speak of “the churches of Galatia” in plural because Galatia was a region with many cities, and therefore, many local churches. For example, the church in Corinth or the church in Ephesus; each one of these churches was comprised of the Christian residents of the same city. It is translated from the Greek term ekklesia which is formed from two Greek words meaning "an assembly" and "to call out" or "the called out ones." Others have pointed out that with each passing day, the church is more and more like a football game where, from the stands, a crowd observes a small number of players who offer a great show. How wonderful! The churches in the New Testament were identified by the name of a city, never by the name of a country or region. You can order a free copy of the New Testament Recovery Version here. We are part of this wonderful, important ekklesia that Christ values so highly. But instead, as soon as Jesus confirms this revelation, He responds by declaring: “Upon this rock I will build My church.”. Members of a local church may or may not be members of the universal church, depending on the genuineness of their faith. On the contrary, it shows a vigorous and bold church, capable of coming out victorious in any circumstance, including death. Thus, when Jesus declares: “I will build my church” (Mt 16:18), it did not come as something unfamiliar to the common listener. Peter responds by declaring, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (v. 16). It’s in Christ that we’re made holy, that is, separated unto God, and thereby become constituents of the church. Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved” (Ac 2:46-47). The nature of the local church and God’s commitment to it are the same as those of the universal church. He said: “I will build my church” (Mt 16:18), but that does not mean that He will not also use others for the task. “To the church of God which is in Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, the called saints.”. This sets the stage for understanding that matter in the rest of Scripture. Thank and praise the Lord for all He’s done to redeem us and regenerate us so we could become members of the church! Reprinted from the CSB Fisher of Men Bible (copyright © 2018 by Luis Ángel Díaz-Pabón) with permission of Holman Bible Publishers. Worship, fraternal communion, prayer, working in mutual edification, giving testimony of Christ, and taking care of the needs of the poor were not part of special programs, but rather everyday activities. The crowd of believers that fills our temples and chapels each Sunday must discover how useful and necessary they are in the divine plan of evangelization and the building of the body of Christ. Since the Old Testament, the angels have shown curiosity towards this reality, but only recently, and through the church, has God instructed everyone and His wisdom been fully expressed. The New Testament church is the “original church” and the “one true church.” We can know this because it is described, in great detail, in Scripture. Those that observed the believers’ way of life called them people of “the Way”—surely due to their constant action, their defined doctrine, and because they could always be seen going from one place to another. They aren’t even a group of people who have decided to meet together to worship God.

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