You ARE the Church!

bible verses about church unity by Christian Blogs post for the good and faithful servant about being the church of Christ. Written by a christian apparel company

By now you’re starting to realize how much I love Biblical word studies. You may not know, however, why I love them so much. Word studies give us the opportunity to learn the original meaning of important words in our Bible. As we spoke about in our previous blog, the Bible is the Handbook for Life. Therefore, we must take time to read every word of Scripture and discover what God is saying to His people today.

In today’s blog, we will focus on the word “church”. In Episode 5: Christ-Centered Fellowship, G speaks about what it means to fellowship as believers with Jesus Christ as the center. In this episode, we come to understand what the church truly is: people. So, today we are going to take a closer look at the word church to discover what it meant to the writers of the New Testament. Are you ready? Let’s go!

If we are going to discuss the word “church” we must go to the first time it was ever used in the Bible. In Matthew 16:13-20, there is an episode of Jesus speaking with His disciples in the district of Caesarea Philippi. After a heated conversation with Israel’s religious leaders, Jesus pulls His disciples to the side to ask them a peculiar question.

“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

In layman’s terms: who does everyone say I am? The disciples respond that some of the people believe He is John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin. Others believe He is Elijah, Jeremiah, or some other prophet. A prophet? Yes, Jesus was a prophet, but He was so much more! Jesus then rephrases the question and asks His disciples, “But who do you say that I am?”. Peter, the leader of the disciples, answers, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus responds with:

“Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

How could Peter had known who Jesus really was? Up to this moment, Jesus had not revealed His full identity to anyone. However, Peter’s reply shows that the Heavenly Father had given Him special insight into who His Son really was.

Jesus then continues with the first proclamation using the word “church”. In doing so He states a fact about the church that shines as true as the day He said it, “and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it”.  That’s right, nothing could come against His church. Not even Satan and his kingdom. But what is the church? I am so glad you asked.

The Greek word for church is ekklēsia (ἐκκλησία) and refers to a congregation or assembly. In classical Greek, ekklēsia was used to describe a group of people gathering together. However, in Matthew 16:18 Jesus uses ekklēsia to describe the gathering of His people on the foundation of who He is as the “Christ, the Son of the living God”. It would be His ekklēsia that would withstand the very gates of Hell itself. We learn also from the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:25 that it is the ekklēsia that Christ gave His life up for. Now that is some powerful truth!

If Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, gave His life for the ekklēsia, that makes the ekklēsia very special. God’s ekklēsia is so important that He would give His only Son for them. God’s ekklēsia is so important that He would let nothing stop in His way to bring them back into communion with Himself. 

What type of love is this? True god-like love. This is the type of love that God displayed to His ekklēsia through His Son, Jesus Christ. That’s how loved you are as God’s people, as Jesus’ bride. Never forget this and don’t let anyone take that away from you. 

So when someone asks you, “Who is the Church?” You know what to say. That’s right, you got it.

The Church is People. The Church is YOU!

 

For more on how to live a lifestyle of ministry as God's Good and Faithful, check out our podcast, read our G & F Blogs and invest in Christian apparel meant to help you share the Gospel wherever you may go.

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Tell your wife, tell your kids, tell your family, tell your friends. We're telling everybody. We ARE the Good and Faithful!

 

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. May not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.

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