May 13, 2009
Citizens of The City
I guess you can't talk about "the Church" without addressing the Greek term ekklesia. This is the term most often used in the N.T. for the Church, .... but why? What were the N.T. writers trying to teach us about ourselves by picking this term?
This term was used in the Septuagint (LXX) to describe the assembly of Israel in many different contexts. It is used for Israel as a religious, social and political body. In the Greek world it was used to describe the citizens of a particular city when they gathered for "official" business. To put it bluntly, ekklesia was and is an inherently social and political term.
When Paul went to Gentile cities and proclaimed the message of the gospel, he was announcing to the leaders and citizens of that city that a new city was being formed and in this new city we bow the knee to King Jesus. In this new city, we have our own story and are governed by our own King. The Church was not being offered as a club or sect that existed along side or under that particular city, but as a clear alternative to that "city of man".