The Christian Church
It must be clearly understood that “the church” is neither a physical building, organization, nor a denomination as some people seem to think and believe. The word church is derived from the Greek word “ekklesia,” which means “an assembly” or “called out ones.” Which further means “called ones from the world” and saved by God’s infinite grace. These called-out ones gather in their local churches to worship God, regardless of denomination affiliation.
The Bible teaches that the church is the body of Jesus Christ of which He is the Head. Writing to the church at Ephesus, the apostle Paul states ”And God put all things under His feet and gave Him as Head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:22,23). This clearly demonstrates the very close relationship between Christ and His church. It is also confirmed by the fact “Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25).
So then, the church consists of all “born again” believers in the Lord Jesus Christ starting from the day of Pentecost (the church was born at that time) and continuing until Christ’s second advent. It cannot be overemphasized that only those who have repented of their sins and placed their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation can be a member of the body of Christ. Paul wrote the following, “To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints” (1 Corinthians 1:2). And again, “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually” (1 Corinthians 12:27).
It is worth noting that as the human body is a single “unit” yet it consists of a diversity of many parts and functions; so is the church as the body of Christ. Paul writes, “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we are all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many” (1 Corinthians 12:12-14).
It is therefore understood that each of the many members of the body, though different one from the other, is united to the obedience of Jesus Christ. It is actually the “baptism of the Holy Spirit which places all believers in the church. “For in one Spirit we are all baptized into one body” (1 Corinthians 12:13). This verse also states “and all were made to drink of one Spirit,” which seems to indicate that the Holy Spirit also teaches, guides,