That word ‘church’…?
You probably know that the word church (Gk. ecclesia) apart from other nuances we might speak of – chiefly refers to those who are the ‘called out ones’.
The word sanctified – is to do with being ‘set apart’.
Called out and set apart.
Now of course men love to enter into all kinds of ‘disputes’ over original Hebrew and Greek words, and are often found to …strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
Apparently those who do so are …blind guides,
Matthew (Amp.) 23/24 You [spiritually] blind guides, who strain out a gnat [consuming yourselves with miniscule matters] and swallow a camel [ignoring and violating God’s precepts]!
Man loves to step into the debating chamber and skew these and other words to make them into all kinds of things.
One commentator, (Not a ‘skewed’ one as far as I know) writes the following. From which I glean he isn’t too happy with the word Ecclesia, or at least, maybe how he perceives what man can skew it to mean (?)-
He writes –
In the earlier Greek It was pronounced “ku-ri-a-kos” or “ku-ri-a-kon.” As you can see, this word doesn’t even resemble the Greek word “ecclesia” whose place it has usurped. In the earlier Greek It was pronounced “ku-ri-a-kos” or “ku-ri-a-kon.”
The meaning of “Ku-ri-a-kos” is understood by its root: “Ku- ri-os,” which means “lord.” Thus, “kuriakos” (i.e., “church”) means “pertaining to the lord.”
As far as I can see there is nothing wrong with this comment. But neither is there anything wrong with the message, – that the disciples of Christ form a body of folk who are ‘called out’ of the world system of spiritual darkness.
So let’s take both words on board (ecclesia and kuriakos) – what have we now?
Called out ones pertaining to the Lord.
That’s ok with me!
The use of the word KISS – seems appropriate here?
KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid.
Let’s try. The church is the people. Not a building, not bricks and mortar.
The church are ‘called out – ‘ones’. Just like Christians are Christ – ‘ones’.
‘Ones’ are human. Followers of Christ are human beings, apart from the faithful angelic host who remained in allegiance to The Lord Jesus Christ.
The church – made up of individual Christians – refers to every individual on the face of the earth who is/are the true (the real thing) followers of Jesus Christ.
“Hello out there! You are part of my forever family, if you are a Christ-one. If you are set-apart, and you are amongst those who are the ‘called out ones’.”
Just think of it – you may not see my face this side of heaven – but you might get an invite to my mansion in the heaven of heavens, when we both arrive there! (John 14/2)
In case there is someone reading this who thinks to themselves – “What presumptuous self-righteousness! – to consider himself sure of heaven”
To think of oneself as so righteous and above everyone else that God is somehow obliged to allow such a presumptuous human being – entrance into His eternal abode – bah!
At this point the thought crosses the mind of yours truly –
“I wonder – if what is obvious to me is perhaps completely unknown to some readers”?
Namely my guarantee of entrance into the eternal heaven of heavens, is based on the fact that (metaphorically speaking) I have signed the contract – but God Himself is the one who has drawn it up!
There is nothing in me – no good work, no impressive noble thoughts, no wonderful behaviour, in fact in my flesh there is no good thing, that God could be remotely impressed by.
And yet I am going to heaven when I die!
Just one thing gives me entrance to His heavenly kingdom. Just one thing gives me ‘membership’ to the world church of Called out ones pertaining to the Lord. Only one thing enables me to enter the place of being set apart, and only one thing has made me a Christ-one.
In a phrase – The cross of Jesus Christ.
But at this point I better end by allowing God to do the talking:
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so…
(I just did)! Redeemed and heading for heaven.
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
Justified – and I’m justified – in saying – heaven awaits me because I am told I shall be saved from wrath through Him. He (and His sacrifice on the cross) is the only thing I’m relying on.
Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
(I did repent, I was baptised, my sins were remitted and I did receive the gift of the Holy Spirit)
No wrath to come, God with me now and for eternity, Justified, called out, set apart – and I have nothing whatsoever to boast about. Not even any good works that I do!
When it comes to heaven I simply receive the free gift.
My mind is blown – at this agreement I have entered into with The Living God!
Ephesians 2/8 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.