What is the Church?
The church has been confused for many erroneous beliefs. It is been confused for a building. It has been confused of as an organization. Yet, it is neither of those. To paraphrase Mark Driscoll, The church is not a Eucharistic society through which God dispenses grace by means of the sacraments. It is not a moral police force. It is not a holy building in which spiritual meetings take place.
How did the church come to be? It officially started with Jesus calling the disciples and them following Him. But they were not officially called the church until much later. It comes from the Greek word ἐκκλησία (transliterated ekklēsia). This word means a called out assembly. One person has said the church is used for the “congregation which the living God assembles about His Messiah Jesus.” The church then is anyone who has become part of the assembly of God (not the denomination), which is the family of God.
The church is comprised of two parts. It has the universal part that unites all believers from every corner of the world. Every believer, no matter denomination, race, or gender, are made to be the children of God. 1 John 3:1 explains that God loved us so much we are called his children. 2 Corinthians 6:18 says "I will be a Father to you, and you will be My sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty." Every believer belongs to this family. Every believer is united though Jesus to be part of the universal church.
The second part of the church is local. Many passages point to being involved with the local arm of the church. Hebrews 10:25 says not to forsake the assembling of yourselves together. It would be hard to gather every believer in the world into one area. Even with today's technology, it would be difficult to gather every believer around the world into one place online. The letters from Paul to the various churches show that they were meeting locally. They are the letters to the church at [fill in the church name].
The church then, is comprised of every believer from every nation, but working in a local context. This does not mean they cannot reach out in support of those serving in other places, but it does mean they need to be impacting their local area. They need to accomplish the great commission to those where they are already located. They need to share the love of God at home.
Are you part of the universal church? Are you part of a local body of believers? If not come visit us at Faith Journey. We would enjoy worshiping our heavenly father with you.
Feel free to comment questions, comments, or concerns. Look forward to a short study on what the church should be doing next week.
 Mark Driscoll, Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe, 307.
 R. G. Clouse, “Church,” Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, 246.