Today, I would like to start a new teaching series on the subject Church. (You can find upcoming related posts in this new category called CHURCH)
I love this term church because it was Jesus Himself who used this word for the first time (in the New Testament), when he introduced the concept of Church to His disciples on a very special moment.
The actual word used in Greek is Ecclesia. (We will explore more on this later) Since Jesus used this term, I became curious, and with the help of God, started to dig deep into the intended meaning of the term church and got to know some interesting things, which I would be sharing in this series.
The actual meaning of Church
In school, we are taught that Church is a building used for public Christian worship. But when I explored the Bible, I got to know that the word Church has nothing to do with a building or a place of worship. Instead,
Church refers to the group of people, chosen by Jesus Christ Himself, to follow Him
The global church comprises of all chosen people, across the globe, which also includes the first set of chosen disciples often called as the Apostles. The local church comprises of a gathering of chosen disciples at a particular location. Both are headed under the leadership of Jesus Christ.
In this teaching series, we would explore more on this. You would be surprised to know that this word Church has nothing to do with even religion or denomination or a ministry. It is entirely a new concept, which was introduced by Jesus Christ Himself. We will analyse more on the context, meaning and application of this term in Bible.
To get started: Here is a one hour video teaching on CHURCH
This is a sermon which I preached in a local church at Malaysia, regarding the Definition of Church.
Since there were Malayalam as well as English audience, I had to go for translation to Malayalam. In order to save time, instead of a word-by-word interpretation by another person, I had tried to summarize each point in English as well as Malayalam by myself. You can watch it here
FIRST STEP: Delete the old concepts
In order for us to truly understand what Jesus exactly meant by this term, we need to do some mental exercise. It is nothing but to erase all the wrong concepts about Church, taught by school teachers, church fathers, Bible scholars, parents and friends. You might think – how could they be wrong? They may be right to some extent, but may not be in 100% agreement with the Bible. But the Holy Spirit can teach the Word of God in it 100% accuracy!
SECONDLY: Do not dare to modify the scriptures to suit your own concepts!
Most of the so-called teachers tend to modify the terms in the Bible, to suit their own traditions, which has caused serious confusions in Christendom. Best example are the Pharisees of those days.
Jesus asked them
And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? Matt 15:2
Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. Matt 15: 6
This is what Jesus told about the teachings of Pharisees
7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
8 “‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
9 They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.’” Matt 15: 7,8,9
Pharisees were experts in breaking the commandment of God and nullifying the Word of God for the sake of their traditions. Therefore Jesus strictly commanded us to search the scriptures and learn for ourselves what it truly meant, else we would easily be drifted away
You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me. John 5:39
Jesus answered them, “You are mistaken because you don’t know the Scriptures or God’s power” Matt 22:29
THIRDLY: Let me introduce the TEACHER
Holy Spirit is our Teacher. Therefore, I urge you – Study the scriptures directly from the Holy Spirit. (You can use the other resources as an aid) People may nullify the Word of God by teaching you mere human rules and regulations. Don’t be deceived! Search and study the scriptures diligently. Then you will know the Scriptures and the power of God, which will help you to walk in the right path and to lead others as well to the truth.
FINALLY: Learn like a child
My goal and desire is to help my friends to explore the Bible by themselves, with the help of God’s Holy Spirit, and to help them find the original truths defined in the Scriptures. Erasing off the old concepts and prejudice are very much essential for learning the scriptures in its purest form. Like a small child, let us humble ourselves, empty our minds and come to the feet of Jesus to truly learn the word of God. Then He will teach us the truth from scratch.
This may be a continuous teaching series. I will tag all the posts related to this subject as category named CHURCH, so that you can selectively read. It might include subtopics like
- Are all churches the same? Are all denominations the same?
- What exactly is a church?
- Who is the Head of the Church?
- Who established the church?
- What is my part in the church?
- How often should I attend church and Why?
- Who is the leader of a church? Pastor or Apostle or Elder or Father?
- Can we address the pastor of a church as ‘father’?
- What are the qualities required in a pastor?
- Can a pastor marry, re-marry, or divorce?
- Can I attend more than one church?
- What about tithes and offerings? How much and how often?
- What do I do if I don’t find a church in my locality?
- What if I don’t like my church?
- How does biblical Church Leadership look like?
- How do I know which church I should attend?
- What should I do if I find my church not following the Christian pattern?
- How to handle the issues in my church?
- I would like to preach/teach/sing etc, but what if I don’t get an opportunity?
- How do I identify false preachers/teachers?
- And many more…
I have 3 requests
- I would request you to invite your friends to join this series. You can subscribe here to get the posts via mail.
- I would request you to actively participate in the discussions, so that we can also learn from each other and we can explore the subject together.
- Post your queries here or in the comment section below
Trusting in the Holy Spirit to help us in this journey.