- The word "church" is derived from the Greek
Word "kuriakos" which means "belonging to the Lord." It is found
in 1 Corinthians 11:20 and Revelation 1:10.
- (1 Cor 11:20 KJV) When ye come together therefore into one place,
this is not to eat the Lord's supper.
(Rev 1:10 KJV) I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard
behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
The Scottish word "Kirk" is derived from this word and so is the English word
"church." This is why the King James Translators used the word "church"
because it conveys the meaning of "belonging to the Lord." Now this means
only those who are truly saved are the church and not anyone who just joins a
visible assembly. One must be born again to belong to the eternal church
The general Greek word behind "church, assembly, and congregation" in the New
Testament is the word "ekklesia" which means a "called out assembly."
- The church is the living
organism which Christ came to redeem, and which has the mandate for sending forth the
gospel. We will take a biblical look at what the church is and you may be surprised
because differences exist between what we conceive the church to be and what the Bible
says it is. The church is thought of in two different manners:
- 1. The Invisible Church - This constitutes all the
believers which are spread throughout the world and that are not gathered into a local
assembly or a single place.
- 2. The Visible Church - This is the local assembly
which we see on Sunday morning. It is called the visible church because we can physically
see the people gathered.
- Symbol of the Church in the Old Testament
- In Acts 7:38, while Stephen was giving his discourse
about the history of Israel, he included the statement, "The church in the
wilderness." Stephen was telling us that the Israelites were a called out assembly
and this may easily be borne out by a study of Exodus. They were called out of Egypt. This
represents the Christians being called out of the kingdom of Satan and placed into the
kingdom of God, which is the church. Egypt, in the Bible, is a symbol of the world system.
Moses was a symbol or type of Christ. As Moses led the Israelites out of bondage, Christ
leads us out of the bondage of Sin and Satan. So from this we conclude that the nation of
Israel typified the church in the New Testament. The land of Canaan, which was known as
the promised land, was a symbol of the kingdom of God.
- Some of the Biblical Names for the Church
- 1. The Body of Christ - Ephesians 1:22-23
- 2. The Pearl of Great Price - Matthew 13:45-46
- 3. The Flock of God - Isaiah 40:11; 1 Peter 5:2
- 4. The House of God - 1 Timothy 3:15
- 5. The Household of God - Ephesians 2:19 (family)
- 6. The Bride of Christ - Revelation 19:7
- 7. A Great Multitude - Revelation 7:9
- 8. Israel of God - Galatians 6:16
- 9. Assembly of the Saints - Psalm 89:7
- 10. Assembly of the Upright - Psalm 111:1
- 11. The Heavenly Family - Ephesians 3:15
- 12. God's Building; God's Husbandry - 1 Corinthians
- 13. The Holy City - Hebrews 12:12
- 14. Pillar and Ground of the Truth - 1 Timothy 4:15
- Other Facts About the Church
- 1. Not everyone who belongs to a church is saved -
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-40 - In modern times the church has let down its spiritual guard and
allows anyone to be a member, whether they are Christians or not. Those in the church who
are unsaved are represented by the tares. Those who are saved are represented by the
wheat. Christ allows both to exist in the same congregation but on the last day, as He
states in Vss 30 and 39-40, He will separate them. The wheat (Christians) will go into the
barn (heaven) and the tares (unbelievers) will be cast into hell.
- 2. Many times Christ's goal and the church's goal are
not the same. In some churches there is a goal set just to feed the hungry and focus on
social problems. This should not be the focus of the church, however, it may be part of
their ministry but it should not be the main emphasis. The sending forth of the gospel is
to be the main emphasis of the church as stated in Matthew 28:19-20.
- 3. By joining a good Bible believing church, (there
are churches who do not believe the Bible) you will be able to grow rapidly and properly
in your Christian walk. So look for a good church when you begin your search. If you can
find a good home Bible Study in someone's home, try to attend as this will help you in
your growth. If you are unable to find a good church in your area but there are good house
churches, then by all means attend. The early church met in homes. If you attend a home
church, make sure you get their doctrinal statement as some have started house churches
and they have turned into cults as the leaders have no spiritual discernment.
- 4. God designed the local church for the born again
Christian only and not for the unbeliever. They may attend but are to have no say nor
positions of leadership. The weekly meetings are for believers to be strengthened and
ministered to so they can go out and fulfill the great commission.