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What is... the "church"?

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Loyal
Lately there have been a lot of posts about the "church". Some of these threads talk about the church in negative light.

But what 'IS' the church? Really... what is it?

Almost everybody says the church isn't a building.... well I agree with that... kind of.

The Bible speaks of the church in at least four different contexts.

First it does mention the tabernacle... the temple... the synagogue... in quite a few places. So it 'can' be a building in some contexts.
If I say "I'll meet you at the church tonight". Both you and I know... I'm likely talking about a building.

Then the church is spoken of as a "global" group. Believers all over the world. Most Christians believe the church isn't a denomination. I agree with that.
I don't think only one denomination is the church. But... having said that... I don't think every denomination that calls themselves "Christians" are part of the church.
The talks about false prophets, false teachers, false doctrines, and even false Christs. It says to have nothing to do with people who follow these teachings. Don't even greet them.
I've attended a couple of "denominational" churches in the past... however I've found that in reality... they usually have a denominational lean.

I am pretty sure there are Christians in just about every country in the world. Maybe even all of them... I don't know. But Christians are pretty much all over the Earth.

Another way the church is spoken of is individual members. All of us true believers make up the church. The body of Christ as it were. 1Corinthians 12 talks about how
the body is made of up many individual members. You might be a "hand", but a hand by itself is not a body. You might be a "foot", but a foot by itself is not a body.
The body ( church ) is made up of a group of people.

Finally the church is spoken of as a local community. "Community"... now that could be a subject in itself. It's where words like "Communism" come from.
But the communism many speak of today is not really the same thing as communism in the Bible. But this thread isn't about politics.

Paul wrote a number of letters, to various churches... Ephesus, Collosae, Corinth, Phliippi, Thessalonica, Rome, and Galatia. He didn't write one letter to "all" the churches.
He wrote individual letters to individual churches.

In the first few chapter of Revelation, John did the opposite. He wrote one letter to seven churches. However even here, he addresses the churches individually within the letter.
"To the angel of the church in Laodecia, I write.." "To the angel of the church in Smyrna, I write .." etc...

I would like to focus on the church as a community here. I agree the church exists within as individuals, I also agree the church exists globally all over the world.
However most of can't a lot to affect what is going on, on the other side of the world. What we can do if affect our local communities.

... to be continued ...
 
Loyal
In both the old testament and the New testament two commandments are given... Love the Lord your God, with all your heart, soul, and mind. ( Matt 22:7; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27; )
The second commandment is... Love your neighbor. ( Matt 5:43; Matt 19:19; Matt 22:39; Mark 12:31; Mark 12:33; Luke 10:27; Rom 13:8-10; Gal 5:14; and James 2:8; )
I notice loving our neighbor is mentioned more often than loving God.

In Matt 22:39; Jesus says the second commandment "is like" the first one. So in a way.. when we are loving a neighbor, we are loving God. (there are a dozen verses that say this very thing)
But we were never meant to walk the Christian walk alone.

God said it is not good for man to be alone. ( Gen 2:18; )
The Bible says we should love our neighbors, love one another, pray for one another, encourage one another, sing praises and hymns with one another, bear one another's burdens, lift up one another.

But if we aren't part of a community, part of "a church". We can't do these things for "one another". An "other". Another people. If we were on a deserted island by ourselves, I suppose we could
still love God. But we couldn't love "one another", because there would be no "other" there to love.

1 Corinthians 12 talks about how all the pieces of the body fit together and make the body work as a whole.

Solomon said in Eccl 4...

Eccl 4:9 Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.
Eccl 4:10; For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.
Eccl 4:11; Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone?
Eccl 4:12; And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.

When Jesus sent out the 70, he sent them out in pairs of twos. ( Luke 10:1; )

It is extremely difficult to walk through life alone. I don't believe God ever intended for us to do so.
Some people like being alone... they don't like "dealing with other people". I think these people need to check their hearts. They would be happy being a hermit alone on a deserted island somewhere.
Right now the world (at least here in the US) is trying to isolate Christians... "stay home, stay safe" is the mantra of our government.

One day God is going to separate the sheep and the goats. ( Matt 25 ) what makes you a sheep is what you did for your neighbor.
James says Faith without works is dead. If you see your neighbor in need of clothing and food and say to him "be warm, be fed".. what good is it? ( James 2:16; )

How can we love "one another"... if there is no other? John 13:34-35; John 15:12; John 15:17; Rom 12:10; Rom 13:8; Gal 5:13; Eph 4:2; 1 Thes 3:12; 1 Thes 4:9; 1 Thes 5:13; 2 Thes 1:3; Heb 10:24; 1 Pet 1:22;

1 Pet 4:8;

1 Jn 3:11; 1 Jn 3:23; 1 jn 4:7; 1 Jn 4:11; 2 Jn 1:5;

Very few verses in the Bible (if any) say the same thing as all these verses over and over again.

