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The nature of the church

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The following post excerpts a lecture from Dr. Michael Morrison, dean of faculty and professor at Grace Communion Seminary.

Ekklesia What is the nature of the church? We learn a lot from the epistles of Paul where the apostle uses the Greek word ekklesia in referring to the church. Ekklesia comes from the Greek preposition ex (meaning out of) and the verb kaleĊ (meaning to call). In the first century, ekklesia was used to refer to town meetings in which citizens of a city were called together for a political purpose (e.g. Acts 19:39). By using the word ekklesia, Paul is viewing the church as a group of people who are called together. It may be that Paul's use of ekklesia was facilitated by the Septuagint's use of this Greek wordto correspond to the Hebrew word qahal, referring to the assembly of Israel. This does not mean, however, that Paul saw the gathering of Israel and the church as theological equivalents. We have to turn elsewhere to understand how Paul viewed the nature…