What are the roots, the history, of the Church? What sets apart people whom God calls His own? How does God use the Church to achieve His purposes? What does the Church do for you, and what should its members do for the Church? How can you be part of what God is doing through His Church?
For many people a church is mostly a social club or a place to be seen as an upstanding member of the community. But God had a bigger purpose in mind for His called-out people. We can have a role in the greatest work being done on earth today!
The Bible uses several analogies to teach us about God's Church—how it is organized, how it works and how we should relate to the Church and each other. One of these compares the Church with something close at hand—our amazing human body.
Today, with so many churches professing Christianity while teaching widely divergent doctrines, how can we recognize the Church? What are the hallmarks of God's Church? What does it teach? What does it do?
Church is the English translation of the Greek word ekklesia. The use of the Greek term prior to the emergence of the Christian church is important as two streams of meaning flow from the history of its usage into the New Testament understanding of church.