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THE CHURCH. DEFINITION: Hebrew. qahal , “an assembly, gathering,” used as noun 123x; translated by ekklesia in LXX In 36 instances, translated by sunagoge Verb used 39x Used to refer to groups in general, such as those gathered for military purposes, judicial purposes

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definition hebrew
DEFINITION: Hebrew
  • qahal, “an assembly, gathering,” used as noun 123x; translated by ekklesia in LXX
    • In 36 instances, translated by sunagoge
    • Verb used 39x
    • Used to refer to groups in general, such as those gathered for military purposes, judicial purposes
  • ‘eda, “assembly, congregation, multitude” practically synonymous with qahal

Church and Sacraments 2

definition greek
DEFINITION: Greek
  • ekklesia, “gathering or assembly, church”;
    • Prior to NT used almost exclusively for secular assemblies
    • From ek(out of) and kaleo (call)
    • Focus is on the gathered body, not the act of coming out
    • The calling out of citizens to attend to the discussion of public business

Church and Sacraments 2

definition greek1
DEFINITION: Greek
  • In a local sense nearly 40 times; e.g.,
    • Acts 5:11, “And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.”
  • In a generic sense, i.e., of an institution:
    • Matt. 18:17, “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”
    • I Cor. 12:28, “And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.”
    • I Tim. 3:15, “if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of truth. ”

Church and Sacraments 2

definition greek2
DEFINITION: Greek
    • James 5:14, “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.”
  • In a collective sense, i.e., an organized mass of believers (later theologians, the Visible Church);
    • Acts 8:3, “But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.”
    • I Cor. 15:9, “For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.”
    • Gal. 1:13, “For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it.”

Church and Sacraments 2

definition greek3
DEFINITION: Greek
    • Phil. 3:6, “as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness, under the law blameless.”
  • To the Church extended abroad, Acts 9:31, “So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up.”
  • “Church” is used in the broadest sense: all believers (later theologians, the Invisible Church)
    • Eph. 1:22, “And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body . . . ”
    • Col. 1:18, “And he is the head of the body, the church.”

Church and Sacraments 2

definition greek4
DEFINITION: Greek
  • Miscellaneous uses:
    • An assembly in the desert (O.T.), Acts 7:38, “This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai . . . ”
    • An unruly “mob” gathering, Acts 19:32, “Now some cried out one thing, some another, for the assembly was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had come together.” See also vss. 39,41
    • To refer to kingly gathering for liturgical praise, Hebrews 2:12, “saying, ‘I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.’”

Church and Sacraments 2

definition greek5
DEFINITION: Greek
  • Some difficult usages:
    • Matt. 16:18, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. ” Perhaps the Church Militant
    • Acts 20:28, “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. ” (the assembly in Ephesus)

Church and Sacraments 2

definition
DEFINITION:
  • Three basic meanings:
    • Local gathering of believers and their children, The Visible Church
    • Collective number of professing Christians and their children, The Visible Church
    • Sum total of all in union with Christ, The Invisible Church

Church and Sacraments 2

definition other words
DEFINITION: Other Words
  • circe, Saxon
  • kirk, Scottish
  • kirche, German
  • All of these are most likely derived from kuriakos, “of the Lord, the Lord’s”

Church and Sacraments 2

definition confessional
DEFINITION: Confessional
  • L.C. # 62, “The visible church is a society made up of all such as in all ages and places of the world do profess the true religion and of their children.” WCF, 25:2
  • L.C. # 64, “The invisible church is the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one under Christ the head.” WCF, 25:1

Church and Sacraments 2

the church in scripture
THE CHURCH IN SCRIPTURE
  • The Church is a mystery of faith in history
    • The Church and the mission of God: redemptive work
    • The Church as a reality of faith
      • The Apostles’ Creed (in its structure) relates the mission of Church to the mission of God
      • The Church cannot be understood as a self-contained reality, but only from the perspective of belief in God and as a result of the Trinitarian life in history
    • The Church does not have a mission of its own

Church and Sacraments 2

christ and the church
CHRIST AND THE CHURCH
  • As victorious Lord of the Covenant, Christ assembles his people
    • Calling the disciples, Mark 1:17,20; Matt. 4:19
    • The building of the New Israel, Matt. 16:16-8
  • The Church is united with Christ as his body
    • This Union is not first and foremost mystical
    • This Union is primarily covenantal
    • Each individual is united directly to Christ
    • There is no salvation without union in Body of Christ, hence the importance of koinonia

Church and Sacraments 2

christ and the church1
CHRIST AND THE CHURCH
  • Christ is the builder of the Church
    • As Priest, he offers the perfect sacrifice of himself and meets the demands of the covenant
    • As Prophet, he calls his own and teaches them how to live
    • As King, he establishes order in the Church
      • He has the authority to give it the keys to the Kingdom
      • He gives offices to the Church and institutes its government
      • He established its sacraments and grounds of worship.

