What Is Church [Lesson 9.1]

2 Aug
What is church?  When you think about church, what immediately comes to mind?  I Google’d the word “church” and here are some entries that came up:
Presbyterian Church(USA)  I wonder how they got listed first?
The United Church of Christ  How united is it? Ever check how many denominations there are?
The Church of England | Church of England  So nice that they named it twice!
The Episcopal Church Welcomes You  Well thank you!
Landover Baptist: America’s Favorite Church   I didn’t know that!
The Church of the SubGenius huh?
Church of Satan: The Official Web Site Even he has a church
+++ Saddleback Church +++  They must use the plusses to illustrate just how big they are!
Church Sign GeneratorNow you can get your customized church sign as a refrigerator magnet! Does your fridge then become an alter?
Church of Euthanasia   I would guess that this is a young church.
Westboro Baptist Church – Godhatesfags.com  Now what kind of a Christian message does that send? Actually, living in Kansas City for a while, we were all familiar with Fred Phelps anti-gay message.
Metal Church Rock On!
Inflatable Church   Where the preacher is really full of hot air!
Virtual Church Only exists in your mind.
Church of Fools In a Biblical sense, is this the church of unbelievers? Ps 53:1
Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping  Where do I sign up?
This could get ridiculous.  With all of the above examples, can you tell me what church is?  As it relates to our subject of Bible doctrine, church is the community of God’s people whose relationships with one another are based on their relationships with Jesus Christ.  If you look at what the Bible says about churches, it never refers to buildings as churches like we do today, but to certain people as comprising the church.  The Greek word εκκλησία η which is usually translated  as “church” in the New Testament, gives us the picture of people who have responded to God’s call.  The community of believers are known collectively as the “universal church”.
There is another way church is referred to in the Bible.  The bible also refers to local gatherings of believers as specific churches.  1 Cor 1:2 says, “To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy…”   In Gal 1:2, it says, “To the churches in Galatia…” In Phil 1:1 it addresses “the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons…”
So, you can see that although universally, the church comprises all believers of Jesus Christ, we also recognize the need for local community churches.  We will explore these in more depth throughout this week. 
I wonder if the Church of Stop Shopping is in a mall?

Greek Translation

εκκλησία η = the Church a group called out
ekklisia i



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