Summary: Church - what it means
Question #3 from Joseph: The Church – is it a “building” or is it “Jesus’ body”. What is the difference between these two expressions?
The word “Church”: According to Strong’s Concordance the word “Church” in the Greek is “Ekklesia” which is a compound of “Ek” meaning “out” and “Kaleo” meaning “To call”. So, Church means people “called out” of spiritual darkness by God. It includes all those truly called out worldwide, regardless of denomination. Also it can refer to those called out and living in a particular place, such as the church in Philadelphia. But God did not intend for “church” to refer to the physical building where His called out ones may meet.
Although today most Christian groups do refer, incorrectly, to the building as the church.
1 Pe 2:9 …Him (God) who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
What distinguishes these “called out” people? They walk in spiritual light, they are each members of Christ’s body, living in Him as saints, as God’s building in whom God lives:
Col 1:24 …Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church,
1 Co 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
1 Cor 1:2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints…
Eph 2:22 (Jesus Christ) in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. 1 Cor 3:9 …You are God's building.
This house that God is building is spiritual, it consists of the spirits of His living stones:
1 Peter 2:5 You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house…
2 Cor 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Heb 12:22-23 But you have come to…the city of the living God…to the …church of the firstborn…to the spirits of righteous men made perfect.
In the Old Covenant God’s house was physical, now it’s spiritual where He builds truth:
1 Tim 3:15 …How you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God the pillar and ground of the truth (God’s house the Church, not physical but the spirits of those called out, in whom He builds His Word, the truth, Jesus Christ, as both its foundation and its structure).
What should we call the place where we meet? The Meeting Place, Fellowship Building, Church House, or Chapel – but not The Church, House of God, Tabernacle or Temple. Where else do we depart from truth if we refer to a building as “called out of darkness”?
1 Cor 16:19 The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Priscilla greet you heartily
in the Lord, with the church (spiritual house) that is in their (physical) house.