So... what is the church? The church is a community.. a "group" of members. The church is NOT a single individual.

.. to be continued ..
 
Loyal
In a way.. TalkJesus is a church "community". We do "sharpen iron" here. In a way we can love one another... pray for one another... but that's about as far as it goes.
We can't do the things the good Samaritan did in the story about "who is my neighbor?" We can't do the things the sheep did in Matt 25.
We can't do much more than say "be warm, be fed" for those here in need. I'm not discounting prayer... I believe prayer is a powerful thing. But sometimes God
calls for more than just prayer.

I know there are aged, infirmed people in hospitals, nursing homes and retirement homes that can't get out. We should be visiting these people. Not just texting them
or calling them... but face to face visiting them... taking time for them... making effort for them. Bring them a small inexpensive gift or card, it means more than you know.
Some people are incarcerated in jail or prison... have you ever visited any of these people? A text message is nice... but it didn't take much effort, it's better than nothing,
but it's not the same thing as face to face.. it's not the same thing as a hug, or handing hands in prayer.

But most of us can go to "church". A church can be a house, a tent, a spot in the woods, church can be anywhere.... but mostly it's were the saints are gathered together.

Matt 18:20; For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”

Heb 10:4; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,
Heb 10:25; not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

So the church might not be a building... but a building might be where the saint congregate together, meet in worship and praise together.
Share stories, share life, share problems, share needs. Build each other up in Christ, bear one another burdens, and pray for one another... and... love one another.

There are Christians who stay home and watch televangelists on TV. There are Christians that stay home and type messages here on TalkJesus...
sometimes they have no choice, some cant drive, some are crippled, and some are just old. But many times, people are able to do these things... but just don't want to
because it's too much trouble, too much money, too much effort. But maybe it's the sacrifice of us doing these things that pleases God?

How can I pray for you if I don't know you exist? How can I lift you up, or bear your burdens, if I don't know what those burdens are? How can I love you if I don't know you.
... let's move it up a notch.
How can I be a neighbor to you? Mow your grass? Bring you some groceries? Bring a card and sing happy birthday on your birthday? How can I love you... if I don't know you exist?
How can you pray for me if you don't know me.

We all know each other alittle here on TalkJesus... but you see me as "B-A-C"... (what's a BAC?) It stands for born again Christian. But my name is Ray. I live in Northwest Oregon near Portland.
I moved here from Seattle. Seemingly these are two spiritual warfare hotspots in the US these days. Maybe God has me here for a reason? I married, I have 8 kids ( including stepchildren)
and 8 grandchildren ( a ninth on the way ). A few people here on TalkJesus know me better. Some are on my facebook, some have spoken to me by phone... and even a couple I have met in person.

So what is the church? The church is community, relationships.. meeting together.. knowing one another.. loving one another. And if we have a common place to meet.. a building to meet in..
what's wrong with that? It's hard to get 50, 100 or 300 people in my house.. (we have had a dozen or so from the church a number of times) but sometimes we just need a place large
enough to get us all together. Right I don't think there's any building in the world that could hold all the believers in the (global) church, but the New Jerusalem is coming one day.

.. Amen.
 
Loyal
Hey Ray,

Good set of posts. Sometimes we overthink questions like 'what is the church?' The church is the community of believers following Jesus together. We learn from the teaching of the apostles, bear each others' burdens, break the bread and wine, worship God, and are committed to loving each other. There is no division along gender, ethnic or class lines.

And because of that, we are the visible sign of Jesus' lordship to the rest of the world.

I love church. But I have to say that in reality, church is really hard work. We get let down, we get hurt and frustrated, often opportunites to really make a difference is wasted, sorting out problems is often slow, people are annoying etc.

It's all part of our sanctification. True church reveals my weaknesses and inadequacies -- shows me and others with great clarity where I need to allow God to reform and renew me so I am more like Jesus.
 
Loyal
And I would say that while TalkJesus has many of the elements of church, it isn't a substitute for the real thing. We don't share bread and wine together as Jesus commanded, there isn't a structure of accountability and discipline, and regular teaching that is part of the church. For clarity, I'm not saying TalkJesus isn't a good thing, I'm just saying it isn't a church.
 
Member
B-A-C ....You are very well informed when it comes to "the Church"

I was raised Catholic; When I was very young I was surrounded by statues and amazed by the beauty of the exterior and interior of Catholic churches

I was perplexed by the figure on the cross. I understood that there was God and then there on the cross there was a representation of Jesus. This representation was dead on the cross.

In order to get for forgiveness for my sins, I would have to tell this robed man my sins. I left the Catholic church at age 11.

It is a challenge for many or should I say all people to find truth. Every denomination like every individual have short falls; as do I.

The search for truth is never ending. There is not one human who knows all things about the Word of God.

