There is a role in the accomplishment of God’s plan and purpose that involves a man. This strategy is a group of called-out people called Ekklesia.
From our studying the Old and New Testament we know something for certain, God has always wanted a people to himself. Whenever God wants to move, he typically uses one of these called-out ones. One of these people. Theologically we know these people to be called Israel. This was a bloodline.
Then in the New Covenant, there was an extension of these called outings to what was then called gentiles or people who were not Jewish. This was the beginning of the New Covenant Church.
Now this is very cliche and we all know this to be true, the church is not a physical place, but if you asked an average believer to answer why this is so, it may be difficult.
Or the question that is pressing many young believers today, that “I have a personal relationship with God that’s important, not the church”. You are very correct but also very wrong.
My hope with this teaching is to make you fully correct.
Why do you go to church?
Think about it for a second. Why? I pray that it’s not a routine for you. Or a tradition. We all know what the scripture says about traditions.
Why did I join the church? Why are there so many churches?
The first distinction I want to draw is that when we all talk about the church, we need to know which one.
Capital C Church vs Lower c Church.
If we are talking about Lower c, in America alone there are 380,000 churches and 200 denominations
In the world is estimated over 30 million churches and 45,000 denominations
Like I said God wants a people. Is that through millions of locations and thousands of denominations, I will ask when I meet Him and let you know.
But today I want to talk about Capital C Church. And thank God it is only 1. Now you won’t have to sit through this message for 5 hours so you can all relax.
Out of those numbers I just read, it is very possible to be a part of a lowercase c church and not a part of the CHURCH.
It is possible to go to church but not be a part of the church. Your coming to this building is important, but that is not what makes you a part of the church.
The church is not physical place but a spiritual revelation.
John 4:19–24 (NKJV)
19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”
21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
This means that because the church isn’t a physical location, the church must exist in the spiritual realm. And we worship and conduct our activities in the spiritual realm.
The church on earth is a training ground to prepare you for the spiritual economy which is heaven.
Church is a training ground to prepare you for the spiritual economy which is heaven.
Here’s an example of an Old Testament Assembly having a similar function as the New Testament assembly as well as the assembly in Heaven
Nehemiah 8:1–6 (NKJV)
8 Now all the people gathered together as one man in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate; and they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded Israel. 2 So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men and women and all who could hear with understanding on the first day of the seventh month. 3 Then he read from it in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate from morning until midday, before the men and women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.
4 So Ezra the scribe stood on a platform of wood which they had made for the purpose; and beside him, at his right hand, stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Urijah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah; and at his left hand Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam. 5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. 6 And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God.
Then all the people answered, “Amen, Amen!” while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.
Revelation 4:9–11 (NKJV)
9 Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:
11 “You are worthy, O Lord,
To receive glory and honor and power;
For You created all things,
And by Your will they exist and were created.”
So we can partake in that worship because TRUE worshippers worship in spirit and in truth.
CASTING CROWNS! LIFTING HANDS!
The word church in the New Testament is the Greek word Ekklesia.
The word church in the Old Testament is the Hebrew word
The Septuagint is known as the oldest bible in the world and because the popular language at the time was greek, all of the Hebrew bible was translated to greek in the Septuagint.
So where we find Church in the New Testament is the Greek word Ekklesia.
And every time we find Ekkelesia in the Old Testament is the Hebrew word Qahal.
What is the most important in how we define is that it is the called out ones.
We know that many romans didn’t go to church, so their use of the word Ekklesia was in the means of a governing body.
So we can combine all of this to define Church as the strategy in which God uses to govern and assemble his called out ones.
1 Peter 2:9–10 (NKJV)
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
You called for light, out of darkness.
The first time it’s used
Matthew 16:13–19 (NKJV)
Revelation of the Person of the King
Mark 8:27–30; Luke 9:18–21
13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”
14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
Revelation of the Church
18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Let’s look at the life of Peter there after in two events.
He denied Jeus 3 times! Jesus came back to ask if Peter loved him 3 times! Giving him grace and mercy over is error. Then empowers Peter to go preach and the man that denied Jesus 3 times won 3000 people in a day
Jesus said UPON THIS ROCK! Will I build my church.
It is a revelation that flesh and blood can not reveal. God must draw us nearer to him. We must be taught by the spirit.
We will all get taught by the spirit
So church is a called out group of people all being taught by the Holy Spirit. Worshipping in spirit and in truth.
Now it’s also important to know that physical gatherins is important.
You gather under a pastor, prophet, evangelist, apostle and teacher of the church so that -you can be equipped.
So when people say I don’t need to go to church, that’s partly true. But very wrong.
Because you either are not being equipped. Or a part of the 5 fold wasting your ministry by not equipping anyone.
By God’s grace we will continue with this in a second series.
Why We Church?
Hebrews 12:22–24 (NKJV)
22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.