Posted by Elfriede

Have you ever asked friends, family or people around you how they define “church”? I find that a lot of them associate the “church” with the building where Christians fellowship and worship God.

However, when we study the Scriptures we find out that the “church” is not a building. Buildings are man-made. God doesn’t live in a building.

Acts 17:24:
“God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.”

Acts 7:48- 50:
48“However, the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says:
49‘Heaven is My throne,
And earth is My footstool.
What house will you build for Me? says the Lord,
Or what is the place of My rest?
50Has My hand not made all these things?’

So, if the building is not the “church”, what is?

The Greek word for church is “ekklesia or ecclesia” which translates into “an assembly” or “called-out-ones”.

Strong’s #1577: ekklesia (pronounced ek-klay-see’-ah) – from a compound of 1537 and a derivative of 2564; a calling out, i.e. (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both):–assembly, church.

With that in mind, the “church” is the people, the believers who assemble.

Acts 11:25-26:
25Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. 26And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.

1 Corinthians 15:9:
For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

Acts 8:3:
As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.

Galatians 1:13:
For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it

In 1 Corinthians 15:9 Paul persecuted the “church” – dragging off men and women – which wouldn’t be a building, confirming that the “church” is the people!

Furthermore we learn that the church represents the body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:12-14:
12For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 14For in fact the body is not one member but many.

And Christ is the head of the body = the church!

Colossians 1:17-18:
17And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

Everyone who has accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior by faith and is thereby born again constitutes the church.

John 3:3:
Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you,unless one is bornagain, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

This answers the question of what or who is the “church” namely the people = the believers.

We will continue our post next week with what is the role of the “church” in the Book of Revelation.

I would like to end this post with a quote from William MacDonald – Believer’s Bible Commentary as an encouragement to everyone:

“Faith in the living God, prayer, and obedience to the word of God are the effective weapons of every true soldier of Jesus Christ.”

What is your definition of the “church”?
We would love to hear your thoughts on this question.
Please let us know by leaving a comment. Thank you.

OUR FIRST LOVE IS GOD –the Father, Son and Holy Spirit—!

All Scripture quoted is taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Author: Mike and Elfriede

For the past 15 years Michael Copple has studiously devoted his life to the Lord by preaching the Gospel and moderating Bible studies. He is a 1958 Eagle Scout, holds a B.S. degree in electrical engineering, and achieved the highest US Air Force enlisted rank of Chief Master Sergeant with over 26 years service, one year of which was with Forward Air Control duties in Vietnam. For three years he was the senior enlisted member of the US Air Force Academy Wings of Blue Parachute Team; he has performed over 2,000 parachute jumps and accumulated over 15 hours of freefall. During his parachuting years Mike experienced a mishap of being a “hung jumper” outside the aircraft, and serious parachute malfunctions like a deadly seesaw night jump entanglement with another jumper, and an 85 mph wind shear which almost took his life. This experience inspired and qualified him to author the novel Calling from the Sky. A former world-wide electronic service engineer for 16 years with a semiconductor equipment manufacturer, he and his wife Elfriede currently live in the Canadian Rockies surrounded by 6 National Parks. Besides studying God's Word, they both like to exercise, cross country ski, hike, garden, and walk their dog Kansas. Visit him at https://www.michaelcopple.com/

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