What is the Church or Assembly? One of most important subjects for the Christian to understand is that of the Church or Assembly. Man has an idea of what the church is, and he has built upon those ideas in the world today. But it is not from man that we are to learn what the Church is. We must look to the Word of God to define and explain it.
- The Church is Called Out. The Greek word translated “church” or “assembly” is ‘ecclesia’, meaning “called out ones”. The first thing we are to know about the church is from the very word ‘ecclesia’. The church is a group of individuals who have been “called out” from the masses of humanity for a special purpose, and to form a special entity. It is called “the Church of God”, and Christ called it “my Church”. The church is called out for God.
- The Church is formed of Jew and Gentile in one Body.
- The Church’s Head is Christ.
- The Church is Indwelt by the Spirit of God.
- The Church has a local and universal aspect.
Figures of the Church. God illustrates the truth with pictures that we can well understand (i.e. Bride of Christ, Body of Christ, House of God, etc.). These figures are perfectly chosen, not like the failing and feeble human examples you or I might come up with. Each figure conveys a different aspect of the Church's position. The term ‘Bride of Christ’ brings to mind thoughts of affection and relationship. The term ‘Body of Christ’ brings to mind thoughts of unity, interconnectedness, and the functioning of gift. The term ‘House of God’ brings to mind thoughts of testimony, order, and administration. The 'Candlestick' carries the thought of a responsible witness to the world. The 'City' carries the thought of Millennial administration and the display of glory.