The word “church” is a translation of the Greek word ecclesia, which is defined as “an assembly” or “called-out ones”. The root meaning of church is not a building, but the people. When you ask people what church they attend, they usually identify a building; but, in Romans 16:5 Paul says, “Likewise greet the church that is in their house.” He is referring to the people in their house—not a church building. The church is the body of Christ, of which He is the head. Ephesians 1:22–23 says, “And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” The body of Christ is made up of all believers in Jesus Christ from the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) until Christ’s return.
Biblically, we may regard the church in two ways, as the universal church or as the local church. The universal churrch is collectively everyone, everywhere, who has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink” (1 Corinthians 12:13). The local churches are the bodies of Christ within a specific locale or area where believers can fully apply the “body” principles of
1 Corinthians chapter 12—encouraging, teaching, and building one another up in the knowledge and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Church is not just a building it is the people who congregate in the building to fellowship and worship our Lord. When we, leave the building, the Gospel should go wherever we go. We say we “go to church” but remember, we “are” the church – not built with stones or mortar but with the blood of Christ Jesus. In summary, the church is not a building or a denomination. According to the Bible, the church is the body of Christ—all those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation (John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 12:13).
We, the church, are living breathing organisms. Okay church, “get to stepping” and add to the “building”!
Victory in Christ Jesus
James S. Hall Jr., Pastor