THE CHURCH (1)
“…and upon this rock I will build my church”. This is the first time the word ‘Church’ is recorded in scripture, in Matthew 16:18. It is called ekklesia, made of two Greek words: ek (out of, from, by, away from) and kaleo (to call, invite, summon). Ekklesia (ek-klay-see’-ah) means: ‘congregation, assembly, a group of people gathered together; a called out people’. Jesus, being the first to use this word, employed personal pronouns to prove His ownership of this spiritual edifice called ‘Church’. If He owns the Church (i.e. the congregational assemblage of the true worshippers of Jehovah) then He is the worshipped One, whose responsibility is the sustenance of eternal existence of the Church, Revelation 21.
The Church is the resolution to the sin question. Every member constitutes a stone, block, cell or component in the building of God’s temple, Zechariah 6:12 & 13; 1Corrinthians 3:9; Hebrews 3:1-6. Where do you see or read of God’s throne, rainbow administration or the sea of glass in the heavenly assizes disagreeing with the Most High God? We, the temple, will, therefore, eternally please Him, who was, who is and is to come! And this is another proof that there is security of soteriology because He emphatically said, ”…and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Anyone who becomes a member of the Church had gone through a certain regeneration, carefully perfected by the LORD God Himself (John 3:16, 5:24, 6:40 & 20:31). It is an enactment of what would have obtained should our pristine parents had not sinned. Anyone in Christ is justified, Acts 13:38-39. Justified in the Greek is dikaioo and it is traced to the root word deiknuo (dike-noo-o) ‘to show, expose to the eyes; to give evidence or proof of a thing’. Let us go back to dikaioo (dik-ai-oh-o): ‘to render (i.e. show or regard as) just or innocent’. Of truth ‘justified’ implies “just as if you have never sinned!’ God sees you just as He saw Adam and his wife before the sinful fall; which is the reason why HE journeyed all the way from heaven to the earth to commune with them in Eden, in the cool of every evening. How do I know of this daily communion? It is simply because of the word ‘walking’, (Genesis 3:8) rendered halak (haw-lak’) in Hebrew, which means ‘to walk or lifestyle’. Coming there was what He was wont to do.
The Church is God’s treasure. The book of Ephesians discovers this treasure: “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:” chapter 1 verse 4. “Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:” 3:5-6. “…which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church,” 3:9 & 10. Is there any other dream of God greater than the Church? For the trophy (Church) He laid down His divine life in Isaiah 53:6, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Ephesians 5:2, “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour.” Hebrews 13:20, “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant.” John 10:11 says, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”
The auxiliary, ‘will’ in Matthew 16:18 does not appear in the original Greek text, meaning that the translators put it there for their own emphasis. Anytime you pull out an insertion of the translators you see the idea coming out more forcefully i.e. “I build my Church”; and when we read it thus in the light of the Old Testament scriptures: Isaiah 28:16, Psalm 23 & Zechariah 6:12, 13, you see clearly that it is the Church He had in mind, which He continues to build till the perfection of her at the White Throne judgment.
to be continued…