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By Evangelism, Discipleship, and Shepherding

What is a Church?

Matthew 16:18 ~
“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Matthew 18:17 ~
“And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.”

Jesus mentioned the church, but it was never in reference to a service or building (see above verses). Later in the New Testament, the word “church” or its’ Greek origin, ekklesia, is used many times: assembly (3), church (74), churches (35), congregation (2),1 but seldom can one infer that it is with respect to a building or service. Possibly, there are exceptions seen in these examples:

1 Corinthians 11:18 ~
“For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.”

1 Corinthians 11:22 ~
“What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.”

1 Corinthians 14:28 ~
“But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.”

1 Corinthians 14:35 ~
“And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”

In most of the world today, when church is used in conversation, most minds visualize either a service or building. “Church” is to refer to the congregation of the saints, but the colonial adaptation has lost its real meaning. In Acts 13:43, when the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.

1 NAS Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible with Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries, Copyright © 1981, 1998 by The Lockman Foundation, All rights reserved Lockman.org

Author: Wilf Scheuermann, ©2023; Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-hands-on-holy-bible-267559/

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