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The Ekklesia: the assembling of those in Christ

Posted by on Sep 12, 2011 in blog links, definition, edification, gathering | 4 comments

The Ekklesia: the assembling of those in Christ

I enjoy reading John’s blog. His posts are always encouraging and usually stretch me in thinking about Jesus Christ. His latest post is no different: “Getting Reacquainted with the Ekklesia.”

At the beginning of the post, John explains why he has decided not to use the English term “church,” and instead to use the transliteration “ekklesia.” While I do continue to use the word “church,” I can certainly understand and appreciate his reasoning and decision.

The remainder of the post is a “fleshing” out, if you will, of the ekklesia, primarily as it refers to the body of Christ. For example, consider this excellent paragraph:

Another wonderful picture is given to us of this assembling of those in Christ, a picture of a body with a Head. The brothers and sisters have the living God by the Spirit dwelling in them and are “hidden with Christ in God” and not only that but Christ is now our life! (Col. 3:3-4) This body, when it gathers together with Christ as Head, is in truth assembling our Lord together. “Christ is the head of the ekklesia, his body, of which he is the Savior.” (Eph. 5:23) Every brother and sister must live by the life of Christ in the gathering, the ekklesia, in order for the fullness of the Lord to be assembled, for Christ to be made manifest in glory. He must be the Head, the Source, the King in her midst. The brothers and sisters “gather to eat” (1 Cor. 11:33) to feed on Christ, who is life. For “the Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.” (John 6:57,63) When “the whole ekklesia comes together” it is for the purpose of being “built up” to “be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” (1 Cor. 14:23,26; Rom. 1:12). This is following “the way of love.” (1 Cor. 14:1) It is loving one another by the life of Christ, according to the measure of the gift given to each. Each brother and sister freely functioning by the Spirit in them to one another, through one another; that is to say through Christ in them, to Christ in them, and for Christ in them. “In all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” (1 Cor. 12:6) So like a body which is assembled and works organically, hidden as it were, by the source of its head so to the body of Christ when it assembles functions organically by the spiritual life of Christ, its Source, its Head. And what is amazing is that the Father already sees the ekklesia already assembled with the Son as Head! The Father has already “placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the ekklesia, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” (Eph. 1:22-23) So as the body assembles together we are in reality manifesting what the Father already sees assembled in His Son. As we assemble together may “we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Eph. 4:13) Brothers and sisters the Lord has an assembled body in view not a disassembled body of believers. May we have such a view of the ekkelsia, His body.

I would echo John’s wish/prayer, “May we have such a view of the ekklesia, His body,” and then add, “And may we live among one another and the world as the ekklesia, His body.”

Thanks, John!


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  1. 9-13-2011

    I really appreciated this. Very clean and well laid out.

  2. 9-13-2011


    I agree. This was presented well.


  3. 9-13-2011

    I might have missed it, but I wish you had somethinga about the equality of the saints in the ekklesia. In this day of reforming zeak and the remem brance of the eldership, there is a woeful forgetting that the Baptist church is a congregational church. The government of such a church is congregational, not one of government by the presbytery like the Presbyterians have. Our elders lead by exam0ple; they are not lords. One of our elders said, “we are not bosses.” Even so there is a tendency to for get that, and some definitely do think that the ekders rule, Commenting on Rev.4;4 C.H. Spurgeon stated:”From this, some expositors, I think, without straining the text, have said, ‘There is an equality among the saints.'”(Morning and Evening: Daily Readings, Mclean, Va.:Macdonald Publishing Co., n.d., p507, Evening Devotion for Sept.9). In the zeal for Sovereign Grace and a return to the theology of the Reformation, some forget that there are other truths involved. While reading the writings of our Reformed and Presbyterian Brethren, we must not be blinded by their wonderful devotion and stirring exhortations to their shortcomings in ecclesiology. One of the modern Reformed, spoke of institution laws, stringent and severe even allowing that they might permit Baptists to continue. My thought was that the Baptists secured religious liberty at to great a price to let it be taken away even by those who claim the name of Christ. It is my understanding that during the Revolutionary period, George Washington and Patrick Henry offered a compromise to the Baptists and the Presbyterians, that they would make all the Christians churches atate churches. Up to that point the Presbterians had been cooperating with the Baptists, putting a lot of pressure on the Anglicans. The Presbyterians, having been a state church, at least in Scotland for a brief period, thought that was a good idea. But by that time the Baptists had won so many to Christ they litterally could go it alone. Thus, the issue became religious liberty as it was the demand of the Baptists.

  4. 9-14-2011


    I would be very surprised if John disagreed with you concerning equality of the saints. I think that it is important that within the passages of Scripture that discuss the church as the body of Christ, there is no delineation according to gender, education, or position.