The Church—The Called Out – Kent Bailey

Kent Bailey

When one comes to a proper understanding of the New Testament church one will ascertain that Christ is its head. It follows by logical deduction that the church is to be subject to its head, Christ. We also take note of the fact that Christ loved the church and gave himself up for it. These great truths are illustrated by God’s arrangements in the home. Wives are to submit themselves to their husbands and husbands are to love their wives.

It is both interesting and crucial to note that there is a direct parallel in one’s entering into the marriage bond to that of entering the church of the Lord. Both involve the aspect of free moral agency. We must exercise the freedom of choice to be married; we must also exercise freedom of choice to obey the gospel of Christ, being thus added by the Lord to his one true church. When individuals become married they are called out of the state of being single and enter into the state of being joined to their mate. When one obeys the gospel of Christ one is called out of the world and enters a relationship with all others who comprise the universal body of the saved having been redeem by the blood of Christ.

It is the divine plan and purview of God for the marriage bond to be undefiled by sin. The marriage relationship is indeed holy, authorized of God and must be maintained as such (Matt. 19:5-6; Heb. 13:4). Man and woman leave father and mother and are joined in the marriage bond to become one in aim, purpose, and collective relationship. The same principle is true of becoming a Christian, thus being added to the church of the Lord. This relationship is also, holy, authorized of God and essential to our own salvation (Acts 2:47; 1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 5:22-23).

As we give careful analysis to the church of Christ such is comparable to the marriage relationship. In marriage one is called into a particular relationship with their spouse; in the church individuals have been called into a saved relationship with Christ.

The church-the ekklesia of Christ. The term church is translated from the Koine Greek term ekklesia. A careful analysis of the word demonstrates both its origin and usage, especially as it relates to the New Testament. It noting its origin we find that it is derived from two specific words:

· ek – a preposition. Prepositions demonstrate a relationship or that of location. They are used as an aid in the demonstration of substantive relations. In its use it is regularly placed before the noun (A Manual Grammar Of The Greek New Testament, p. 96).

· ek – The primary definition means out of.

· klesia – Derived from kaleo a verb.

· klesia – The proper definition of this term is to call.

· ek and kaleo combined form a noun – a name of an entity.

· ekklesia thus means That which is called out.

In the gospel it is Christ who does the calling. Sin promotes great difficulty and that of weariness. It can be a ruthless task master. However, Christ offers true spiritual rest (Matt. 11:28). The call of Christ requires that one deny self (Matt. 16:24). Christ is the qualified being to make such a call to the totality of accountable humanity (Matt. 17:5). The apostles of Christ served as direct representatives to make such a call (2 Cor. 6:17-18). The love of Christ is paramount in the gospel as he made the aspect of Salvation available to all accountable individuals (Rev. 3:20).

This calling of Christ is through or by means of the gospel. We note such in the giving of the great commission (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16). Christ plainly set forth the concept that the conditions and all essential components of Salvation are addressed to one’s reasoning capacity which implies the necessity of teaching (John 6:44-45). We note such when the gospel was first proclaimed at Pentecost in AD 30 (Acts 2:39-40). We shall be judged by the gospel (John 12:48; 2 Thess. 2:13-14).

Individuals are called out… The contamination of sin (Matt. 9:13; Rom. 3:23; 6:23; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; 1 Pet. 1:22-23). The bondage of sin (Rom. 6:16-18). The snare of the Devil (2 Tim. 2:22-26). A war against God that is impossible for any individual or group of individuals to win (1 Pet. 5:8-9; Jas. 4:1-4; Eph. 6:10-17). That of spiritual death (Rom. 3:23; 6:23; Eph. 2:1-2). Christ gives the implements of war that will provide a great victory for all of those who are faithful (Eph. 6:10-17).

Individuals are called into… The state or condition of Salvation from past alien sins (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:36-47). They are also called to maintain their faithfulness of walking within the light of the truth of God (1 John 1:6:10). Those who are in Christ are called to remain faithful and by such inherit eternal life (Rev. 2:10). In accepting the gospel call of Christ individuals are called into one body (Eph. 2:11-16; 1:21-23; 4:4; 5:23; 1 Cor. 12:13). While the body of followers of Christ do not save any individuals, none the less it is this one and exclusive body that constitutes the totality of all of those who have been saved from past sin.

When one ascertains the truth of God regarding the nature of the New Testament church one will properly understand the essence of Salvation, thus noting that such is found within the confines of the New Testament church.

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Author: Editor

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