Church and Sacraments 2

christ and the church2
CHRIST AND THE CHURCH
  • WCF, 25:6, “There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ; nor can mere man in any sense be the head thereof.”

Church and Sacraments 2

reality of the church
REALITY OF THE CHURCH
  • The Church is simultaneously visible and invisible (2 aspects, not 2 churches)
    • The visible church should not be interpreted as a reflection of some more real, invisible Church (shades of Plato!)
    • The Holy Spirit always works on some material- in this regard, he works on the visible Church
    • The visible Church which we see points us to the invisible Church which we cannot see but know to be real

Church and Sacraments 2

trinitarian images of church
TRINITARIAN IMAGES OF CHURCH
  • It is called The People of God- II Cor. 6:16, “What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, ‘I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.’”
  • It is The Body of Christ-
    • Eph. 1:22-23, “And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.”
    • I Cor. 12:27, “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. ”

Church and Sacraments 2

trinitarian images of church1
TRINITARIAN IMAGES OF CHURCH
  • The Body of Christ, cont.
    • Col. 1:18, “And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. ”
  • It is the Temple of the Holy Spirit-
    • I Cor. 3:16-17, “Do you not know that you are God\'s temple and that God\'s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God\'s temple, God will destroy him. For God\'s temple is holy, and you are that temple. ”
    • I Cor. 6:19, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,”

Church and Sacraments 2

trinitarian images of church2
TRINITARIAN IMAGES OF CHURCH
  • Temple of the Holy Spirit, cont.
    • I Cor. 12:13, “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body- Jews or Greeks, slaves or free- and all were made to drink of one Spirit. ”
    • I Peter 2:5, “you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

Church and Sacraments 2

additional biblical images
ADDITIONAL BIBLICAL IMAGES
  • The Bride of Christ
    • II Cor. 11:2, “I feel a divine jealousy for you, for I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. ”
    • Eph. 5:23, “For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. ”
  • God’s Building
    • I Cor. 3:9-15, “For we are God\'s fellow workers. You are God\'s field, God\'s building. According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw- each one\'s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone\'s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. ”

Church and Sacraments 2

additional biblical images1
ADDITIONAL BIBLICAL IMAGES
  • God’s Building, cont.
    • Eph. 2:19-22, “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. ”
  • The Fellowship of the Spirit, Eph. 2:22, “In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”
  • Branches on a Vine, John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

Church and Sacraments 2

additional biblical images2
ADDITIONAL BIBLICAL IMAGES
  • An Olive Tree, Rom. 11:17-24, “But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. Then you will say, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in." That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God\'s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.”

Church and Sacraments 2

additional biblical images3
ADDITIONAL BIBLICAL IMAGES
  • God’s Field, I Cor. 3:6-9, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God\'s fellow workers. You are God\'s field, God\'s building.”
  • A Harvest, Matt. 13:1-30, (vs. 17,18), “And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven. ‘From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near.’”

Church and Sacraments 2

additional biblical images4
ADDITIONAL BIBLICAL IMAGES
  • The Pillar and Ground of Truth, I Tim. 3:15, “if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of truth. ”
  • A Royal Priesthood,
    • I Peter 2:5, “you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
    • I Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, aholy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. ”

Church and Sacraments 2

church and kingdom
CHURCH AND KINGDOM
  • The Church is not the Kingdom, per se
    • The kingdom is, at its most basic, the rule and reign of God’s saving grace with its promise of blessing and glory)
  • The Kingdom creates the Church
  • The Church witnesses to the Kingdom
  • The Church is the instrument of the Kingdom
  • The Church is the custodian of the Kingdom

Church and Sacraments 2

affirmations of the church
AFFIRMATIONS OF THE CHURCH
  • The Church is not God: We are the face of God
  • The Church comes from God’s grace as it is made present in individual and communal acts of faith
  • From the perspective of faith and theology, the exact limits and boundaries of the Church cannot always be identified
  • As a faith reality, the Church eludes definition in a rigorous sense and is grasped more satisfactorily by the use of images, models, or perspectives 

Church and Sacraments 2

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