“…on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. ” Matthew 16:18
I originally wrote a two part post on the Ekkelsia in September and October of 2018. I thought it would be opportune to repost as a part of the Reclaiming Authentic Christianity series. It’s essential that Christians understand Christ’s progressives and ultimate purpose for His Church and the world. Christ has predestined that His Church/Bride will be radiant and victorious when He returns for Her to co-reign with Him (Eph. 5:27).
All authority was given to Jesus in heaven and earth, which He gave to the early disciples to make more disciples of all nations. A disciple is a follower of Christ. Following Christ means becoming a disciple and making disciples. “…If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what good will it do a person if he gains the whole world, but forfeits his soul? Or what will a person give in exchange for his soul?” (Matt. 16:24-26)
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt. 28:18-20)
As the body of Christ, we have given the power, authority and commission just as the early disciples to “go make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit,” This is not just a religious rite. We are to fully embody the fullness of Jesus Christ. The expression of Christ to be His witnesses throughout the earth. “Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given” (Jn. 1:16).
The “gospel” in not meant to be contained within the four walls of a physical building. Jesus said the “gospel of the kingdom” will be preached to every nation and every people group and then the end will come (Matt. 24:14). Revelation 7:9 speaks of “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.” This is the Ekkelsia. The Church of Jesus Christ!
In researching the term ekkelsia I found several definitions:
- The word “church” comes from the Greek word ekklesia which is defined as “an assembly” or “called-out ones.1
- A gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place, an assembly. In a Christian sense : 2
- an assembly of Christians gathered for worship in a religious meeting
- a company of Christian, or of those who, hoping for eternal salvation through Jesus Christ
- the whole body of Christians scattered throughout the earth
As believers, we are called out to:
- Advance the Kingdom of God on earth (Matt. 6:33, Jn. 18:36, Mk. 1:15)
- Equip the saints for the work of service (Eph. 4:12)
- Live by faith (Rom. 1:17, Gal. 3:11, Heb. 1038)
- Be salt and light (Matt. 5:13-16)
- Be overcomers (1 Jn.5:4, Rom. 8:37,Rev. 2:26, 3:5-12)
- Cast out devils (Mk 3:15)
- Dwell in eternity (Jn. 3:16, 10:28-30, 1 Pet. 5:10, 1 Jn. 2:17)
The ekkelsia is called out to make a difference in society’s culture. To use our talents and gifts to make a difference in whatever sphere of influence God has given us. We are not called to be pew warmers, nor to be comfortable in a physical building each Sunday morning having a sip of coffee. It is a place we can come together to worship our Creator, be encouraged, and learn God’s Word so that we may go out into the world and advance His Kingdom. We assemble together to encourage and strengthen one another to good works, and spur one another on toward love and good deeds ( Heb. 10:24-25, Col. 3:17). This pleases God!
The early church gathered together, devoted themselves to the apostles teachings and to fellowship, the breaking of bread and to prayer. They were filled with the Holy Spirit to transform society (Acts 2:42, Acts 4:31). In Acts 2:17 (MSG) God says: “I will pour out my Spirit on every kind of people: Your sons will prophesy, also your daughters; Your young men will see visions, your old men dream dreams. When the time comes, I’ll pour out my Spirit on those who serve me, men and women both, and they’ll prophesy. I’ll set wonders in the sky above and signs on the earth below, Blood and fire and billowing smoke, the sun turning black and the moon blood-red, Before the Day of the Lord arrives, the Day tremendous and marvelous; And whoever calls out for help to me, God, will be saved.” We are drawing closer to that day. Let’s get busy advancing the Kingdom!
May the grace, joy, and peace of God be yours through Jesus Christ our loving Lord. To Him be glory, now and forever.
2. Thayer and Smith. “Greek Lexicon entry for Ekklesia”. “The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon”. . 1999, bible study tools.com
Note: All Scriptures are taken from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.