I wish to look at the “Ekklesia”… “The House Of God” – (1 Timothy 3:15).
In the King James Version of the Bible it is interpreted as “Church”. What comes to your mind when you consider that word? A building? A denomination? A head office? A local gathering of people who believe the Bible?
Well, to get back to what the original intention was; to seek to find what should come to mind, we really do need to look more closely at the Greek word, and its meaning.
Found under “ASSEMBLY” in the writings of W.E. Vine, it is defined as:
- ekklesia (ἐκκλησία, 1577), from ek, “out of,” and klesis, “a calling” (kaleo, “to call”)
This has nothing to do with a building, or a place. It has nothing to do with a certain time of the week, or day. But being “called out” does suggest a “separation from”, and a “calling to”. It suggests something a person is in, or not in… no in between. Have you been “CALLED OUT”?
In its broader sense, it was used of a body of citizens “gathered” at Ephesus. Acts 19:32,39,41.
In a look back it is applied to Israel in the wilderness. Acts 7:38.
It has two applications to companies of Christians,
(a) to the whole company of the redeemed throughout the present era, the company of which Christ said, “I will build My Church,” Matt. 16:18, and which is further described as “the Church which is His Body,” Eph. 1:22; 5:23,
(b) in the singular number (e.g., Matt. 18:17, RV marg., “congregation”), to a company consisting of professed believers, e.g., Acts 20:28; 1 Cor. 1:2; Gal. 1:13; 1 Thess. 1:1; 2 Thess. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:5, and in the plural, with reference to churches in a district.
What sequence of events led to these folks being “in the Ekklesia”? Acts 2:41-43
Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W., Jr. (1996). Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Vol. 2, pp. 42–43). Nashville, TN: T. Nelson.