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Functioning Among the Ekklesia

Updated on January 1, 2017

Many people are struggling with their identity in Christ and the purpose he has laid out for them. They feel discontent, disconnected and empty, but cannot put their finger on what exactly it is. What they do know is that they feel that they are being choked into complying to a structured ritual.

True devotion to Christ is defined in his teachings. It is about being united in one spirit with the Father through Christ where we have the freedom to express the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Scripture reveals certain guidelines for the ekklesia to function properly. Moving outside of them will allow men to be in control instead of Christ.

Power

And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” – Luke 24:49


It is futile to initiate anything among the ekklesia until there is power from Holy Spirit to carry out what God wants you to do. Anything that deviates from this will focus on man being in control in an agenda that usurps the essential component of doing things that are Spirit led. All the man-driven activities, programs and liturgies are futile endeavors because man is the guide instead of the Holy Spirit.

When the Spirit is at work, it will always create a sense of awe and reverence towards God by what Christ has done. There is a continual devotion to Kingdom principles. It is not about focusing on a temporal feelings that are fleeting, but having an eternal mindset.

The traditions of man will not accommodate a supernatural fellowship of brethren by the leading of the Holy Spirit where Christ is the head because it demands a predetermined ritual controlled by man.

There are a remnant of called out ones who are are in true fellowship with like-minded believers who want to be obedient to Christ, rather than heeding to the whims of church hirelings.


And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. – Acts 4:31


Commonality

Man's traditions desire to destroy temples of the Holy Spirit for the building up of man-made temples.

The ekklesia have absolutely no self-interest. They give all the glory to God by what Christ has done operating in love and service to others.

Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. – Acts 4:32

But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? – 1 John 3:17


Instructions

Many seek after man-made religious templates and replace the power of God in their lives for their own self-interests.


What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. - 1 Corinthians 14 :26


Having freedom in Christ does not desire, or require the dictates of professional minister of music telling them what and how to sing, or a listening to a self-appointed hireling who is deemed the sole mouthpiece.


Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. – Colossians 3:16


The assembly of the ekklesia is all about serving one another with the gifts God has given them.


For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. - Romans 12:4-8


The only “gift” used in the counterfeit church system is through the one man show who does not accommodate, or allow the expression of the Holy Spirit in all the the brethren. Christ died for freely functioning body the only he is building, not a well-oiled denominational ritual.


What Christ has done in the lives if his followers is a free expression that sends shock waves of glory to our Father in heaven devoid of having any attachments to the traditions of man. They are led by the the Holy Spirit, not a hireling. What comes out of the mouths of those among the ekklesia are what the Holy Spirit has filled their minds, heart and mouths with. Everything is orchestrated by the Holy Spirit as each of the brethren are encouraged to utilize their gifts.

Being led by the Spirit is not geared towards personal preferences, but about walking in obedience to the will of the Father


So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. – Ephesians 4:14-16


The ekklesia are remnant with diversity of gifts who are of the same Spirit united in walking in the principles of the Kingdom of God anyplace, anywhere and at any time.


Contribution

We are all called to contribute in an orderly fashion.


  • Let all things be done for the building up of the ekklesia for edification and strengthening. (1 Corinthians 14:26)
  • If someone speaks and there is no understanding, that person must keep quiet. (1 Corinthians 14:28)
  • If a prophet speaks, the others should weigh and test carefully what is spoken. Test everything. (1 Corinthians 14:29)
  • We are not to interrupt the flow of the Holy Spirit, but wait to share a complement in turn. (1 Corinthians 14:31)
  • We are to do things that are spontaneously led by the Holy Spirit in a fitting and orderly way. (1 Corinthians 14:40)

The ekklesia in nature are participatory. This is a threat to the modern minister who desires to be in control.

He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? – Mathew 15:3

And Samuel said,

“Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,

as in obeying the voice of the LORD?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
and to listen than the fat of rams.” – 1 Samuel 15:22


When you assemble with believers, who leads and guides you?

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    • profile image

      Liberty 3 years ago

      Thanks for explaining that.