We build on the foundation which is Jesus, not because we are forced to do it but because He Loves us and the promise of ever lasting life with Him.
 
Loyal
And I would say that while TalkJesus has many of the elements of church, it isn't a substitute for the real thing. We don't share bread and wine together as Jesus commanded, there isn't a structure of accountability and discipline, and regular teaching that is part of the church. For clarity, I'm not saying TalkJesus isn't a good thing, I'm just saying it isn't a church.
One of my step-sons did "on-line" dating for about 6 months with this girl. The girl only lived about 30 miles away, less than an hour to drive. But for reasons unknown to me... they just did the emails and texting thing for about 6 months.
They called each other and talked on the phone quite a bit... sometimes for hours at a time. They both said during this time that they were madly in love with each other... soulmates, they were practically engaged.
But they decided, they didn't want to "pop the question" on-line so they decided to meet in person. The first date wasn't so bad. So they met more and more often, and started seeing each other more and more, they found out things
about each other they never knew while being "on-line" with each other.

Oh you like garlic? Oh you leave the toilet seat up? Oh you like mint-flavored tooth-paste? Oh you don't make your bed every morning? Oh you have a dog that poops in the house? Oh you don't wash dishes?
Oh you don't wash your clothes every few days? You wear the same ones for several days? ... now I may be exaggerating some of these things, they aren't all word for word... but you get the idea.
But the fact is... people are messy... life is messy... (if we ever saw ourselves through someone else's eyes, we might be surprised). After a few months of this... they broke up. I asked my step-son
what happened to his soul-mate, his fiance, the love of his life... He said he realized that "up close and personal life" isn't the same thing as "virtual on-line" life.
 
Active
by my observations of definitions coming from the christians mouths and writings. We got all kinds of Christian churches and all of them are churches and all of them are true churches and a church h is what you want it to be. A church is a church. I thank God, I don't identify with no ones church, "I belong to what Jesus Said: "I will build "MY Congregation" and the gates of Hell will not prevail". And I am "The TEMPLE of God' me PLOUGHBOY is the TEMPLE of God and He dwells in me. So where ever I go The Temple of God goes! and I am, a big enough of a fool, to believe it. For I am a Fool for "Jesus Christ" [The WORD of GOD]. And I will not be move. And y'all can keep your churches! and all of them are real! So keep going to church and I am going keep on Being The "TEMPLE OF GOD"! Now what part of the listed of verses of the text you do not understand,, now if you think you need a interpreter "You should have one"

(1 Corinthians 3).
16Do you not know that youc are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

(1 Corinthians 6)
The Temple of the Holy Spirit
18Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a man can commit is outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. 19Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body.…

2 Corinthians 6:16
What agreement can exist between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people."

Now if you are "The Temple of God" what are you doing hanging around that other temple for? thats a question now, don't grow no "HORNS" be nice:eyes:


1 Corinthians 6:15,16

Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid…
 
Active
In a way.. TalkJesus is a church "community". We do "sharpen iron" here. In a way we can love one another... pray for one another... but that's about as far as it goes.
We can't do the things the good Samaritan did in the story about "who is my neighbor?" We can't do the things the sheep did in Matt 25.
We can't do much more than say "be warm, be fed" for those here in need. I'm not discounting prayer... I believe prayer is a powerful thing. But sometimes God
calls for more than just prayer.

I know there are aged, infirmed people in hospitals, nursing homes and retirement homes that can't get out. We should be visiting these people. Not just texting them
or calling them... but face to face visiting them... taking time for them... making effort for them. Bring them a small inexpensive gift or card, it means more than you know.
Some people are incarcerated in jail or prison... have you ever visited any of these people? A text message is nice... but it didn't take much effort, it's better than nothing,
but it's not the same thing as face to face.. it's not the same thing as a hug, or handing hands in prayer.

But most of us can go to "church". A church can be a house, a tent, a spot in the woods, church can be anywhere.... but mostly it's were the saints are gathered together.

Matt 18:20; For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”

Heb 10:4; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,
Heb 10:25; not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

So the church might not be a building... but a building might be where the saint congregate together, meet in worship and praise together.
Share stories, share life, share problems, share needs. Build each other up in Christ, bear one another burdens, and pray for one another... and... love one another.

There are Christians who stay home and watch televangelists on TV. There are Christians that stay home and type messages here on TalkJesus...
sometimes they have no choice, some cant drive, some are crippled, and some are just old. But many times, people are able to do these things... but just don't want to
because it's too much trouble, too much money, too much effort. But maybe it's the sacrifice of us doing these things that pleases God?

How can I pray for you if I don't know you exist? How can I lift you up, or bear your burdens, if I don't know what those burdens are? How can I love you if I don't know you.
... let's move it up a notch.
How can I be a neighbor to you? Mow your grass? Bring you some groceries? Bring a card and sing happy birthday on your birthday? How can I love you... if I don't know you exist?
How can you pray for me if you don't know me.

