From “Reality Church” by Ian Vincent.
The Churches you read about in the New Testament: That is the way it’s supposed to be today. Even the worst Church back then was probably in better spiritual shape than the best Church today, so please don’t say things have gotten better! When you read the New Testament then the witness that this is the way it’s supposed to be should be ringing in your spirit by the Holy Spirit. This is the way it’s supposed to be! It was never meant to be reduced, altered or changed. The devil came in and changed it so as to rob the glory of Christ in His people. Remember, it is all about the Glory of Jesus being revealed in His people.
What is an Assembly?
The word Church in the Bible is the Greek word Ekklesia, which means an assembly of people. The New Testament Churches are spiritual assemblies of the saints. It’s not the mere assembling together which makes it an Ekklesia, but it’s the reason why they are assembled which makes the difference and makes it an Assembly of God rather than an assembly of man. They are a called-out assembly: called-out of the world, and therefore a true Assembly is altogether different in nature than the world it is called out of, and a false Assembly is one where there is no difference.
A powerful truth concerning Assemblies which is often overlooked is that in a true spiritual Assembly every individual comes to the Assembly as a living and active representative of Christ, as a member of His body. Therefore it is an ASSEMBLING of the parts of His body together, and it is Christ the Head of His Assembly who is assembling the parts as He wills (Eph. 4:16). We ask, what is an Assembly? It is the assembling of the members of Christ, an assembling of spiritual gifts. So the individual who is a “spectator” or a “member of the audience” is not actually “going to Church” in the true Biblical sense, as they are not being a representative of Christ in the Assembly. Of course, the Church system has been so nefariously designed as to prevent the true assembling of the saints and to keep them ignorant of what the Church is and what their place in the body of Christ is.
So assembling in Jesus name is a coming together as equal members of His body as representatives of Him, and when there is a representation of Him thru every gift received and acknowledged then Christ Jesus is truly represented in His Church.
Christians need to get off the religious treadmill of church and revisit the NT example and teaching on how to assemble as the Church. Hold the bus, or get off the bus, relax, and take your time to come together as equal representatives of Christ. Where an Assembly is under the control of one man or a system which prohibits assembling as the saints in the first century did then the congregation should ask that man to humble himself and take his place in the Assembly as a brother or else leave. The true Kingdom of God doesn’t come from the top down but from the bottom up, from the grass roots. A true revival will result in the so-called laity taking back the Church from those who want to control them. It is only Scripture illiteracy which enables the religious system to prosper, and this was true historically under Rome and it is true in Protestantism.
Until I come, attend to reading, to exhortation, to the doctrine. 1 Tim. 4:13
One way to get off the bus or off the religious treadmill is to attend to reading. Paul was telling Timothy to attend to the reading of Scripture in the Assemblies. When believers are freed from the idea of Church being an event or show one attends then they can lose some of their neurotic bias and relax a bit, even chill out in the Lord, and take the time to read together thru whole portions of the Scripture. This takes time. The nervous Christian will get even more nervous at this, but they would have no problem watching a movie for two hours, so that person is spiritually quite out of touch with reality. Remember, Jesus designed His Church so as to bring us back to the reality of who He is and not avoid it.
In other words we want to exhort the body of Christ to take back the Church and take corporate ownership and responsibility for the Church. Every member of Christ is an equal representative of Christ in His Assembly.
From “Reality Church” by Ian Vincent – part 7. Visit Ian’s blog here.