— THE “CALLED OUT ONES”
I love the following statement that someone used to describe the church. “It is the society of the forgiven and the forgiving.” For the next several months I want to share some important truths with you about the church, reflecting on the — who, what, where, how, and when questions of the church. I find that there are all kinds of definitions for the church. Many misunderstandings and incomplete perceptions abound about the church. For example, what happens on a Sunday morning is not necessarily the whole picture of a church, but believers gathering to worship the Lord.
The word church comes from a Greek word ekklesia, which means “the called out ones.” Anytime the word church appears in the New Testament, ekklesia is the term used. Therefore, the church is the community or assembly of all those who have heard the call of God, the Holy Spirit. They have confessed they are sinners, repented or have turned from their sins and have intentionally decided to respond to the call of God, the Heavenly Father, by trusting in and confessing His Son Jesus Christ as their Saviour; they have committed themselves to believing in Him as Master and Lord.
Here are the words of Jesus himself, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Mark. 8:34. The church is the assembly of believers who have committed themselves to a faith/trust relationship with Jesus Christ. They are people who have known the darkness of sin and selfishness; and then called out of that life by God, the Holy Spirit; they have decided to live in the light of Jesus Christ by living daily with faith in Him.
In closing, these words are so fitting, they come from a man who heard the call and was a servant committed to communicating God's call to others. This is the apostle Peter speaking in the book of Acts 2:39,40, “The promise (the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit) is for you and your children and for all who are far off--for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
Those who hear and respond to the Call of the Lord Jesus Christ belong to the ekklesia, the church.
Have you heard the Call?
How have you responded?
How are you living out that call if you have responded?
Striving To Serve the Good Shepherd!
Pastor Perry DeGroot