"We don't go to church; we are the church."
You've heard this before, as have I, many times. I understand the point being attempted, but I have seen such a sentiment espoused by those with a very low view of the church (i.e., the local church).
It's worth noting that the Greek word for "church" (ekklesia) means assembly
Most know the New Testament was written in Greek, but many don't know that the "Old Testament" used in the days of Jesus was the Septuagint, or LXX, a Greek translation of the Hebrew.
In the Septuagint, which the New Testament quotes, every time you see "assembly" in English in the Old Testament the word was ekklesia in the Greek Septuagint.
Sure, the church is the ekklesia, the "called out ones,"
but they are called out to be called together
. The church is community, not a bunch of individuals armed with their Bibles needing nothing or nobody else.
“If the church is central to God’s purpose as seen in both history and the gospel, it must surely also be central to our lives. How can we take lightly what God takes so seriously? How dare we push to the circumference what God has placed at the center?”
- John Stott
Sadly, I know far too many who consider themselves spiritually mature, yet they have little to no commitment to the gathering of God's people for worship, edification, and encouragement.
It's ironic because they not only are failing in a very fundamental aspect of what it means to be a Christian, but they are also short-circuiting their own spiritual growth by not churching, which would give them a place to serve, worship, learn, encourage, and be encouraged.
In short, they are not being the church
and they are thwarting their own sanctification and, therefore, the glory God would get from them if their lives better reflected His character.
Hillary was wrong. It doesn't take a village. It takes a church
Be the church, of course, but you can't be the church without being with the church
Labels: church, language