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Eschatology and Ecclesiology “There are words whose history it is peculiarly interesting to watch, as they obtain a deeper meaning, and receive a new consecration,

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Presentation on theme: "Eschatology and Ecclesiology “There are words whose history it is peculiarly interesting to watch, as they obtain a deeper meaning, and receive a new consecration,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Eschatology and Ecclesiology “There are words whose history it is peculiarly interesting to watch, as they obtain a deeper meaning, and receive a new consecration, in the Christian Church; words which the Church did not invent, but has assumed into its service, and employed in a far loftier sense than any to which the world has ever put them before. The very word by which the Church is named is itself an example – a more illustrious one could scarcely be found – of this progressive ennobling of a word. For we have ekklesia in three distinct stages of meaning – the heathen, the Jewish, and the Christian” (Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament, p. 1). The Meaning and Uses of the Word “Church”

2 The English Word “Church” The English term church is derived from the Greek kuriakon, which is an adjectival form of kurios (“Lord”). It means “belonging to the Lord.” The English term church is derived from the Greek kuriakon, which is an adjectival form of kurios (“Lord”). It means “belonging to the Lord.” Initially this term was used to describe the place where Christians met together, thus denoting it as God’s house. Initially this term was used to describe the place where Christians met together, thus denoting it as God’s house. Because the place had such significance only because the people of God met in it, it subsequently was applied to the assembly itself. Because the place had such significance only because the people of God met in it, it subsequently was applied to the assembly itself.

3 The Greek Word evkklhsi,a evkklhsi,a is a compound word from: evkklhsi,a is a compound word from: evk, “out” evk, “out” kale,w,“to call or summon” kale,w,“to call or summon” Thus, “a called out assembly” Thus, “a called out assembly”

4 Usage of evkklhsi,a Prior to NT Times In pre-New Testament times, the term meant “an assembly of citizens summoned by the town crier.” In pre-New Testament times, the term meant “an assembly of citizens summoned by the town crier.” Eventually, the idea of “summoning” was lost and the word came to mean simply “assembly.” Eventually, the idea of “summoning” was lost and the word came to mean simply “assembly.” There was no special religious significance for the word before the time of the NT. There was no special religious significance for the word before the time of the NT. Even in NT times, evkklhsi,a could still be used for an unruly mob (Acts 19:30). Even in NT times, evkklhsi,a could still be used for an unruly mob (Acts 19:30).

5 Usage of evkklhsi,a in the NT Non-technical usages Non-technical usages Acts 7:38 Acts 7:38 Hebrews 2:12 (citing Psa 22:22; evkklhsi,a used to translate the Hebrew qahal) Hebrews 2:12 (citing Psa 22:22; evkklhsi,a used to translate the Hebrew qahal) Acts 19:32-41 (3 occurrences) Acts 19:32-41 (3 occurrences) Sub-technical usage in earliest epistles (1 Thess 1:1; 2:14; 2 Thess 1:1, 4). Sub-technical usage in earliest epistles (1 Thess 1:1; 2:14; 2 Thess 1:1, 4). Characterized by extensive use of modifying phrases that are not found in later epistles. Characterized by extensive use of modifying phrases that are not found in later epistles. Technical usage – the term eventually became distinctive of a Christian assembly, spiritually united in Christ. Technical usage – the term eventually became distinctive of a Christian assembly, spiritually united in Christ. Most of the NT usages have this meaning of a local, autonomous assembly of believers. Most of the NT usages have this meaning of a local, autonomous assembly of believers.

6 Beyond the Technical to a Broader Usage Example: Example: And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fulness of Him who fills all in all (Eph 1:22-23). And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fulness of Him who fills all in all (Eph 1:22-23). Of the 13 times that evkklhsi,a occurs in Ephesians and Colossians, only 2 (Col 4:14-16) employ the technical usage of local church. Of the 13 times that evkklhsi,a occurs in Ephesians and Colossians, only 2 (Col 4:14-16) employ the technical usage of local church. The other 11 occurrences are always singular and always with the article, and refer to the universal group of believers in Christ. The other 11 occurrences are always singular and always with the article, and refer to the universal group of believers in Christ.

