Biblical Eldership/What Does “Church” Refer to in the New Testament?

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By John Piper About Eldership
Chapter 2 of the book Biblical Eldership

The Word "Church"

"Church" comes from the Anglo Saxon "circe" (Kirk) which, in turn, comes from the Greek kyriakon which means "belonging to the Lord." So one could think of "church" as the people or the building "belonging to the Lord." But in the English New Testament, the word "church" translates the Greek ekklesia which means "assembly" or "congregation" and never refers to a building. Therefore, the "church" is the people who belong to the Lord Jesus.

The Universal Church of All Believers of All Time

Ephesians 1:22

And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church.

All the Believers in an Area

Acts 9:31

So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase.

All the Believers in a City

Acts 8:1

And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem.

The Believers Gathered in a House-Congregation

1 Corinthians 16:19

Aquila and Prisca greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

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