Church — Derived probably from the Greek kuriakon (i.e., “the Lord’s house”), which was used by ancient authors for the place of worship.
In the New Testament it is transliteration of the Greek word ecclesia, which is synonymous with the Hebrew kahal of the Old Testament, both words meaning simply an assembly.
There is no instance of its being used for a place of meeting or of worship, although in post-apostolic times it received this meaning. Nor is this word ever used to denote the inhabitants of a country united in the same profession, as when we say the “Church of England,” the “Church of Scotland,” of the “Roman Catholic Church”, etc.
We find the word ecclesia used in the following senses in the New Testament:
1) It is translated “assembly” in the ordinary classical sense (Acts 19:32, 39, 41).
2) It denotes the whole body of the redeemed, all those whom the Father has given to Christ (Eph. 5:23, 25, 27, 29).
3) Christians associated together meeting in their home (Rom. 16:5).
4) All the Christians in a particular city, whether they assembled together in one place or in several places for religious worship. Thus all the disciples in Antioch, forming several congregations, were one church (Acts 13:1); so also we read of the “church of God at Corinth” (1 Cor. 1:2), “the church at Jerusalem” (Acts 8:1), “the church of Ephesus” (Rev. 2:1).
5) The whole body of professing Christians throughout the world (1 Cor. 15:9; Gal. 1:13; Matt. 16:18).
The church is a spiritual body consisting of all true believers, and is the Body of the Living God, empowered to change the world He created!
God constantly seeks to:
o To unify His Body. It is the universal church; not confined to any particular country or outward organization, but comprising all believers throughout the whole world.
o To establish His preeminence. To get us to see He must be first in every area of life!
o To perpetuate His Gospel. God ensures that his Church continues through all ages to the end of the world. It can never be destroyed. It is an “everlasting kingdom.”
Are we sick or Healthy?
Symptoms of the Church in America
4. Failure to give/tithe
5. Staff burnout
6. Member Dropout
7. Fear of evangelism
8. Little self-discipline
9. No time for “ministry”
10. Shortage of strong men
- Have you ever felt like there is smoothing more to the Christian Life?
- Have you ever wondered if the Church with all its trappings of buildings, budgets, committees, and programming is the Church that Jesus intended to exist?
- I believe every genuine Christian has a heart for 3 basic things in their life:
a. To know God
b. To see God working
c. To tell what they know about Him
First 300 years…
Acts 2:42-47 The New International Version
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
2 Timothy 3:1-9 The New Living Translation
1 You should also know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control; they will be cruel and have no interest in what is good. 4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5 They will act as if they are religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. You must stay away from people like that.
6 They are the kind who work their way into people’s homes and win the confidence of vulnerable women who are burdened with the guilt of sin and controlled by many desires. 7 Such women are forever following new teachings, but they never understand the truth. 8 And these teachers fight the truth just as Jannes and Jambres fought against Moses. Their minds are depraved, and their faith is counterfeit. 9 But they won’t get away with this for long. Someday everyone will recognize what fools they are, just as happened with Jannes and Jambres.
The way it should be…Matt 16:18
Matthew 16:13-19 The New Living Translation
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
14 “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”
15 Then he asked them, “Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. 18 Now I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you lock on earth will be locked in heaven, and whatever you open on earth will be opened in heaven.”
§ Open Worship (Praising God)
§ Open Sharing (Building up one another)
§ Open Ministry (Serving others in the Church and in the world)