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The Church For The 21st Century

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Understanding the Primitive Idea of the Church

The key to the church’s existence and identity in the New Testament is that of purpose. Some have suggested that the Old Testament church seemed to place emphasis on purpose, whereas the New Testament church placed their emphasis on her association with Jesus Christ. However, I suggest that both, Old and New, are concerned with the purpose of the body, and this is only magnified by the coming of the Messiah by which the New Testament community find their identity and human purpose.

The common English translation of Gk. ekklēsɩ́a. At the time of the composition of the NT it was widely used to refer to gatherings of people in some kind of assembly. In the Greek version of the OT ekklēsɩ́a was used for the people of God (Israel) gathered together for an important purpose (Judg. 20:2; 1 Chr. 29:1; cf. Acts 7:38). In the NT it refers mainly to the people of God gathered in the name of Jesus or the God of Jesus Christ (Eph. 3:21; 5:23; 1 Thess. 1:1; 1 Cor. 10:32).

Here are a few ideas of what the church would have meant in the primitive world:
Regularly summoned legislative body, assembly
It is important to understand that this would be a group that was summoned by a herald.
National assembly
Jewish congregation (see Deuteronomy 31:30)
Does not necessarily require an assembly.
Body of Christians (Matthew 16:18)
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