By Janelle Pollard
“I’m going to church today.”
“Would you like to visit my church?”
“VBS meeting tonight at church!”
These are a few examples of the kinds of things many Christians (myself included) often say or have said when referring to the place that we worship. Well-meaning, and probably due to habit or for the sake of convenience, we can often be heard descibing “church” as the building in which we meet each week to fellowship with other Christians and worship God. But what is the accurate description of the church, according to the Bible?
The topic of “church” is mentioned throughout the New Testament. In Ephesians 5:25-26, the apostle Paul, inspired by God, writes, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,”
So does this mean the church is a place or a people? If we were to replace the word “church” with “building” or “place of meeting,” would it make sense? Let’s find out..
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the building and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word.”
It wouldn’t make sense. So, why does this matter anyway? It matters because Jesus died on the cross and paid for the church with his own blood (Ephesians 5:25, “..as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her…” When we obey the gospel, we are added to the church, not by our own doing, but by God’s, which we read about in Acts 2 where Peter was preaching at Pentecost:.
41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
When we become a Christian through faith and obedience, we are added by God to the one and only church.
Romans 12:5, “so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”
Choosing to be a part of this family, the church, is the best decision you could make, and one that you will never regret. If you aren’t sure yet about this decision, but would like more information about the church, please reach out and we would love to answer any questions you might have!
3 thoughts on “A Place or A People?”
I’ve often thought what an opportunity we miss when we fail to differentiate in conversation the difference between the church and the church building! It’s not enough to bring that out in our lessons. It’ll mean more for listeners to HEAR US USE THOSE TERMS PROPERLY AS WE converse! No, I don’t believe it’s wrong —per se—to use the commonly accepted way, but WE MISS GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES WHEN WE DO!!!!! Janice Garner
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