Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Building Ekklesia

Paul applied Jesus’ instructions and would go with a companion to a town, city or village and stay in the home of a person who welcomed them. This home became the base for a Kingdom Community. Paul referred to this as an ekklesia, as it was made up of people called to shift their allegiance from the Roman empire to Jesus.

According to Luke 10:1-12, when two people enter a town or village and stay in a house, and heal the sick and cast out demons, the Kingdom of God has come near. The Kingdom becomes a reality, if the people in the neighbourhood give allegiance to Jesus and commit to loving and serving one another in the power of the Spirit. A Kingdom Community is a group of people living in one place and loving each other, and serving those who live around them as the Holy Spirit leads.

The communities that Paul established were an alternative polity that were loyal to Jesus. From time to time, it will be bullied and pushed around by the human government that controls the neighbourhood where it is based, but as far as is possible, a kingdom community will operate as an independent government, providing justice, welfare, and protection for everyone living within the neighbourhood where they lived.

The elders were the overseers of an ekklesia. In Antioch, the ekklesia was overseen by elders, including prophets and teachers (Acts 13:1). They were the leaders of a Kingdom Community that had God had established there. They led an alternative Kingdom, that was loyal to Jesus.

Once a Kingdom Community has been established and people who live within the neighbourhood have been trained up to oversee this ekklesia, the apostle would be sent out with a companion to start a new kingdom community in another neighbourhood. This is what Paul and Barnabas did. In this way, the Kingdom of God would advance an expand out over a broader territory.

Jesus announced that the Kingdom of God was near. Once the Holy Spirit has been poured out, Paul was able to establish the Kingdom of God by calling people into a Kingdom Community in the towns and cities that he visited. Paul implemented the plan that Jesus had announced.

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