Ekklesia (Partners)

Ekklesia is a Greek word commonly translated as “church” but defined as “a called-out assembly or congregation.”

1) The church is a family. Church is never translated to mean a building or meeting place, but always people. Here specifically, the family of God. Cf. Matthew 16:18; Acts 11:26 1 Timothy 2:3-6 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people

The church is a place where you are known by God and his people. Cf. Galatians 4:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:12; Matthew 7:16

1 Timothy 1:12-16 12 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, 13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.

In God’s family we build long-lasting relationships that are full of love, encouragement, and support for each other.

2) God has called all believers to be a part of that family.

1 Timothy 5:1-3 1 Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity. 3 Honor widows who are truly widows. Cf. Titus 2:3-8

Universal Church – Anyone who has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, by confessing Him the Lord of your life and believing in His resurrection from the grave is a member of that church. Cf. Romans 10:9; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Romans 12:5

Local Church – prayer and commitment of faithfulness, serving, and giving are those who have partnered with this local body. Cf. Acts 13:1; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Thessalonians 1:1; Revelation 2:1; Romans 16:5; Colossians 4:15

Hebrews 10:24-25 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

3) God has called all believers to be fully committed. The difference between being a Christian and being a partner of a church family is commitment. When I become a Christian, I not only commit my life to Christ but to other people. The church is a place where you can give and be given to, serve and be served, love and be loved.

Biblical elements of church gatherings:

Corporate singing – Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16

Prayer – Romans 12:12; 1 Timothy 2:1; Colossians 4:2

Serving – Titus 3:1-11

Giving – 1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 9:7; Galatians 6:6-10; 1 Timothy 6:17-19

Preaching – Romans 10:14-15; 1 Corinthians 1:17; 2:1-8; Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Timothy 4:13; 2 Timothy 4:1-2; Titus 2:1

Communion – 1 Corinthians 11:17-34

Baptism – 1 Peter 3:21

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