Church – New Testament Style

For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them. Matthew 18:20

And He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything He might be preeminent. Colossians 1:18

What is the Church? It is the Body of Christ. It is NOT a building. It is NOT a separate meeting place. It is when you ‘connect’ to other members of the Body of Christ. That can happen even when only two or three come together in the Spirit of God in the name of Jesus. That can be a spontaneous meeting or it can be planned. We’ve been so trained to believe the ‘church’ is a building or place where we practice our spiritual rituals, and that the ‘church’ has to have a ‘head’ / a person with a title of ‘pastor’ who will talk to everyone who is sitting quietly facing forward with the ‘pastor’ standing on a ‘platform’ preferably behind a pulpit. This is so ingrained into our lives that we now try to identify any “christians” we meet by asking “where they go to church”. Yet when we are talking with them – if any of the conversation turns to Christ and His life within us — ‘church’ has actually and already begun, right then and there. We’ve been so ingrained into the institutional system – just like the Jews of Jesus’ day …we think the synagogue  / church is the only place where our spiritual lives are expressed and fed. While that can be true for most of the people … of the Old Testament covenant …the New Covenant Jesus made with us is a bit different.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? 1 Corinthians 6:19

The dwelling place of God …now is within the Body of Christ, in the very bodies we walk around in. When we gather together… however small in number …the Body of Christ is represented to those around us, and Jesus is there as well. When we are told not to forsake the fellowship — that means to not be an ‘island’ and alone, but to fellowship with other Body members. That has nothing to do with a religious ceremony or service or ritual or involve a ‘professional’ clergy member, or going to a certain building.  It has everything to do with looking to encourage one another in Him. To give and receive encouragement and words of faith and testimony from each other. To eat together, and laugh together, and pray together. Where the Holy Spirit is free to move among us and have His way within us. If you’re not engaged with others in your time at ‘church’ — you’re not really ‘in’ church. The Greek word ekklesia is translated ‘church’ into English, can mean an ‘assembly’ (which can be as small as two according to Jesus), or the entire Body of Christ. We come to together as a Body for koinonia / fellowship which should be ‘in the Holy Spirit’.

What has the Spirit told you to bring to the next time of fellowship with the Body? What instructions has He given you? Are you discussing those things with Him? What does the Holy Spirit want you to bring that will encourage the other members of the Body? What testimony has He given you in the last week? When talking with other members of the Body be aware of the Presence of Jesus. Be listening for the Voice of the Holy Spirit within you. Be ready at any time to give and encourage those around you. Be ‘in’ Church …not ‘at’ Church. Be with the Body wherever, whenever, with the saints of God, joining with them in fellowship in the Spirit.

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