Those who serve the Father of glory, by trusting in Him through His only Son, have become part of something far larger than not only themselves, but anything they can imagine.
But you have come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable multitudes of angels, to the general assembly and assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, (Hebrews 12:22, 23)
Beginning with the nation of Israel, and continuing through the New Covenant, the Assembly of Yahweh is spoken of many times. The Assembly of God is a teaching of the Bible, so mysterious in its fullness, and so awesome in its revelation, that it is easy to overlook the important, spiritual truths which our Lord puts before us. However, if we, as believers in God through Christ, and therefore as brothers and sisters in Him, wish to answer His prayer for unity (John Chapter 17), we must understand the nature of this Assembly of which we have become a part.
Before continuing, it is good to look at the meaning of the original Hebrew and Greek words translated "assembly" or "church" in our Bibles.
In Hebrew, קהל ("kahal") is the main word from which we get the idea of an assembly.
It comes from a primitive root verb meaning "to assemble" or "to call together." Thus, we have the idea of many individual things (or people) coming together to form one "assembly." A division becoming a unity.
In Greek, we have a very similar etymology. The word εκκλησιας ("ekklesia") comes from two words:
"ek" meaning "out of" or "from among" (the word Exodus simply means "exit" in Greek, or "way [odos] out [ex]"), and "kaleo" which is a verb meaning "to call" and even more fully, "to call by name." Thus, combining these two we have the noun "ekklesia" meaning "called out of, by name." Again, we have an individual being brought out of something else, to be part of something single (a unified name or calling).
The glory of the Assembly in the New Covenant is that it has found a greater reality than the nation of Israel: the Body of Christ, God's own Son.
For the husband is the head of the wife, and Christ also is the head of the assembly, being himself the savior of the body. (Ephesians 5:23)
He is the head of the body, the assembly, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and fill up on my part that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the assembly; (Colossians 1:18, 24)
Perhaps one of the greatest mysteries of the Christian faith is the doctrine of the Body of Christ. Every person who has trusted in the Lord Jesus has been immersed into a new Organism, a new Being—no longer is that person alone and without any permanent connection to the world around him, but he has now become part of Something, or rather, Someone, much greater than himself.
22He put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things for the assembly, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1:22-23)
In Greek the words σωματος and σωμα ("somatos" and "soma") literally mean body, whether that of a star, a planet, a person, etc. Some scholars believe it to be from the root meaning "to deliver" or "to be whole." In that sense, in Greek, a "body" is something whole that has no need of integration or fixing—it is inherently "one" or "whole."
The Body of Christ, therefore, is that wholeness of the Son of God—the thing which constitutes Who He is. His Body is His fullness, because it is the unity of His own self. To be made part of His Body is to share in His wholeness, in His very nature. Thus, when we speak of becoming part of the Body of Christ, we not only join other people who are already a part, but we ourselves join Christ Himself, becoming one with Who He really is.
20I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me. That life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me. 21I don't make void the grace of God. For if righteousness is through the law, then Christ died for nothing!" (Galatians 2:20-21)
Glory to God in the highest for such an incomprehensible privilege! Let us show our thanks by taking heed of this honor and acting as we should!
Clearly, this Biblical teaching has more much to it than the common understanding of "church" simply being a building where people meet, or rather a religious service that is held by people. The Assembly of God is a unity made up of many individuals—they have all been called out by name, in order to be brought together into a new unity, where they all are made one. Let us continue studying this most intriguing doctrine of the Yahweh's scriptures.
Without controversy, the mystery of godliness is great: God was revealed in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, and received up in glory. (1 Timothy 3:16)