Thursday, September 15, 2005

A new definition of "church" by C. Peter Wagner

"We need to understand that there's a church in the workplace. I want you to write that down. a church in the workplace. Now I’m going to give you two Greek words in this teaching. I’m not great for quoting a lot of Greek, mainly because I don’t know very much of it [audience laughter]. When I went to seminary I did know a little Greek… he ran a restaurant on Colorado Boulevard [laughs]. But here’s the word, here’s the Greek word. Ekklesia is a Greek word for “church;” you can spell it with two “k”s or two “c”s, whichever you want, e k k l e s i a, that’s how you spell it, that’s the word for church. That’s what I want to give you, the basic, core, root meaning of that. The meaning of ekklesia, in the New Testament, is, “the people of God.” That’s the church, the people of God. In other words, most of the people, when you see somebody and you talk about church, where do you go to church, and what goes on in their mind, a building, you know, how many churches do you have, well, we have 100 churches in our city or whatever, ok? That’s the normal understanding of the word church. It’s a congregation that has a hierarchical leadership and all that kind of thing. But that’s not the Biblical… that’s not bad, I’m not saying that we should just stop using the word for that, in normal use. However, what we’ve got to understand is, that’s not what the root is, the root is the people of God. Now, in the New Testament, that word ekklesia is used in two different ways. It’s used sometimes to describe the people of God when they’re all gathered together, and it’s used other times in the New Testament to describe the people of God when they’re scattered out there in the workplace. They’re still the people of God. You understand what I’m saying? So where do you find the ekklesia? You find it one day a week gathered together in congregations like Gateway, or other different denominations. But six days a week, everybody, you find the people of God in the workplace. That’s the church. In other words, the people of God aren’t the church one day a week, the people of God are the church seven days a week. And so that is very, very important to understand. I’m talking about renewing our mind, understand this paradigm shift, ok?"

Excerpted from: “The Agenda & Teaching Of The New Apostolic Reformation,” transcript of C. Peter Wagner, Arise Prophetic Conference, