Have you ever asked friends, family or people around you how they define “church”?

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:
“However, the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says:
‘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?
Has 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. (https://www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Lexicon.show/ID/G1577/ekklesia.htm)

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

Acts 11:25-26:
Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. And 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:
For 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. For 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. For in fact the body is not one member but many.

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

Colossians 1:17-18:
And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And 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 born again, 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.”

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.