Ekklesia | The Church

In the Greek New Testament, the word ‘ekklesia’ is translated as ‘church’ (I Cor. 15:9; I Peter 2:9). Ekklesia literally means ‘a gathering of people around an idea’. But over the years, people began to identify the church more as a place that you went to for religious services rather than a group of people ‘called out by God’ for a specific mission. Our English word ‘church’ comes not from the Greek ‘ekklesia’, but from the German word ‘kirche’, which meant, ‘a sacred place where you gather for religious purposes’. This change in thinking changed the fundamental way that people related to the church, prioritizing the gathering place over the mission. It has been an uphill battle ever since. Make no mistake that the Church of Jesus Christ has been ‘called out’ by God to be a ‘redemptive movement’ throughout this world. In the same way Jesus came to bring good news to those who were spiritually bankrupt, bring healing to the broken, freedom to those held captive in a variety of ways – emotionally, socially, spiritually –, and comfort that there is hope in the midst of mankind’s broken condition (Isaiah 61:1-2), the Church, at its inception, was created by Jesus to join Him in continuing the mission that He modeled for us. The ‘ekklesia’ is built on a conviction that Jesus died as the only Savior for sinners and that He had risen from the dead, proving that He was who He said He was (I Cor. 15:3-4). And as our risen Savior, He continues to function in the place of authority at the right hand of the Father (Romans 8:34), providing the marching orders He has for us both personally as His gifted ambassadors (II Cor. 5:18-20), as well as collectively, where we function as the Body of Christ with Jesus as the Head (Ephesians 4:15-16).


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