Those Belonging to the called ones coming together

When you are accepting Jesus as the Messiah and you believe he is the son of man and son of God, sent and authorised by God, you can be part of and belonging to the “Called ones“.

You probably could find out there are not so many people who really believe that Jesus is the son of God and the way to God. Not everywhere might you find lots of Brothers and Sisters in Christ. This makes that you might be very isolated from other believers in Christ.

Some people do think they have to go to a certain church building to be able to praise God and to fulfil the duties of a Christian. Though everywhere in Europe or in the place you live, one can see several church buildings. Seeing a spire and the older style of Church buildings is actually seeing the calling card of several denominations. For those congregations and church institutions it is their big win because its a very physical, visible, tangible connection for them to know where to find a connection to whom they call their god. It might be literally a “shop window”; but one should know it is most often not the “shop of God”, but the supermarket of false gods. In most of those churches they praise Jesus as their god and bow down in front of graven images of him and other people, like the Virgin Mary and saints.

Jesus said:

“where two or three are gathered I am in their midst.”

That is what every lover of God would love to see, that the mediator between God and man is in their community. It is not by being on your own that Jesus would not be with you, but that being on your own would not make you being an ecclesia or church. One need more than one person to make an ecclesia. You are not the Church and when you would build a specific church building than you would still not have The Church or an ecclesia.

Ecclesia or the New Testament Greek word ‘ekklesia’ (People’s Assembly – convened – the summoned or convoked ones), most commonly translated as ‘church’, means an assembly of people who gather together or are connected with each other for some, not necessarily religious, reason. As such there were assemblies in Jesus time of political as well as religious matters.

At first the followers of Jesus came together with their other Jewish brethren in the synagogue. It is only after the followers of Christ allowed non-Jews to their meetings that they were not anymore welcome in the synagogue. Goyim could not come to such sacred places, and therefore the disciples of Christ used ordinary houses and public places. For them ‘ekklesia’ came also to mean the fellowship of all the believers living in one particular town or place, or even the universal totality of all followers of the Nazarene Jeshua (Jesus Christ) who later also became known as ‘Christians‘. This means that people could and still can be members of an ‘ekklesia’ even when not physically present with each other.

Already for more than a year Christadelphians do have internet meetings with people from all over the world, them than all being part of that virtual ecclesia, but also united in The Ecclesia or in the Church of God.

One can not be church on their own, but once there is a gathering with others, church can be formed. The ecclesia can come to life when more than one person agrees to form a bond with someone else. Together one has to be willing to make a brotherhood or family and to act like a family, together taking time to worship God in that family-bond. It is togetherness and willingness to go for Christ in unity. Coming together is a sign of that bond and of the preparedness to help each other to grow, to

“spur one another to love and good deeds.”

At the beginning of this present era where people came to share their faith in Christ, to avoid conflict with the Jews in the synagogues they also came together in their houses to welcome non-Jews as well but also continued to go to the temples and synagogues of their fellow Jews.

“ The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Prisca salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.” (1Co 16:19 ASV)

“ And day by day, continuing stedfastly with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread at home, they took their food with gladness and singleness of heart,” (Ac 2:46 ASV)

“ how I shrank not from declaring unto you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly, and from house to house,” (Ac 20:20 ASV)

“ Salute Prisca and Aquila my fellow-workers in Christ Jesus,” (Ro 16:3 ASV)

“ and salute the church that is in their house. Salute Epaenetus my beloved, who is the firstfruits of Asia unto Christ.” (Ro 16:5 ASV)

“ Salute the brethren that are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church that is in their house.” (Col 4:15 ASV)

“ and to Apphia our sister, and to Archippus our fellow-soldier, and to the church in thy house:” (Phm 1:2 ASV)

Like in those ancient days we too can still go from house to house, to preach the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God. The same we can come together in each others house to talk about the Word of God. Such gatherings in homes should not be so complicated. They are relatively easy to do and do not need a lot of logistics. Already little of preparations can make such an intimate or personal meeting great.
What is most important is that everybody can feel the bond with each other. The meetings being a natural result of people who love God and each other so much they want to get together as often as they can. Such gatherings easily fit into the everyday routine of life and are more spontaneous than those church services of the main churches.

In such a meeting the sharing of ideas is important and the openness to each other to help each other to grow. Opposite to what we can see in a lot of main churches is that there is simply no room for passivity in such a house church meeting, everyone being expected to share the Word of God and to share their faith in Jesus and his heavenly Father.

The advantage of a house church is that the home is a natural environment for a participative, face-to-face kind of gathering. The house environment gives a more private surrounding than a meeting in a public space like a congress room or café, school campus and the like. Its informal and relaxed atmosphere promotes intimacy and authenticity.

We do agree that in a big or main church one can be present as an anonymous person, whilst this is impossible in a house meeting. The house setting invites everybody to recognise all present and to have some interaction with. In the time spend with each other love and compassion must be the most visible fruit of the true identity as a community, an or the ecclesia or Church.

Coming together in such small groups demands an openess and acceptance of each other, accepting we do not have to be all on the same stone or step of the ladder to God. In that small group we want to form and keep alive, we should come to accept each other where we are currently, realising what we know and believe on that day of meeting will more likely change as we continue to walk under the guidance of the Spirit and continue to grow in our faith. We can love each other, learn from one another and accept each other as we are, just like Jesus loves and accepts us just as we are.

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Next: How to Form an Ecclesia

Preceding

Reasons to come together

Breathing and growing with no heir

A participation in the body of Christ

Why we do not have our worship-services in a church building

The Big Conversation follow up

Looking for a biblically sound church

Being in isolation #3 Gathering and Sharing

Leading with Fear: Gathering or Scattering?

By the opening of the Season 2018-2019

Brothers and sisters in Christ for you

How should we worship God? #6 Preachers and Teachers

How should we worship God? #14 True worship

Looking on what is going on and not being of it

Evangelisation, local preaching opposite overseas evangelism

Problem of an aging church

Lovely to have so many people joining this morning service

To Glorify God and His Son #2 Governance and objectives of the ecclesia/charity

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Additional reading

  1. Fellowship
  2. Worship and fellowship
  3. Christianity to be enshrined
  4. Small churches of the few Christadelphians
  5. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  6. An ecclesia in your neighborhood

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Related

  1. Church- the Grand Design of God
  2. Church: It’s More Than a Meeting
  3. The Church empowered by the Holy Spirit. ( The Church from the Book of Acts )
  4. Idols of the heart, church, & Christians
  5. Church: Mind Your Reference!
  6. We Have One Mediator Not Many
  7. The Church and Culture, Part 2
  8. Christ Alone is Our Source
  9. We Are His Ekklesia
  10. Reset Your Thinking
  11. The Politics of Church
  12. Small is Big: Ekklesia in Today’s World

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