What is the Ekklesia of Christ? Part 2
Jesus said, "...upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18, emp LS).
The ekklesia (church) of Christ is also referred to as:
1. The Temple of God. "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are" (I Corinthians 3:16-17, emp LS).
Paul told the Ephesians, "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit" (Ephesians 2:19-22, emp LS). Paul refers to the Lord's people (the ekklesia of Christ) as "the temple of God". God dwells in the ekklesia of Christ.
2. The Kingdom of God. Jesus used the terms "kingdom" and "church" interchangeable, "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Matthew 16:18-19, emp LS). The ekklesia of God is the kingdom of God.
The blood of Christ bought each individual that has obeyed Him (I Peter 1:18-19). Each individual that has been bought by the blood of Christ is referred to as a "royal priesthood, an holy nation", which terms refer to the "kingdom" of God (I Peter 2:5, 9-10). We also know that the blood of Jesus Christ is what bought (paid for) the church (Acts 20:28). Those that have been bought by the blood of the Lamb are the very ones that make up the kingdom of priest (Revelation 5:9-10). Therefore, the church and the kingdom are one and the same people, that is, the ekklesia of Christ. The ekklesia of the New Testament is the kingdom of the Old Testament Prophets fulfilled (Daniel 2:44; 7:13-14).
3. The Building of God. "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building" (I Corinthians 3:9).