The Out Called

The ἐκκλησία/ekklēsia, meaning “out called assembly,” often translated as “church,” was nothing new in the Ancient Greek world when the Apostolic Scriptures were written. They were a regular part of life in cities, towns, and villages.

The ἐκκλησία/ekklēsia, out called ones, were brought together by someone calling out, like a town crier. He would summon together those hearing, to himself. The ἐκκλησία/ekklēsia were those surrounding him.

In this assemblage all manner of public business was attended to. It was not at all an unusual sight.

Numerous times the apostles remind us that we have graciously been called to Messiah, as Paul writes, “among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ (Ro. 1:6; cf. II Thess. 2:13-14; II Tim. 1:9; I Pet. 1:15; 2:9; 3:9; 5:10).

Messiah called those whom the Father had given to Him out of this world (Jn. 17:6). The calling, and assembling, the ἐκκλησία/ekklēsia, was not accidental or of human achievement. It is the result of the sovereign, and gracious call of the Father.

Yet, unlike the Ancient Greek ἐκκλησία/ekklēsia, out called assembly, who departed in much the same way that they arrived, those called out to Messiah, surrounding Him, are conformed to Him, sent out with His message, and encouraged:

“He said to them, “But who do you say that I am? Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus answered and said to 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 also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it (Matt. 16:15-17).

With all that we face today, we must remember that we have been called to He who overcame this world, and in that calling, we will not be overcome, as the gates of hell will not prevail (Ro. 8:28-29), even when we face apparent setbacks.

Be well. Shalom.

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