We all know each other alittle here on TalkJesus... but you see me as "B-A-C"... (what's a BAC?) It stands for born again Christian. But my name is Ray. I live in Northwest Oregon near Portland.
I moved here from Seattle. Seemingly these are two spiritual warfare hotspots in the US these days. Maybe God has me here for a reason? I married, I have 8 kids ( including stepchildren)
and 8 grandchildren ( a ninth on the way ). A few people here on TalkJesus know me better. Some are on my facebook, some have spoken to me by phone... and even a couple I have met in person.

So what is the church? The church is community, relationships.. meeting together.. knowing one another.. loving one another. And if we have a common place to meet.. a building to meet in..
what's wrong with that? It's hard to get 50, 100 or 300 people in my house.. (we have had a dozen or so from the church a number of times) but sometimes we just need a place large
enough to get us all together. Right I don't think there's any building in the world that could hold all the believers in the (global) church, but the New Jerusalem is coming one day.

.. Amen.
Hello ray so nice to know your name and so many children lovely and really enjoyed your post
yes agree its so nice to just meet up with others believers our brothers and sisters in christ and just talk face to face have fellowship miss this with all the Lock down xGod bless you ray x B A C
 
Loyal
I thank God, I don't identify with no ones church
I wonder... if we get down to the nitty-gritty here. Most of the verses you posted talk about our bodies being the temple of God, of the Holy Spirit as it were.
I love those verses by the way.

But I wonder if there is a difference between the temple of God, and a temple for you. Yes God dwells in you. That's great. But what do you dwell in? Where is your temple?

1 Cor 12
14; For the body is not one member, but many.
15; If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body.
16; And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body.
17; If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?
18; But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.
19; If they were all one member, where would the body be?
20; But now there are many members, but one body.
21; And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”
22; On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary;
23; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable,
24; whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked,
25; so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.
26; And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
27; Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.

I think sometimes we read passage and miss the compassion in them.

I love verses 26 and 27 here. When one person in the body suffers, all the members suffer with them. When one member rejoices, all the members rejoice with them.

When someone in the church is going through a hard time.. some in the church might say.. gee, that's too bad. I hope they feel better soon.
But there might be some in the church who's heart goes out to these people. They hurt for what these people are going through, they cry because because of what these people are feeling.
They stay up at night and pray because they are concerned for these people.

When someone in the church has a happy event, some in the church might say... That's good, I'm glad that happened.
But there might be some in the church who heart goes out to them. Bob's wife finally came back to him after all these months.... some people can't help but rejoice over something like this.
Some people would break down and cry tears of joy over something like this. Some people would jump up and down and praise God for this.

When someone in the body hurts... we should hurt. When someone in the body rejoices, we should rejoice with them.
I think some in the church have lost the ability to "feel" for others.
 
Loyal
Top Poster Of Month
Greetings brother B-A-C, brother Ray,

A good post my friend, human contact is so important we all agree. Talking to someone often tells us what a person is going to say before they say it, facial reactions, body language, lip reading, the eyes and more.

Let us go back to the scriptures brother, first we must ask what is a church and must understand it as it was written, not as we take it today.

You have heard it many times my friend, the church in scripture is the ekklesia, I am sure we agree.

The church building, a place of worship, called a church since 300-500 A.D is the kuriakon. A word created by the RCC and is not anywhere in scripture.

The ekklesia is the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ, He is the Head of His Church, the saved souls are the Body of Christ. His church, the saved believers, are the spiritual stones, each saved believer in the world is a spiritual stone in our Lord's church, each 'build together' to make 'one body', similar to what you quoted in 1Corinthians 12 but that is the body working together 'in fellowship one with another.'

You mentioned also about the church in the OT, there was no church in the OT brother, they had the Temple and Synagogues. The church is in the NT, it is the Body of Christ. These are separate descriptions, the church is NT only, because it is the Body of Christ, the Body of Christ was never and could not be in the OT.

I appreciate your intentions in your very detailed posts, it is your caring heart at work for sure, but I feel firstly, the foundation must be right, and that is, what does scripture say is the church, not what we accept or think today. We have to be right with God brother, again I know we agree my friend.

Now having explained the church, the ekklesia, NT only, then we come to what you was talking about which I feel is the fellowship of the church, the fellowship of the body of Christ, as scripture tells us, we as born from above souls, saved souls, are the spiritual stones in the one true church, the body of Christ, which is spread across the earth, to the far corners of the earth.

So looking at what you have stated, we have what could be described as possibly cells or units, which is using a none scriptural term I am aware.

'Church - kuriakon' is a way of describing the place of worship each 'fellowship' come together in but as previously discussed not in scripture.