    • PlanksandNails profile image
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      PlanksandNails 3 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      Liberty,

      We are all encouraged to participate with the gifts God has given us. Women are not to TEACH men in an authoritative sense, but function under the authority of their husband, or overseer. Women are to utilize their gifts in submission as they are their covering, just as Jesus Christ is the covering and head of the Church.

    • profile image

      Liberty 3 years ago

      I am so incredibly encouraged by this post. God is good.

      I have one question though about participation from women.

      I know the verse says women are to be silent in the assembly. Does this mean that if we invited a couple of families over for fellowship and bible reading, the women should not share verbally at all or participate verbally? Can you give me an example so I can try understand how this would practically look?

      I ask from a genuine motivation to 'get this right'.

      I am excited.

    • PlanksandNails profile image
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      PlanksandNails 3 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      Tamarajo,

      I would like to make a correction in my above comment to you to...those who practice in this inauthorized fashion do NOT have God among them.

    • PlanksandNails profile image
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      PlanksandNails 3 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      Deorganicchurch,

      I wrote an article a few years ago, http://hub.me/a9CQ0 . I finally saw traditional "church" for what it represented. The moment I made the decision to follow God's ways instead of man's, I went through the process of being freed from the bondage of "spiritual Babylon." From my personal experience of trying to find like-minded believers after that was a futile endeavor. I believe if our desire is to be obedient and pursue truth, God will put the most unlikely people in our path without having to strive for it.

    • PlanksandNails profile image
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      PlanksandNails 3 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      Tamarajo,

      "Denominationism" is not Biblical amongst many other things in the modern "church." We must have courage to accept what is Biblical and the courage to acknowledge what is not. Modern "churches" have turned away from God's Word, which include the teaching of the Apostles.

      Denominationalism is NOT part of Jesus' teaching. It is nowhere to be found in God's Word; therefore, those who practice in this unauthorized fashion do have God among them, but have accepted another gospel, another Jesus and another spirit. Participating in them is following man's "wisdom," not God's.

      Here is a good question to ask yourself and those in denominations,

      By whose command do denominations exist?

      Who planted them?

      Answering correctly will reveal who your allegiance is to. Many fail to understand that their worship is in vain because they serve people rather than God.

      Denominationalism says you can find Jesus in their churches. Since there are thousands of different sects, it will tell you there are thousands of different Jesus'. The true Jesus Christ is Truth and truth does not contradict itself.

      You cannot have the true Gospel coupled with man-made doctrines and be in obedience to God. When you come to know the true Gospel, you will become a member of Jesus Christ's true body of all saved people who are NOT members of any denomination. When you deny the traditions of man, God will lead you to fellowship with others who desire to truly obey the Gospel. There are a few people here on Hubpages who have commented on this article that have the same desire; they are the true Church. With that said, there are not that many you will find.

      Thank-you for sharing your experience. God Bless you.

    • deorganicchurch profile image

      deorganicchurch 3 years ago from Newark, DE

      In order to try to find some believers close to where I live, I attended a traditional church this past Sunday instead of driving to the next town to my house church. It was so close to where I lived, my car hardly warmed up before I was there. If only true biblical fellowship could be found at such a close location, but I was disappointed at some of the things I heard from the pastor during the service. A very light message was preached with the bulk of the material being about how the church was going to expand and move forward. Comments were made about the church playbook, outrageous giving, and things constantly changing. I attended a corrupt church some years ago where everything was always changing, and it created a significant amount of stress for the members. You get halfway into a project then the direction all of a sudden takes a sharp bend in another direction requiring additional work. We spent hours and evenings dedicated to supporting the programs of that church. Woven within the whole presentation this past Sunday was the concept of the church being successful. I quickly left after the service was over without talking to anyone, and I drove away very discouraged. I can see how some people get to the point where they just sit home alone with their Bibles on Sunday and don't go anywhere anymore. It is sad, but I think a large number of Christians are moving in this direction to escape the bombardment of what the traditional church has become.

    • Tamarajo profile image

      Tamarajo 3 years ago

      I seriously would like to attend a church as you describe in that it seems more descriptive of the church we see in the book of Acts in contrast to modern formats of "church"

      I agree with you on denominationalism. Although I attend a denomination I seriously don't understand the concept nor do I agree with some of the method or doctrine and see how this creates division among the whole body in general and confusion for a world that needs to witness the unity of believers as a testimony of truth and the God we serve.

