Letting Christ Transform You From The Inside Out
The word "ecclesia" is the word translated into English as "church" or "assembly" in the New Testament. In general in society, it means "the called out ones". It could refer to any secular or religious group of people. However, in the New Testament it specifically references a gathering (congregation or assembly) of people believing in Jesus, summoned by God for a specific purpose. This word is used over 115 times in the New Testament.
Here's how the first century Jewish converts to Christianity might have viewed themselves (as the church). They were a body of Believers in Messiah Yeshua (Jesus the Messiah) summoned by God and called out (by Him) from among the Jewish peoples to come together into a separate community under Jesus' Lordship. They were an autonomous body of Believers under the Kingship of the Lord Yeshua (Jesus). They would bow to no other king but Jesus. They would obey the rules of the nation so long as they did not conflict with their obedience to their King. They would serve no one but the Lord Jesus. That was why these same Believers often ran into trouble with rulers, whether it be the Sanhedrin or later kings and rulers. They were arrested, crucified and martyred because they served only King Jesus the Messiah and not Caesar.
The buildings aren’t the real issue. It’s the idea of “attending church” with its rather predictable agenda as part of the non-interactive audience that sucked the life out of the Body. Such cannot even be compared to the vital, alive, spontaneous and overflowing, passionate fidelity to God and each other in the fellowship of “the called out ones” who know they have been summoned by God to come out of the prevailing society into His Kingdom. History records that time and again, they valued this calling beyond even their own lives.
It is referred to as God's family as well as Christ's bride.It is also called Christ's body. God loves us so much and understands that we each have unique learning styles. He uses multiple types of analogies to explain spiritual things to us. This is the case with how He explains "the church" to us.
This page will eventually contain many studies on the subject of the church. My hope is that at least one of them will make things clear to you.
1. The Called Out Ones
God initiates with you to call you out of this diseased world (filled with darkness and isolation) and to call you into the light of His presence.