The ekklesia is ………
Yes, it can be a bit tricky to describe, depending on who you are or where your experience lies with your experience of the term.
But lets give it whirl, in our definition of the word, ekklesia.(we will use the greek word, instead of the english word that is used to let us be more specific in our definition. The english word of ‘church’ can be used in various ways that will confuse us, unless we define those differences in the onset of our explanation. So we will stick with the greek word,’Ekklesia’.
If we are to use the greek word then we must use the greek definition to get us on the right track. The Greek word ekklēsia means assembly, or a gathering of called-out ones. It is used seventy times in the Septuagint for the Hebrew ḳāhāl (from which latter we have our word call), rendered in Sept, by sunagōgē and ekklesia. This latter word occ. in N.T. 115 times (36 in plural), and is always transl. “church” except in Acts 19:32, 39, 41 (assembly). (used from Companion Bible; Ethelbert W. Bullinger)
ḳāhāl is used (1) of Israel as a People called out from the rest of the nations (Gen. 28:3); (2) of the tribal council of Simeon and Levi, those called out from each tribe (Gen. 49:6); (3) of an assembly of Israelites called out for worship or any other purpose (Deut. 18:16; 31:30; Josh. 8:35; Judg. 21:8); (4) any assembly of worshippers as a congregation (Ps. 22:22, 25. Ekklēsia in Matt. 16:18; (18:17; 1 Cor. 14:19, 35, &c.); (5) the equivalent ekklēsia of separate assemblies in different localities (Acts 5:11; 8:3; 1 Cor. 4:17, &c.); (6) of the guild or “union” of Ephesian craftsmen (Acts 19:32, 41), and v. 39 (the lawful assembly). Finally, the special Pauline usage of ekklēsia differs from all these. Other assemblies consisted of called-out ones from Jews, or from Gentiles (Acts 18:22), but this new body is of called-out ones from both. (used from Companion Bible; Ethelbert W. Bullinger)
Ekklesia is a defining term which probably take you alot of different directions if you let it, but we won’t let it here. Ekklesia meaning assembly or the ‘called out ones’ was defined early on in the OT as the word for the coming together of the people of Israel or the twelve leaders of the tribe to meet with Moses, to tell them of what God’s message to them as a people were to do. This is the example that is used in Gen. 28:3 to the actual ‘calling’ of the people of God, as an assembly apart from the other nations.
6 but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope. Heb 3:6 This verse is an example of a description of God’s house but where it lies.
16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. This also describes the temple of God as YOU because “God’s spirit dwells in you”. Now, for some clarification on these two verses that most people miss when they read it. This is where in translation of anything from one language to another, sometimes the language which you are translating into does not have a word or just a variant of that word. This is one of those cases that english does not have a plural form of ‘You’, the closest thing that we have to it is the phrase that the ‘Texans’ have that expresses a plural ‘You’ and it is “You’all”. So this is what we will use as an example in describing this attribute of ‘you’ in these verses.
By ‘seeing’ this in the word that it is not of a singular use but of ‘you’all’, it does change things in our understanding of these scriptures, let alone of the dynamics of the paradigm of the storyline. This theme (you,you’all) will be used in understanding alot of things in the bible throughout the story of God. To further the studies I would also recommend using some kind of greek help in totally understanding different words that might point in different direction if don’t know it.
God is amazing in his guidance of his showing his creation the way back to him from their exile from him. It is not just a quick, “You messed up, now come follow me,NOW! No, it is a step by step process that involves our eyes and our heart being receptive to ‘SEEING’ and ‘Hearing’ Him in all our lives. It was also for the Israelites, in their long,long journey from exile from their wilderness. It started for man in the garden of eden with God, changed in this process, God created a pinpoint within the Temple Holy of Hollies,changed when the system became corrupt, Jesus walked with mankind for 33 years, Jesus died and rose again, Jesus(God) now within Us’all.
God is very systematic is his work as a creator, just look at your surroundings today while you are outside, We will be amazed at the planning and reasoning behind everything that just works so perfectly together. Tonight, go look at the night sky and look at the billions and billions of stars that are out there, not one of them is colliding with each other, synced perfectly for our awe and amazement.
This is also they way God works in His Body, God being the Head of his body has synced his being in us, and us into him, through His plan of Christ becoming man but also staying Christ, to commune with us as one to be as He was from the beginning. God IS AMAZING!