Understanding the Ekklesia

Matthew 16:15-19
15 He said to them, But who do you [yourselves] say that I am?

16 Simon Peter replied, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.

17 Then Jesus answered him, Blessed (happy, fortunate, and [a]to be envied) are you, Simon Bar-Jonah. For flesh and blood [men] have not revealed this to you, but My Father Who is in heaven.

18 And I tell you, you are [b]Peter [Greek, Petros—a large piece of rock], and on this rock [Greek, petra—a [c]huge rock like Gibraltar] I will build My congregation, and the gates of Hades (the powers of the [d]infernal region) shall [e]not overpower it [or be strong to its detriment or hold out against it].

19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind (declare to be improper and unlawful) on earth [f]must be what is already bound in heaven; and whatever you loose (declare lawful) on earth [g]must be what is already loosed in heaven.”

If you go back to the appropriate translation of the Greek word, it is the Ekklesia; which means a group of people who have gathered for some particular purpose. Although often translated church, no Greek word meaning Church is used in the Greek New Testament. Another Greek word sometimes translated Church, in Job 2:2, is Sunagoga, now written synagogue in English. Sunagoga means a gathering of people or an assembly. Church is not an appropriate translation of either word because that in our minds refers to an organization or to a building, while both Greek words, Ekklesia and Sunagoga, refer to people. The people are far more important than the organization or the building. Therefore in this translation Ekklesia is always translated congregation, and Sunagoga is translated synagogue or public gathering. Ekklesia is also used in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, where it is translated congregation. Since the authors of the Bible did not use a word for church, the word church does not appear in the Scriptures. (One New Man Bible Glossary)

In order to legislate as the Ekklesia, we must first have a governmental foundation in which the principles of God’s kingdom is able to be executed.

“And the grace that was given to each one of us according to the measure of the gift of the Messiah. For this reason it says, ‘When He ascended into the high places He turned the tables on your enemies in warfare. He gave gifts to mankind.’ And He went up. What is this ascending, unless He also descended into the lower parts of the earth? The One Who descended is the same One Who also ascended high above all the heavens, so that all things would be filled with His presence. And He gave on the one hand apostles, on another hand prophets, still others evangelists, and others pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of the Messiah, until we would all attain in the unity of faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, into a mature person, to the measure of the full maturity of the Messiah, so that no longer would we be infants, being tossed about and carried by every wind of teaching in the craftiness of men, in cunning with deceitful scheming, but that being truthful in love we would bring to maturity all the things in Him, Who is the Head, Messiah, from Whom the whole body of Messiah is being joined together and uniting through every ligament that serves for support, according to working in a measure by each individual part, He is making the body grow, building itself up in love.” Ephesians 4:7-16

So there is a greater grace that is available to us to become the Ekklesia to become a fully-formed and mature body of believers that are trained up and equipped as the sons/daughters of God. So we go from being a Teknon: properly, a child; (figuratively) anyone living in full dependence on the heavenly Father, i.e. fully (willingly) relying upon the Lord in glad submission. This prompts God to transform them into His likeness.
And when we have been fully trained up and equipped under the tutelage of His gifts, we become the hyiós – properly, a son (by birth or adoption); (figuratively) anyone sharing the same nature as their Father. For the believer, becoming a son of God begins with being reborn (adopted) by the heavenly Father – through Christ (the work of the eternal Son). In the NT, 5207 /hyiós (“son”) equally refers to female believers (Gal 3:28).

“So then, brothers, we are obligated not to live according to the flesh, for if you would live according to the flesh, you are going to die; but if you are dead to the deeds of the body, you will live by the Spirit. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the children (hyios) of God. For you did not take a spirit of bondage again in fear, but to Whom you took a spirit of adoption as children (hyios), we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are children (hyios) of God. And if children (hyios), then we are heirs, indeed heirs of God, and fellow-heirs of Messiah, provided that we suffer together to the end so that we would also be glorified together.” vs 19 For the eager and persistent expectation of all creation awaits diligently and patiently the revelation of the children (hyios) of God.” Romans 8:12-17 The spirit of adoption that translates us from being children (teknon) to sons (hyios) is a sign that he can entrust his will to his sons/daughters and they will carry it out completely.

“I shall declare the decree; the Lord said to me, You are My Son. This day I have begotten You.” Psalms 2:7 I am going to stop there, because that was a significant statement that was made in light of the nations setting themselves up against the Lord and His Anointed. The Father’s declaration was also a commissioning. He was saying, “I have already installed my King upon Zion, my holy hill. My Son is in the very image and likeness of Me (the Father) and has grown up and been trained to execute my final will and testament. He is the inheritor of my will and I authorize Him to execute it on earth as it already is in heaven. He came to the age of maturity.

Now all things are summed up and consummated in Jesus Christ as the head over his Ekklesia, and we have all the provision that we need to carry out his will. The cloud is moving and we must move with it. He is beckoning us to go beyond the veil into the Holy of Holies, cleansing ourselves of unworthy suspicions concerning his faithfulness, separate the holy from the profane and the truths that we have camped out on will be a truth that we can build upon. He said, ‘I will not lay another foundation, except for the one already laid.” Which means that he has been preparing us line upon line and precept upon precept, establishing his word so that we can move into fulness and become mature sons/daughters of God.

I will end with this, Phillippians 3:12-15 “Not because I have already obtained or I have already been perfected, but I am pursuing, if also I could lay hold of the victory, upon which I have come into possession of my inheritance under Messiah Y’Shua. Brothers, I do not count myself to have already obtained my inheritance: but one thing, that indeed forgetting what lies behind, and stretching myself out toward the goal that lies before me, press on toward that goal, the prize that is the object of the upward call of God in Messiah Y’shua.”

“Spiritual Awakening is not getting rid of sin, but giving God what he wants.”

Written by Shannon


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