From the start, the church has been a work of God. He adds to the church daily by the preaching of the Word and the drawing of the Holy Spirit.
The word “church” is translated from the Greek ecclesia (pronounced ek-klay- see’-ah), meaning called-out ones. God has called every person to come “out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pt. 2:9). Those who sincerely respond with repentance and faith are accepted into its ranks. Ecclesia is found 114 times in Scripture. Three times it is translated assembly; all other times it is rendered church or churches. It can refer to the entire church (both on earth and in heaven) or to local assemblies.
Presently, over two billion people claim the Christian faith in this world. However, there are two primary groups, one contained within the other. First, there is a ‘professing church’ (comprised of all who profess faith in a historical Christ). Second, there is a smaller-in-number core group that could be named the ‘possessing church’ (those who possess a genuine relationship with the Lord Jesus). This latter group is the true church, not just an organization, but an organism—a living body of believers who have been born again.
Acts 20:28 declares that these blessed individuals make up “the church of God which He has purchased with His own blood.” Whenever a buyer acquires goods, he must first be convinced they are more valuable than the price demanded—or he will never complete the transaction. In like manner, the Lord must have decided, though we were sin-stained, we were more valuable to Him than His own precious blood. What an amazing proof of God’s great love toward us!
DECLARE WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST
I declare that I am part of the church. I am one of God’s called-out ones. I have been born again, and I possess a personal relationship with the head of the church, the Lord Jesus Christ. He has called me out of sin into righteousness, out of depression into joy, out of defeat into victory, out of darkness into His glorious light. I know I am valuable to God, for He has purchased me with the blood of His Son. One day He will call me out of time into eternity, in Jesus’s name, Amen.