7 What about evkklhsi,a in the Gospels? There are only 3 occurrences of evkklhsi,a in the Gospels, 1 in Matt 16:18 and 2 in Matt 18:17. There are only 3 occurrences of evkklhsi,a in the Gospels, 1 in Matt 16:18 and 2 in Matt 18:17. “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it” (Matt 16:18). “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it” (Matt 16:18). From the standpoint of the hearers, the term here has not yet reached the technical meaning it will have later. Here it simply means “assembly.” More revelation will be needed, especially that given through the Apostle Paul, to fully understand the character of this assembly. From the standpoint of the hearers, the term here has not yet reached the technical meaning it will have later. Here it simply means “assembly.” More revelation will be needed, especially that given through the Apostle Paul, to fully understand the character of this assembly.

8 The Nature of the Church (from The Church in God’s Program) A Divine Assembly (1 Cor 1:2) A Divine Assembly (1 Cor 1:2) “The church is God’s assembly; its beginning, its history and its glorious destiny all rest upon the initiative and power of divine grace. It is a people called forth by God, incorporated into Christ, and indwelt by the Spirit” (p. 19). “The church is God’s assembly; its beginning, its history and its glorious destiny all rest upon the initiative and power of divine grace. It is a people called forth by God, incorporated into Christ, and indwelt by the Spirit” (p. 19). A Responsible Assembly (Acts 2:44) A Responsible Assembly (Acts 2:44) “If the New Testament portrays the church as a people formed by divine initiative, it also pictures that assembly as one responding to the Convener” (p. 22). “If the New Testament portrays the church as a people formed by divine initiative, it also pictures that assembly as one responding to the Convener” (p. 22).

9 The Nature of the Church (from The Church in God’s Program) The Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27) The Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27) “The apostle Paul’s favorite description of the church is the metaphor of the head and the body. Christ is the Head of the body which is His church” (p. 24). “The apostle Paul’s favorite description of the church is the metaphor of the head and the body. Christ is the Head of the body which is His church” (p. 24). This analogy expresses the unity, diversity, and mutual cooperation that make up the church. This analogy expresses the unity, diversity, and mutual cooperation that make up the church.

10 The Nature of the Church (from The Church in God’s Program) The Temple of God (Eph 2:19-22) The Temple of God (Eph 2:19-22) The church is described as a temple building, with each member a living stone and the whole built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ as the cornerstone. This temple is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. The church is described as a temple building, with each member a living stone and the whole built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ as the cornerstone. This temple is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. A Priesthood (1 Pet 2:4-5) A Priesthood (1 Pet 2:4-5) “As Israel was formed by God to be a priestly nation, so now, following her setting aside during this age, the church functions as God’s mediatorial people” (pp ). “As Israel was formed by God to be a priestly nation, so now, following her setting aside during this age, the church functions as God’s mediatorial people” (pp ). The Bride of Christ (Eph 5:22-23) The Bride of Christ (Eph 5:22-23) “As human marriage involves the intimacy of oneness, so members of the church are united to Christ as ‘members of his body...’ (v. 30)” (p. 45). “As human marriage involves the intimacy of oneness, so members of the church are united to Christ as ‘members of his body...’ (v. 30)” (p. 45).

11 The Nature of the Church (from The Church in God’s Program) Two Other Metaphors Two Other Metaphors Flock (John 10:16, 27) Flock (John 10:16, 27) “The church as God’s people in the New as in the Old Testament is the ‘flock of God’ (1 Pe 5:2). But something new is added; it is also Christ’s flock” (p. 50). “The church as God’s people in the New as in the Old Testament is the ‘flock of God’ (1 Pe 5:2). But something new is added; it is also Christ’s flock” (p. 50). Vine and Branches (John 15:5) Vine and Branches (John 15:5) “Repeatedly Israel is symbolized by a vine which God has planted, but it has failed to bear the desired fruit...Against this failure of the Old Testament vine, Jesus comes as the ‘true vine’ (Jn. 15:1) who does bring forth fruit through the branches abiding in Him, namely, His disciples of the New Testament church” (p. 53). “Repeatedly Israel is symbolized by a vine which God has planted, but it has failed to bear the desired fruit...Against this failure of the Old Testament vine, Jesus comes as the ‘true vine’ (Jn. 15:1) who does bring forth fruit through the branches abiding in Him, namely, His disciples of the New Testament church” (p. 53).

12 Next Week: The Inauguration of the Church Syllabus pp Saucy pp


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