Each fellowship is the equivalent to a sheep fold, each fellowship has a nominated acting shepherd who looks after the sheep in the fold, in that fellowship. Those who are born again in each of these fellowships are spiritual stone in the one true worldwide church, they are also sheep, they are our Lord's sheep, He knows His sheep and His sheep know Him. But, at the same time are spiritual stones in the fellowship of believers they are part of, the part of the ekklesia they are part of, part of that fellowship of believers who look after and care for one another as Christ tells us to. This is the very important part of our love for one another in the fellowship group, the face to face contact with the believers in your area, in your part of the country, this is true fellowship, the hand on in prayer, the sitting and talking as a soul pours out their heart due to their tribulations, the time praying together. It is irreplaceable, it is what we are told to do, it is so important.

But the Church, according to The Word, is the ekklesia, is the body of Christ worldwide. The ekklesia is what our Lord will return for when He returns in Great Glory.

When Paul wrote to the churches, as you say brother, he wrote to them one at a time, but he wrote to the church, the ekklesia, not a building, he wrote to the fellowship of saved souls in that country. Here is an example, I feel, of the cell church, one here, one there, but as saved souls they are a church, part of the whole church, together the body of Christ worldwide, is the ekklesia. Each one a piece in a jigsaw, each one connected, each one resting and reply in the connection with each other.

I personally feel there has to be a balance of understanding, a group of believers in fellowship in a building are part of the whole body of Christ, they are like a cog in a gigantic gearbox, each cog turns another, it cannot work unless all cogs are turning, they work together as a whole, inside the gearbox they are one body. It is similar with the places of worship worldwide, each one is (or should be) moving with the Spirit, lubricated by the Holy Spirit, each one is important and relies on the others, each one has a responsibility to the others, not just in the local fellowship but in the who body or mechanism. Each one of us are members of the Body of Christ, (if born from above), each one of us needs the others around us, each one of us takes the burdens of the others, the others take our burden also, that is how the Body of Christ is meant to be, we help, care for, pray for, encourage and love one another as Christ loves us.

To conclude, as scripture states clearly, only the regenerated saved souls are the body of Christ, His Bride, only the born again believers worldwide are the Body of Christ, of which Jesus is the Head. The saved souls worldwide are the one true church, they are the ekklesia, the New Testament Church.

But there may be a hand in this country, a leg in another country, a hand in another part of the earth, an ear here, an eye there, another body part elsewhere but we are all connected worldwide, we are all to work together as one body, but 1 Cor 12 shows us this at a local level too, in our own fellowship of saved souls. God created the earth, God created the body, the whole earth is His, the whole body of believers are our Lord's, at local level and worldwide.

Bless you Ray
 
Loyal
What a wonderful post brother Ray. I have been so thinking lately--- how when I go to church it was not nearly as fulfilling as when I serve on the streets to the homeless. In my mind I have been saying this ministry I serve with on the streets is the church to me. I have been putting the pastors on to high of a pedastool and they always fail, and thats my fault for thinking to highly of them to start with, they are just men. And both churches I have attended since becoming born again I had a feeling something was missing, and I finally after 5 years figured it out. It is not what they say, because they are both biblical,,,, its what they DONT say that had me feeling something was off. And now with all that is going on in the world it is really telling of what pastors dont talk about

in my mind I have re worded going to church as going to worship, because I dont serve when I go to the building I go to listen to a message and worship.

DO you consider the storehouse of God the local church, or could it be a local ministry serving the needy???
 
Loyal
Top Poster Of Month
in my mind I have re worded going to church as going to worship, because I dont serve when I go to the building I go to listen to a message and worship.

Bless you brother

The church meets at the building you go to, there you and other saved souls, the ekklesia, share in fellowship, in prayer, in song, in love, God's love.

The fellowship is important, the time rejoicing and praying together is important, the spiritual bricks lock together, but pastors so often look after the sheep in the fold, and in that fold they stay.

GO and make disciples of all nations... how many pastors leave the sheep to look for one missing one?

Bless you brother.

The world is changing, the spirit us moving, we need to know scripture like never before so we know what is Truth from The Word.
 
Loyal
Top Poster Of Month
In a way.. TalkJesus is a church "community". We do "sharpen iron" here. In a way we can love one another... pray for one another... but that's about as far as it goes.
Talk Jesus is a church brother, where ever two or three, saved souls, come together our Lord is there in the midst of us

The church, the ekklesia is the born again from above believers, we are the body of Christ, Jesus is the Head of the body, Jesus is the head of His Church.

We share, pray, study, have fellowship together in different parts of the world. We worship together in 'spirit and truth'. I agree we cannot lay hands on one another in prayer, but if we live in USA or UK and have relatives in Australia we cannot either, but we can have fellowship, nothing will stop the true church of Christ. Nothing.

We should be grateful we have the technology of today for fellowship and prayer, with the increase in pestilence and end time tribulations we are going to be grateful for these things.

