E K K L E S I A
[And Jesus answered him].. "And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church (ekklesia), and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
The word church was used over one thousand times in the New Testament. Only three of those times did the divinely-inspired writers use a Greek word that represented a gathering or assembly of believers, the way we view church today. The majority of the time the word ekklesia was chosen.
In order to understand the word ekklesia, we must look into its history. Ekklesia was a word that was used often in the culture of the early Christianity. It represented the concept of occupying and infiltrating one's surroundings. It spoke of governmental authority. In Roman culture it meant that when the Romans invaded an area, they were to make it look as much like Rome as possible.
When ekklesia happened, things changed.
Ekklesia was not a stagnant place, where people gathered to celebrate, and then dispersed to their homes to wait and do it again.
Rather, it was a group of people who were called out from something and to something. Colonizers, if you will.
When we apply this word to the concept of church, as it was initially designed to be, everything changes.
We don't go to church, we are the church. We have a responsibility to bring about the Father's will. On Earth as it is in Heaven. Everywhere we go should look different because we have been there. Imagine if every believer took this responsibility seriously? What a difference it would make in our cities, our nation, our world. I have a feeling we would not be in the mess we are in today if believers took ahold of this heavenly mandate.
We are Kingdom representatives who have the privilege of infusing Heaven's DNA into our surroundings.
We are the salt of the earth! Salt brings out flavor, it transforms. It improves whatever it is sprinkled on. Salt does zero good if it remains all clustered together in the shaker. It needs to be dispersed. In the same way, when we live our Christian lives only to go to church and surround ourselves with other Christians, we are not influencing culture as we were designed to do.
As you go about your day today, if you are a believer in Christ, remember that you carry the Presence of the Living God within you. You have the privilege and responsibility to infuse Kingdom culture into your surroundings. Spend some time in prayer and ask God who He would like you to reach. This will involve sacrifice of your time. It will stretch you out of your comfort zone.
But the results will be glorious!
Remember that Jesus gave you the keys to the Kingdom and the power and authority to make a difference and to bring Heaven to Earth. Speak His life-giving Words to those you meet. Bind the works of the enemy and release God's peace as you live every day on a mission for Him. Be a part of spreading God's glory all throughout the Earth!