We will start with ekklesia since this is a most essential premise. This is the framework we function within as children of God. The word ekklesia comes from the Greek language. In the Hebrew language we find the words qahal and edah frequently used about Israel as a congregation. These two words often translates to ekklesia in the Greek Septuagint translation.
Ekklesia is significant in God’s purpose. Adam and Eve started out i the middle of God’s greatest purpose. Abraham and the patriarchs were called from being among the gentiles and into God’s purpose. Israel became the first ekklesia within the covenants that existed at their time.
The ekklesia of the new covenant is a living body founded upon the Messiah, the Son of the living God. We are called out of the darkness and into the light (the Kingdom of God). Before anything else, the ekklesia is a spiritual entity, heavenly if you wish. From this starting point the expressions are many and diverse. Scripture becomes a key guide and authority in discovering God’s ways for each expression.
Ekklesia, the assembly or the Body of Christ is built upon the truth that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. It springs forth through the life of Christ, his redemptive death, resurrection and having been seated on His throne in the heavenlies. The ekklesia is a living and dynamic body. Through it the prayer “Let your Kingdom come” is unfolding. The ekklesia has been given the mandate to make disciples of all nations and bring them into the fullness of understanding who God truly is. The ekklesia is built up through the five-fold ministry gifts, moving into maturity and being prepared as a worthy bride for Jesus.
Historically Adam and Eve would have been the first ekklesia. Israel was called to be God’s ekklesia and through Jesus everyone is invited to become a member of this vast family. We have been called out of darkness into the light. The ekklesia then becomes the prototype community through which God’s eternal purpose on earth is restored. Even with the epic events that are still ahead of us, our calling is to be God’s community and leaven in this world. With God as our source, Creator, Savior and aim, the ekklesia is a remnant that learns to walk in God’s way in every way it manifests. We then see the wheat and the tares growing together. At the end of the age the angels will first gather the tares and burn them and then the wheat shall be gathered.
Ekklesia becomes the birthing place for this new community that will exist into eternity. Carrying the presence of God, the ekklesia is light, salt and hope as it reveals God’s amazing love and teaches the nations. The inner life of the ekklesia is modelled after the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The world will know God through the ekklesia.
The ekklesia becomes a revelatory body that displays God’s purposes as flowing from His being and His presence. It is a prophetic and hopeful plumbline where the world has gone astray. Because the Kingdom of God manifests on earth through the maturing of the ekklesia, its unity and geographic footprints are essential. Much of contemporary thought can be damaging to God’s purposes. Spiritual authority is gained in an area when the ekklesia, the Body of Christ stands together in unity.