Let’s Not Play Church #1

What is the church?

We have all heard the term “church” thrown about in many occasions. “We are going to church.”
“Do you know brother (enter desired name) at church?” The church is at (enter desired address). In the above mentioned contexts, the church seems to be conveyed as a place, building or destination. However, nothing could be further from the truth! The church is not a building or destination. The church is a group of people who are believers in Jesus Christ who gather at a particular destination or building to worship, pray, and give praise to an Almighty God.

We are the church. We are the hands and feet of Christ. We are the bride of Christ, His beloved. The people are the church. The building is merely a place of Gathering. However, the building is also His House. Isaiah 56:7; Matthew 23:13; Mark 11:17; and Luke19:46 identify the gathering place as a “house of prayer”. It is prophesied in Isaiah and Jesus spoke of and claimed this prophecy in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The church is a gathering of like minded believers who gather to pray, worship, and offer praises and thanks to an Almighty God. I will delve into these elements of the church in later posts but for now I want to make the distinction between the church and the “church house”.

I can remember as a boy that the church building itself was never referred to as the “church”. It was referred to as the “church house”. Now I know that sounds old fashioned and old timey but I wonder if those old folks had a better grasp on God’s word than current generations do.

The church is the collective people within the body. All have different skills, talents, and gifts that are to build up the church. The church is not a building or facility. Nor is the church one man or a small collective group within the church as a whole.

The church was birthed in the Book of Acts and the numbers exploded dramatically (3000 in one day!) That is the church! We are the church! The house we gather at to worship, pray, and give thanks and praise is “His House”.

I know that this post may be rudimentary to many of you. I just wanted to clear things up for those who are new to the faith or those who simply may not know. Before we can be the church we must realize that we ARE the church. We are the beloved of Jesus Christ.

Rest easy in knowing that the church is not a place, thing, or action. The church is made up of people, people who love God and love other people.

In His Grip,

Lonnie Richardson

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