When you think of church, what do you think of? Some people think of a building, some may think of a place or a location.
When Jesus came to Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” Matthew 16:13. There were many different opinions of who Jesus was, just as there still are today. In the same way, there are many different understandings of what the church is. In this same conversation with his disciples, Jesus says to them "I will build my church," Matthew 16: 18. What was Jesus talking about?
The Greek word for church, as used here is ekklésia. This word is used 114 times in the New Testament. 108 of those times it is translated to church or churches. The word means, a calling out, an assembly, or a meeting of assembly. I think this is important and helpful. It helps in shaping our understanding of what the church is.
The church is not a building or a location, it is a called-out assembly of people. A people set apart, for Christ’s purpose. The apostle Peter would say it like this: "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." (1 Peter 2:9).
Jesus said he would build his church. His church includes people of different languages, different nations, those from all over the world. His church is not a location or a building. His church is a called out people, those who have listened to and followed his instructions. His church is who Christians are.
Scripture references from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016. Print.
1. Souter, Alexander. A Pocket Lexicon to the Greek New Testament 1917 : 75–76. Print.