      I was a bit taken aback on an occasion when I reached out to a church that I did not attend because they specialized in a ministry, having to do with prayer, that they were gifted in. They turned me away and told me to go to my own church. I still am flabbergasted by the whole thing and assumed that we were all the body of Christ and we should serve one another with the gifts that have been freely given to us. I can only assume that their intent had to do with territorial issues in maybe thinking it would offend our pastor. Lord have mercy if this is how we function as a body of believers.

      It seems at times that denominationalism (I know this isn't a word but it works) in the church is like belonging to different football teams all touting a flag representing something different. Near as I can tell it produces much pride and competition that just should not be among us.

      Interesting thought provoking article.

    • PlanksandNails profile image
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      PlanksandNails 3 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      Graceinus,

      You have touched on an epidemic. I believe it is the responsibility of every believer in Jesus Christ to do their own personal study of the Word of God. Any differences can be hashed out based on that standard. Unfortunately, modern "Christianity" caters to the personal tastes and preferences of the people rather than obedience.

    • profile image

      graceinus 3 years ago from those of the Ekklesia

      PandN- In regards to your last comment to Deorganicchurch, I very much agree with you. There are to many so called christians who rely on others to provide spirtual growth for them. Instead of taking the time and effort to study the word of God for themselves. They want someone else to do it for them. So their just plain lazy. The problems are these "clergy" théy rely on have on idea what the gospel is and what it is not.

      One sure way out of this problem , if they truly are or want to be a true christian, is a continued indepth study of God's word on their own. And with the understanding that the Holy Spirit is their to guide them. But they won't do it as long as they continue to hold the ways of the world to a greater value above God's word.

      God bless PandN.

    • PlanksandNails profile image
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      PlanksandNails 3 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      Deorganicchurch,

      I don't really believe that many people want to change to a Biblical form of Church. The traditions of man are a hard habit to break and unfortunately many don't read Scripture for themselves for the evidence. Man desires a prophet, priest, or king to be a mediator between them and God. Most people think I am strange when I talk about something outside of cookie cutter "Christianity." I believe that the only way that organic Churches would flourish would be under persecution. Satan doesn't attack a system he promotes.

    • deorganicchurch profile image

      deorganicchurch 3 years ago from Newark, DE

      I wish there were more organic churches near where I lived. I have to drive a distance to get to the one I attend. I am not sure why it is so difficult to get people to come to and be a part of a house church. Even out of the ones that come, about half of them also attend a traditional church on a regular basis. Some of them only come to the house church once every month or so, yet I get the feeling that the attend their traditional church on a regular basis. They seem to view the house church as a supplement to their traditional churches.

    • PlanksandNails profile image
      Author

      PlanksandNails 3 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      Deorganicchurch,

      If many would take the time to read their Bibles they would be shocked that their traditional style of "church" is a man-made structure that has no resemblance to God's Word at all.

      Is I am sure you are quite aware there are many examples in Scripture that expose this counterfeit system.

      I will give examples of the the counterfeit system, and then the way of the true genuine Church.

      The Counterfeit ==========

      They meet in special buildings.

      Members are added to the special building to make it bigger.

      They are representative of countless other factions, or denominations.

      Professionals trained in seminaries are hired to run the affairs of the "church."

      The senior pastor, or specially selected individuals run the service while the laity sit mutely and observe their "ministry."

      The Sunday morning "worship" service is based on a rigid structure controlled by man.

      The goal is to get the "sheeple" to sing songs and listen to a hired hand preach a message.

      The "sheeple" are led by a senior pastor.

      The senior pastor is set apart as the CEO over the other professional clergy members.

      There are two types of citizens in the "church," clergy and laity.

      The Lord's Supper is observed one a month, quarterly, etc... in a funeral like setting.

      A new member of the "church" must take membership classes and receive special instructions before baptism can happen.

      A clergy member must be present at any baptism.

