Is the traditional concept of church short of God’s full deck — the Greek New testament idea of ekklesia? Is ekklesia God’s trump card that empowers Christ-followers to dynamically connect with the living, resurrected Jesus and with one another? A fresh, new definition of ekklesia dropped into my mind during the night:
Ekklesia is Christ’s city council called together as an interactive, governmental body; to proclaim, decree, demonstrate, and release Heaven’s culture, as prompted by the real presence of the living, resurrected Jesus Christ.
- “Christ’s city council” — In the Greek New Testament Jesus is quoted as saying: “I will build My ekklesia.” (Ekklesia is the name of the city council in ancient Greek city-states.)
- “Called together as an interactive, governmental body” — Ekklesia literally means: “called out ones.” (The ancient Greek ekklesia met when a “herald” called citizens to come together to collaboratively conduct city business.)
- “To proclaim” — Christ’s ekklesia meets to declare the good news of Jesus’ victory over sin, death, Hell, and the grave!
- “To decree” — Jesus taught that His followers would “bind and loose.” The decrees declared in ekklesia are powerful!
- “To demonstrate” — Ekklesia goes beyond mere words, as Paul of Tarsus proclaimed: “My speech and my preaching were not in persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.”
- “To release” — Ekklesia radiates the presence of the living, resurrected Jesus Christ. It discharges His power in all directions.
- “Heaven’s culture” — The will of God (Heaven’s culture) is not the way of contemporary society. Jesus taught His followers to pray for Heaven’s culture to be manifest on earth: “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth has it is in Heaven.”
- “As prompted” — The members of ekklesia don’t act on their own will. Instead they are directed by and obedient to the still, small voice within.
- “By the real presence” — When Christ’s followers gather in His name (under His direct control and authority), His presence moves beyond myth and/or mere religion, into dynamic reality.
- “Of the living, resurrected Jesus Christ.” The Christ of ekklesia is not “the historical Jesus” (confined to the past) or the “religious Jesus” (confined to a distant, pietistic Heaven), but the “present-moment Jesus,” alive and active in the world right now!