The fact at this time we do not have communion as our Lord told us, doesn't mean we cannot. Let us pray about this in Jesus Name.

Shalom
 
Active
I wonder... if we get down to the nitty-gritty here. Most of the verses you posted talk about our bodies being the temple of God, of the Holy Spirit as it were.
I love those verses by the way.

But I wonder if there is a difference between the temple of God, and a temple for you. Yes God dwells in you. That's great. But what do you dwell in? Where is your temple?

1 Cor 12
14; For the body is not one member, but many.
15; If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body.
16; And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body.
17; If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?
18; But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.
19; If they were all one member, where would the body be?
20; But now there are many members, but one body.
21; And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”
22; On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary;
23; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable,
24; whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked,
25; so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.
26; And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
27; Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.

I think sometimes we read passage and miss the compassion in them.

I love verses 26 and 27 here. When one person in the body suffers, all the members suffer with them. When one member rejoices, all the members rejoice with them.

When someone in the church is going through a hard time.. some in the church might say.. gee, that's too bad. I hope they feel better soon.
But there might be some in the church who's heart goes out to these people. They hurt for what these people are going through, they cry because because of what these people are feeling.
They stay up at night and pray because they are concerned for these people.

When someone in the church has a happy event, some in the church might say... That's good, I'm glad that happened.
But there might be some in the church who heart goes out to them. Bob's wife finally came back to him after all these months.... some people can't help but rejoice over something like this.
Some people would break down and cry tears of joy over something like this. Some people would jump up and down and praise God for this.

When someone in the body hurts... we should hurt. When someone in the body rejoices, we should rejoice with them.
I think some in the church have lost the ability to "feel" for others.
I understand the many views that the world concept of the meaning of the church. and i argue not against it. Church is what every a person believes it is and the "dictionary" says it is. Like the english word "automobile". a "automobile" is a automobile. But there are many different kinds of "automobile". must people knows what a automobile looks like. one kind is "Ford, another is Fiat, another is a "BMW", the same as the word church. And someone may call a church a "Temple" some make call a "church" a "Synagogue", then someone else may call a church a "Hall". Some make call a "church" a Cathedral. and someone call a house a church. and maybe everyone of these believe in "Jesus Christ", so a church is what ever this world may call it. It is the choice of the organizers and definers. In other words the definers or "Translators" who determines the definition. I have no argument with them, i have dictionaries and I can read. and i am not a inventor of words, i just read them.

Now for me a "Temple" is Temple, and a "Synagogue is a Synagogue, and a "Tabernacle is Tabernacle" and those words if they are in a "Biblical sense" pertaining to The Written word of God, I will use "ISBE" and not modern day terminology of biblical words in light of the "original copied text".

AND for me, i don't like the Modern day word "church", which was instituted by the "RCC" and authorize by "King James VI and I that was commissioned in 1604 and completed 1611. The "RCC"non ethical force to add a replace word for the truth definition of "Ecclesia" from "the call out ones" or "The Congregation" to the word "Church". In order to give more POWER to the "Institution" instead of True meaning of "The call out ones" "The Congregation of GOD". I am not here to give a history lesson, Of the corruption The powers that be. FOR GOD Himself will deal them and all who follow them and support them in His own way. Luther, Calvin, Tyndale, Knox, and many more testified to this. "The Reformers" And it is ironic that many "protestants" complain about the "RCC" but by their actions they are just like them, just little offsprings, a bunch of little, popes, deacons, cardinals, and a field of indulgences dress up in costumes for their own festive and celebrations of the creature instead of "THE CREATOR". In return, He will come back and shake this world, and we will see what will remain. I do not worship any church, i do not serve any church, i do not belong to a body of the church, I belong to the "Body of Christ" for There is only one Temple of GOD and it is not made with the tainted hands of a fallen man, It is not design by a tainted mind of a man. And The Temple of GOD cannot be comprehended by a "finite mind". For I am "the Temple of God, why because He said so! "for we have the mind of Christ" I say let the WORLD have their Church! And let us be "THE TEMPLE of GOD" and walk and act like it! and experience The Power of GOD! and love not this world and the things that are in it,

New International Version
You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

New Living Translation
You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.

English Standard Version
You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

We love darkness more than light. and sometimes we call, light, darkness and sometimes we call darkness, light. and sometimes we just do not know the difference. Jesus said: "LET the DEAD bury the DEAD" GOD said: "The day you eat from that tree you shall surely die"! Guess what; Jesus verified it: "let the dead bury the dead". Here is my question: "can the dead worship GOD with those who are alive"?
 
Loyal
I think some people are really struggling with this. I already said the church is within the individual. I already said the church exists globally.
I don't have a problem with either of those things.

