By Douglas M. Williams, Sr.
- “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47).
- “So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things” (Acts 5:11).
- “At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem” (Acts 8:1).
- “Greet the church that is in their house” (Romans 16:5).
- “To the church of God which is at Corinth” (1 Corinthians 1:2).
- “Christ is the head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.”
- And “Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her” (Ephesians 5:23-25).
As shown in the above verses and others the church is often referred to as “the church.” Since it was the only one that existed, it was not always necessary to identify the church in any other way. Of course, the church belonged to Christ as He promised to build it, and He bought it with His blood (Matthew 16:18; Acts 20:28). Then at Romans 16:16 it is identified as the church of Christ.
The word is from the Greek language, and the English spelling is ‘ekklesia.’ It means, “Called out.” So those who are called by the gospel (2 Thessalonians 2:14), from the world by their obedience to the gospel of Christ, are those people who make up the church. They are sanctified or set apart as written in the article last week.
Please notice that the church is singular as the spiritual body of Christ. Jesus said He would build one church (Matthew 16:18), and at John 10:16 He said, “there will be one flock and one shepherd.” Jesus is the shepherd and the church is the flock (Acts 20:28).
Among the seven things that Paul mentions of which there was only one, was the church or spiritual body of Christ (Ephesians 4:4-6). The one body is the church as stated in Ephesians 1:22-23.
“The churches of Christ greet you” (Romans 16:16).