Ecclesia. Noun. Greek word—ekklēsia—meaning "church". It is a compound of two Greek words: "ek" and "kaleo" — or a shorter form: klesis. "Ek" means "out of, from, by, away from"; a primary preposition denoting origin. "Kaleo [klesis]" is a verb meaning "to call, to invite, to call (by name), to bear a name or title, to salute one by name." Spiros Zodhiates, a Greek-American Bible scholar, defines Ekklēsia as:
'in a christian sense':
1. an assembly of christians gathered for worship in a religious meeting
2. a company of christian, or of those who, hoping for eternal salvation through Jesus Christ, observe their own religious rites, hold their own religious meetings, and manage their own affairs, according to regulations prescribed for the body for order's sake
3. those who anywhere, in a city, village, constitute such a company and are united into one body
4. the whole body of christians scattered throughout the earth
5. the assembly of faithful christians already dead and received into heaven.
What is "The Church"? The dictionary defines "church" as 'a building used for public christian worship'. But it goes much deeper than that.
In the book of Matthew, chapter 16, Jesus is talking to His disciples: “Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter replied "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."” [Matthew 16:13-18] This is the first time in recorded biblical history that the Church is mentioned—"My church". The Church, simply put, is the body made of individual believers that have heard the Gospel message and accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.
The Church is the Bride of Christ: “For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, His body, and is Himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that He might present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of His body. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.” [Ephesians 5:23-32].
"Sanctify". Sanctify. A verb meaning "set apart as or declare holy; consecrate." It comes from the word 'sanctification', which is "the act of process of" being set apart, or being declared holy. “So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood.” [Hebrews 13:12].
We are living in the Age of Grace, the Church Age, where those that accept Jesus Christ will be a part of His Church, His Bride. But the Age of Grace is quickly ending: “For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” [1 Thessalonians 4:14-18].
If you are reading this, the Lord is inviting you, calling you by name: Kaleo. Would you like to be a part of the beautiful Bride of Christ? Salvation is free, but not cheap; Jesus bore the weight of my sin, and yours, as He hung on that cross.
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works. Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.” [Titus 2:11-15].
“As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Abide in My love.” [John 15:9]