But what's wrong with it existing locally in your neighborhood? What's wrong with it existing in your sphere of influence?
Nobody is talking about friendship with the world. The church is not the world. But the church is other believers besides you.
People in your town, on your block. Where you work... what's wrong with getting to know them and love them?
You may not be able to do anything about what's happening in Africa, or Australia, or the US, or the UK, or Russia, or China...
but you can do something about what's happening your neighborhood. You can do something for the church in your town.

Some people really seem to have a hard heart when it comes to loving other people. I'm not going to be part of a group no matter what.
Talk Jesus is a church brother, where ever two or three, saved souls, come together our Lord is there in the midst of us
Perhaps.. but have you met any of these people face to face? Hugged them? Do you know them... not know "about" them.. know them.
What's my favorite color? What's my wife's name? What is the name of my oldest child? What is my biggest hang-up? What is my biggest fear?
Are my parent still alive? Are all my brothers and sisters still alive? Why was I in the hospital for 3 months? Have you ever given me anything besides prayers?
Food, shelter, clothing? (Not that I currently need these things, but I have needed some of them in the past)

If you don't know me, and I don't know you. How can we really love one another. Love is more than words.. Love is an action.

John 13:35; By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
 
Active
I think some people are really struggling with this. I already said the church is within the individual. I already said the church exists globally.
I don't have a problem with either of those things.

But what's wrong with it existing locally in your neighborhood? What's wrong with it existing in your sphere of influence?
Nobody is talking about friendship with the world. The church is not the world. But the church is other believers besides you.
People in your town, on your block. Where you work... what's wrong with getting to know them and love them?
You may not be able to do anything about what's happening in Africa, or Australia, or the US, or the UK, or Russia, or China...
but you can do something about what's happening your neighborhood. You can do something for the church in your town.

Some people really seem to have a hard heart when it comes to loving other people. I'm not going to be part of a group no matter what.


Perhaps.. but have you met any of these people face to face? Hugged them? Do you know them... not know "about" them.. know them.
What's my favorite color? What's my wife's name? What is the name of my oldest child? What is my biggest hang-up? What is my biggest fear?
Are my parent still alive? Are all my brothers and sisters still alive? Why was I in the hospital for 3 months? Have you ever given me anything besides prayers?
Food, shelter, clothing? (Not that I currently need these things, but I have needed some of them in the past)

If you don't know me, and I don't know you. How can we really love one another. Love is more than words.. Love is an action.

John 13:35; By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
like i said: you have a definition of what the word church means; and a 100 more people have their definition and 100 more dictionaries. And everybody is right. which i say is a true statement. And who is there to correct them. the definition had to be made by some source. somebody had to give it a definition, and please grade schoolers, i will faint if another person says; "ecclesia' original meaning is the word "church". "institutional church" have branded that name completely on most christians foreheads it has blinded them from the truth! Why, because the Whole WORLD loves IDOLS! And your "pride" will not let you accept the truth, Oh no I cannot be wrong, about "ecclesia" I am to wise. i cannot be deceived by the word church. No I am full of the Holy Ghost I cannot be deceived noway. I pay my "tithes". The whole world lies in deception, every part in it! and do you think definitions are "exempt"? Especially "translations" of biblical words. It used to be when you used quotes on this term "Holy Scripture" that meant the "Original copied text". The word "Bible" does not mean the "Original Word of God" Bibles are mostly Translations. God's gives us this information. The Holy Spirit bring things into our intention and will guide us into all truths.

…18We know that anyone born of God does not keep on sinning; the One who was born of God protects him, and the evil one cannot touch him. 19We know that we are of God, and that the whole world is under the power of the evil one. 20And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true—in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.…


the thread: What is... the "church"? original meaning normally church people get offensive by this truth. If they accept this truth God will reveal more truth.
Circe, Kirke, Kirche and Kerk

[www.iahushua.com]

This is the word used in most English versions as a rendering of the New Testament's Greek word ekklesia. Ekklesia really means "a calling out", a meeting or a gathering. Ekklesia is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew qahal, which means an assembly or a congregation. Neither ekklesia nor qahal means a building. Tyndale, in his translation, uniformly translated ekklesia as "congregation" and only used the word "churches" to translate Acts 19:37 for heathen temples! Whence the word "church", then? Ecclesiastical sources give the origin as kuriakon or kyriakon in Greek. However, to accept this. one has to stretch your imagination in an attempt to see any resemblance. Also, because kuriakon means a building (the house of Kurios=Lord), and not a gathering or meeting of people, as the words ekklesia and qahal imply, therefore this explanation can only be regarded as distorted, even if it is true. Our common dictionaries, however, are honest in revealing to us the true origin. They all trace the word back to its Old English or Anglo-Saxon root, namely circe. And the origin of circe? Any encyclopaedia, or dictionary of mythology, will reveal who Circe was. She was the goddess-daughter of Helios, the Sun-deity! Again, another form of Sun-worship, this time the daughter of the Sun-deity, had become mixed with the Messianic Faith.


