Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Here are some other thoughts on Ekklesia

Here are some other thoughts on Ekklesia



“Edhah in the Hebrew Bible describes the Israel of God. Before the Exile, qahal was employed to describe Israel assembled, but after the Exile it could describe Israel either assembled or not. In the Septuagint, sunagoge usually translated edhah, but it also translated qahal in the Pentateuch. The usual translation for qahal was ekklesia. Ekklesia takes on fuller meaning in Septuagint books referring to the postexilic period. It still translates qahal, which itself now included the fuller meaning of edhah. Thus, in the Septuagint, the Bible of the earliest Christians, the ekklesia of God meant the people of God. It had no necessary reference to localization and certainly none to organization.(13)

The Ekklesia project

“Therefore, we have formed a network of mutual support for the life of Christian discipleship support that, sadly, is lacking in many local congregations. We believe that we can help one another to narrow the gaps between what we Christians profess and how we live. We call this The Ekklesia Project, in recognition of the fact that we are "called out" of the world into a different mode of life.” Emphasis mine

United Church of God

“'Church' and 'Congregation' in the ScripturesThe exact relationship of the New Testament Church (Greek ekklesia) to the congregation of Israel in the Old Testament can best be understood when we learn the different interpretations placed on the two Hebrew words for "congregation": 'edah and qahal.The Holman Bible Dictionary, in its article "Congregation," explains that these Hebrew words were used with a significantly different meaning in the days of Christ and the apostles. "In the Greek Old Testament (the Septuagint) 'edah was usually translated (into Greek as) sunagoge, (and) qahal (as) ekklesia. In late Judaism (the Greek word) sunagoge depicted the actual Israelite people and (the word) ekklesia the ideal elect of God called to salvation. Hence (the Greek word) ekklesia became the term for the Christian congregation, the church . . . There is a direct spiritual continuity between the congregation of the Old Testament and the New Testament Church. Significantly the Christian community chose the Old Testament term for the ideal people of God called to salvation (ekklesia), rather than the term which described all Israelites collectively (sunagoge)."This explains why the New Testament word for the Church, ekklesia, refers only to those people, Jews and gentiles, who are called by God to receive salvation through Jesus Christ. Therefore the Church of God, the term most generally applied to God's people in English translations of the New Testament, is the body of people who are special to God because they obey His Word and accept His Son, Jesus Christ, as the Messiah.” Emphasis mine

Our Lord's ekklesia

Excerpt from part 2:

“Each passage cited has the Greek “kaleo” (translated call or called). The passages have to do with our relationship with God. This is only a partial list and it does not include passages that have the word "klesis" (e.g.Romans 11:29, Philippians 3:14, et al). After reading them, it makes sense that Jesus would use a word that means “the called out” (ekklesia) when speaking of what he would build (Matthew 16:18).”

Good stuff on this blog…

More excerpts from the “Church” Jesus is building:

“Jesus is using living stones to build His temple. Jesus is its foundation and its cornerstone. We become as living stones within His temple when we obey from the heart the message of salvation. We died with Christ so that we might live unto God (Romans 6:13). Our bodies are to be a living and holy sacrifice to God (Romans 12:1).”

The real question is not what do we call ourselves… but as one’s called out… what are we called out to? Who are we to become? What are we to do with this identity as living stones in the building Jesus is designing? Jesus just did not call us church, and the instituted a new religion.. nor did He call us out to just have get-togethers… it is the bedrock statement of faith that Jesus will build this new community… or gather place… It is in reference to the New Heaven and New Earth… it is in reference to the New Jerusalem… it is in reference to our new identity in Jesus and in become on in Him as He is in the Father.

To say Jesus is just saying Peter is starting the Catholic church… or that Jesus is saying that on Peter’s confession of Jesus being Messiah meaning that now we will just gather somewhere lessen the Truth as Jesus spoke these powerful words of how we of the Faith in Christ will be fulfilled in the promises He made.

I encourage all in Christ to no longer be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your minds in Christ Jesus.

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