Foundational Considerations of “The Church”

Foundational Truths About The Church

When we consider items that pertain to the foundation of the church we must first consider the Greek translation for the church which is “ekklesia” meaning called out.  The church is called out from the world in the sense of its direction and purpose.  Consider 2 Corinthians 6:17:

17 Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.”[a]

We ust also consider Matthew 16:18 which says:

13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”

14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

Notice, in the scripture referenced above Jesus said: “Upon this “rock”, I will build my church”. The rock that Jesus referenced was Peter’s declaration that Jesus was the Christ, the son of the living God referenced in verse 16.  It was not Peter himself.  Why would Christ build his church on a man?  This would be sinking sand.  Peter clearly demonstrated in scripture that he was human.  The foundation pertains to Christ.

In addition, John 1:1 says that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God; then when we get to John 1:14 we see that the Word became flesh. The Word that we find referenced here once again is Jesus. So we can also conclude that the Word and Christ are synonymous.  So the foundation of God’s church is the Word of God (a.k.a. Christ).

To take it a step further the scriptures declare that the Word is truth as seen in John 17:17:

17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

So not only is Christ “the Word” and “the Word” is truth, Christ is truth as well.  This means that everything that he said was true.  as he said to Pilate in John 18:37-38:

37 Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?”

Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”

38 Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all.

The Church is a Spiritual Body not Physical

Christ’s church is spiritual and has absolutely nothing to do with the respective buildings where we gather to worship on Sundays.  This can be seen in Christ’s conversation with the woman at the well where she focused on the appropriate place for worship in John 4:

23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Jesus also told Pilate in John 18:

36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”

This confirms that Christ’s kingdom is spiritual not physical.  This also includes the church. The old testament temple was God’s first method of working with Israel.  However, God’s plan was for man’s body to be the temple of the Holy Spirit as we read in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

In our next blog we will discuss what should be considered in a church name based on scripture.

What is Truth: A Review of Christ’s Dialogue with Pontius Pilate

Jesus & PilateIn a world where facts are often considered to be subjective (a clear sign of the world’s insanity) it is quite interesting that Christ’s discussion about truth is with a Roman political figure.  Let’s examine the brief exchange between Christ and Pontius Pilate taken from John 18:33-38:

33 Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”

34 Jesus answered him, “Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?”

35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?”

36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”

37 Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?”

Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”

38 Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all.

Starting at verse 33 of the passage above we see that Jesus actually controls the direction of the conversation between he and Pilate by asking Pilate an open-ended question concerning what caused Pilate to inquire on whether he is a king.  More explicitly a king of the Jews.  This was clearly intentional as Christ was aware that Pilate was provoked by the Jewish leaders of the day to make the inquiry in the first place.

Now, I don’t profess to know Pilate’s heart, but if he was anything like politicians today, the concept of truth based on facts may have been one that was foreign and relative.  Being a man of power, Pilate may have seen truth as something that could be bent and changed when desired.

Jesus’ statement about his mission being to proclaim and present truth would have been certainly relevant to Pilate directly, but also, to those that would find themselves reading the passage of scripture in the future.

The truth that Christ was referring to was the truth of God’s true intentions for mankind to be pleasing to him and the great love that he has for everyone (John 3:16).  In addition, this truth can only be found in God’s word as John 17:17 says: 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

Finally, the scriptures also teach that Christ himself is the living word of God; John 1:1 and John 1:14:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.