Bread #1, The Church is Not a Building
who sees a steeple atop a building and labels it a "church"
does not know the whole story. The entity called the church is far more
than an edifice or institution. The Apostle Paul called "the church"
a mystery. 1Corinthians 2:7,8 This
immediately presents us with the notion of something profound, something
The church was borne out of the root of Judaism
but in the centuries before the incarnation, life and resurrection of
Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah, it was unknown although hinted at by the prophets.
Jesus insisted that his followers receive "the
promise of the Father” in Acts
1:4." In the book of Acts we read how the assembled disciples
were suddenly changed by the (dunamis power of
the Holy Spirit). This was the birth of the church.
Church is translated from the Greek word Eklessi'a.
This term is extremely significant. It defines the church as those who
are called out, or the 'called out ones.'
The church is therefore about people, people who God has personally summoned
to become sons and daughters, adopted children of God. The people of God
are exhorted to come together to praise God and to interact, edifying
one another. Wherever two or three are gathered
(Matthew 18:20) Jesus promises to
be present with them. The gathering of believers is the true church whether
it be inside a building or out under the sky. It is a body that is not
required to have a single priest or leader to guide them although individuals
with more maturity and experience are expected to guide and maintain order.
An important aspect of this mystery is the fact
that those who believe are called by God to believe. Believers
at some point, are translated into the "Kingdom of the dear son."
Colossians 1:18, Who hath delivered
us from the power of darkness, and has translated
the kingdom of his dear son.”
It is a very significant fact that the Gospel is “the
power of God.”
(Romans 1:16 and 1
Corinthians 1:18 and 1:24)This
should be understood as part of the mystery of God. It is God, by his
power who calls us, opens our minds to know him, and transforms us into
something called "a
God interacts with his adopted children in a very personal way guiding
them in the knowledge of the Truth through the word of God.
Another mystery of the church is that it is
"not of this world." The
out ones become individuals
who have the inner sense that their lives and residency are not focused
on this world or its worldly dreams, treasures or wisdom. The church has
another destiny and another hope which is eternal in the heavens. As far
as this world is concerned the believer finds no concord, no fellowship.
We may well be hated by the world because Jesus, told us so, many times.
"We are in the world but not of it."
If we were of the world the world would love its own, but I have called
you out of the world. Here is the text from John 15:19: “If
you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are
not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world
Throughout the centuries the church became altered
by men who wanted to have power and control over others. Christian sects
were based loosely on the life and teachings of Jesus. Religions and denominations
set forth to make up rules for managing the people who hoped to know God.
They added to the gospel and made themselves a hierarchy of authority
and power to control the lives of their subjects. They through away the
knowledge that the gospel was a free gift and that eternal life hinged
upon one thing. To believe on the man who God has sent.
6:28,29: Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work
the works of God?" Jesus answered, "The work of God is this:
to believe in the one he has sent."