      A sermon is comprised of a monologue and questions are indirectly discouraged as not to ruffle to many feathers.

      The bulk of the finances that are given by its members go to overhead and salaries that pertain to the "church" building.

      Upon taking membership classes, the members are instructed to give a minimal of 10% tithe to the "church."

      The Genuine =========

      The true Church mainly meets in homes.

      Another Church was formed when it outgrew a house as part of one locality.

      There are no denominations, but one Church meeting in various homes.

      Overseers arose from within the Church based on their character.

      An assembly was participatory where every member was encouraged to function and contribute.

      An assembly was informal, spontaneous and flexible to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

      The goal of the assembly was the edification of all.

      Overseers were a plurality of co-equals among brothers and sisters.

      Accountability was shared by all; no one was the head, except for Jesus Christ.

      No one received a salary to serve.

      All members function as a priesthood without separation of clergy/ laity.

      The Lord's Supper was observed whenever there was an assembly.

      The Lord's Supper was a full meal.

      The Lord's Supper reflected on why Jesus Christ died and rose gain, but also the anticipation of the future marriage supper of the Lamb.

      New believers in Jesus Christ were baptized publicly as soon as it was possible.

      Baptism is performed by any believer.

      There did not have to be an assembly of everyone for someone to be baptized.

      A plurality of people taught and others were allowed to complement and ask questions.

      Giving was about helping the poor and assisting others in the work of the Gospel.

      Giving was voluntary as God led them.

      Every point of the true genuine Church given here can be backed up with Scriptural precedence. In contrast, the counterfeit "church" runs on another system, spirit, gospel and Jesus that is not supported by the Word of God.

      Traditional "church" is simply synonymous with traditions of man and we know what Jesus Christ had to say about that.

    • deorganicchurch profile image

      deorganicchurch 3 years ago from Newark, DE

      I am still surprised that practically every traditional style church avoids using any type of participatory meeting structure when it comes to the teaching portion of the service. Someone recently told me that their pastor was in a car accident and unable to preach on Sunday, and the associate pastor was sick as a dog. The associate pastor preached the sermon anyway. If the service allowed for participatory teaching, another man could have gotten up and delivered a teaching. I am sure that preaching when you are sick is not pleasant. I also agree that the denominational structure that permeates Christianity tends to divide believers rather than unite them. Instead of working out the different doctrines in faith, many just divide into separate churches along the lines of the disputed doctrines.

    • PlanksandNails profile image
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      PlanksandNails 3 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      Graceinus,

      A function is a relationship of an input to output. There is the input, the relationship and the output. In the same way the Church can only function by having a relationship with the Holy Spirit, which results in true power to expand God's spiritual Kingdom in the hearts of others.

      We must remain vigilant in allowing Jesus Christ to be the Head in all that we do.

      Thank-you for your thoughts, they are appreciated.

    • PlanksandNails profile image
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      PlanksandNails 3 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      Lifegate,

      Thanks for taking the time to read. I am glad those points jumped out at you as I also believe in the importance of them. God Bless.

    • profile image

      graceinus 3 years ago from those of the Ekklesia

      PandN- I believe those who are truly lead by the Holy Spirit know who they are as a church. Christ being the head of the church will guide those of the true church by means of the Holy Spirit. Through the spirit He will lead us towards the direction of the Kingdom of God and provide to those who are the body of Christ the understanding of His grace through faith. This is the Gospel. We are not individualist in the body of Christ, jointly we are a whole with Christ being the Head. One body, one church.

      Another fantastic Hub that I agree will 100%.

      God bless you.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      "It is futile to initiate anything within the Church until there is power from Jesus Christ to carry out what He wants us to do. Anything that deviates from this is simply soulish . . . ."

      "The assembly of the Church is all about doing things for “one another,” not the exclusivity of a paid professional."

      "A true meeting is a continuation of where Jesus left off in free expression that sends shock waves of glory without the attachments of the traditions of man. "

      Just highlighting the high points of this hub as I see it, but this statement says it all!

      "IF THE HOLY SPIRIT DOES NOT SHOW UP, THERE IS NO MEETING WITH GOD."

      Thanks for your explanation on how the church of God functions.