Some interesting facts emerge from the study of the word circe. The word is related to "circus", "circle", "circuit", "Circean", "circulate", and the various words starting with "circum-". The Latin pronunciation could have been "sirke" or "sirse". The Old English word circe may have been pronounced similarly to "kirke", or even "sirse".

However, Circe was in fact originally a Greek goddess where her name was written as: Kirke, and pronounced as such—just as in numerous similar cases of words of Greek origin, e.g. cyst and kustis, cycle and kuklos, cylinder and kulindros. The word "church" is known in Scotland as kirk, and in German as Kirche and in Netherlands as kerk. These words show their direct derivation from the Greek Kirke even better than the English "church". However, even the Old English circe for "church", reveals its origin.

Let us rather use the Scriptural "Assembly" or "Congregation", and renounce the word that is derived from Circe, the daughter of the Sun-deity!
 
Loyal
I just said in 3 or 4 posts here, that the church is not a building. But a building can be a church sometimes.
Is the temple a Roman Catholic invention? No.. the temple was around long before the RC church.
Did Jesus have a problem with the temple? I found about 20 verses that say Jesus was in the temple.. here are a few of them.
Some even say He was in the temple "daily" (as in every day). He even calls the temple "My house" in a few verses.
I have a hard time thinking Jesus/God have a problem with a building being called a church.

Matt 21:
12; And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves.
13; And He *said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers’ den.”
14; And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.
15; But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were shouting in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they became indignant

Matt 21:
23; When He entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to Him while He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things, and who gave You this authority?

Matt 24:1; Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him

Mark 11: 11; Jesus entered Jerusalem and came into the temple; and after looking around at everything, He left for Bethany with the twelve, since it was already late.

Mark 11:
15; Then they *came to Jerusalem. And He entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves;
16; and He would not permit anyone to carry merchandise through the temple.
17; And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a robbers’ den.”

Mark 11:27; They *came again to Jerusalem. And as He was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders *came to Him,

Mark 14:49; Every day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize Me; but this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures.”

Luke 2:46; Then, after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions.

Luke 19:47; And He was teaching daily in the temple; but the chief priests and the scribes and the leading men among the people were trying to destroy Him,

Luke 21:37; Now during the day He was teaching in the temple, but at evening He would go out and spend the night on the mount that is called Olivet.
Luke 21:38; And all the people would get up early in the morning to come to Him in the temple to listen to Him.

John 2:14; And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables.
John 2:15; And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables;

John 7:14; But when it was now the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and began to teach

What about the Apostles.. after Jesus was resurrected? Did they go to the temple?
Acts 2:46; Acts 3:1; Acts 3:3; Acts 5:20-25; Acts 5:42; Acts 21:26; Acts 21:29-30; Acts 24:18; Acts 26:21;

What about after the Millennial reign and the second Coming? Will believers still go to a temple?
Rev 3:12; Rev 7:15; Rev 11:19;


The word most commonly used as "temple".
Strong's G2413 - hieros
 
Loyal
Top Poster Of Month
I think some people are really struggling with this. I already said the church is within the individual. I already said the church exists globally.
I don't have a problem with either of those things.

But what's wrong with it existing locally in your neighborhood? What's wrong with it existing in your sphere of influence?
Nobody is talking about friendship with the world. The church is not the world. But the church is other believers besides you.
People in your town, on your block. Where you work... what's wrong with getting to know them and love them?
You may not be able to do anything about what's happening in Africa, or Australia, or the US, or the UK, or Russia, or China...
but you can do something about what's happening your neighborhood. You can do something for the church in your town.

Some people really seem to have a hard heart when it comes to loving other people. I'm not going to be part of a group no matter what.


Perhaps.. but have you met any of these people face to face? Hugged them? Do you know them... not know "about" them.. know them.
What's my favorite color? What's my wife's name? What is the name of my oldest child? What is my biggest hang-up? What is my biggest fear?
Are my parent still alive? Are all my brothers and sisters still alive? Why was I in the hospital for 3 months? Have you ever given me anything besides prayers?
Food, shelter, clothing? (Not that I currently need these things, but I have needed some of them in the past)

If you don't know me, and I don't know you. How can we really love one another. Love is more than words.. Love is an action.

John 13:35; By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

I understand what you are saying brother, what you say is important, but Jesus said 'where two or three come together in His Name'. He didn't say how, he said 'where' 'two or three come together in His Name'.

The ekklesia is worldwide brother, we cannot all get into one building, in one area, in one country, so 'where' or 'where ever' two or three come together...

The local place of worship is important, we agree, but the spiritual stones in that place is only part of the spiritual stones across the world. The spiritual stones, the truly born again believers are the church, the only church, the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ, the ekklesia.

Every place has a part, every part as a place, together they are one, regardless of where they live in the world, age, sex, denomination (man made).

Bless you.
 
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