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CHURCH     (Ecclesiology)


According to Young’s Analytical Concordance the word ekklēsia, usually translated “church,” occurs 115 times in the Greek New Testament (one is in a quote from the OT, Ps. 22:22, which appears in Heb. 2:12; therefore, some sources list 114 times for ekklēsia). The word appears mostly in Acts and the Epistles of Paul, with the majority of the references being to a local church or to the Church in terms of its completeness. Without question the Church is essentially an assembly of people, the people who follow Christ, the fellowship of the redeemed; simply put, and comprehensively put, the Church is the people of God from all ages.

Whatever the interpretation given to the Church, the interpretation must arise from within the Church; it cannot be provided or imposed from without. The Church must interpret the Church, for only the Church can understand the Church and speak authoritatively regarding the Church. Only the Church has been given the Spirit who guides into all Truth, therefore, those who reside outside the Church have no understanding of the Church.

And their pronouncements do not require nor deserve an audience. In the present age the Church reflects on its beginning and anticipates its future; this affirms that the Church is anchored in Christology and its future will be realized in Eschatology. Thus the Church cannot deny its origination but also, in order to apprehend its full future manifestation, must hasten toward the heavenly Zion.

Numerous historical expressions vie for the position of the true Church. Which claim is accurate? Can any organizational representation be recognized as the truthful Church? What exactly is the Church? Where is it to be found? How is it to be known?

Scripture must be the source of the answer; in Scripture’s content illumination can be found. Preliminary affirmation asserts that the Biblical Church is composed of followers of Christ whose passion is to live the Truth.

For an outline of Theology, see: An Overview

For Quotes related to Church, see: Quotes - Church

For topics of THEOLOGY, see: Site Map - Theology
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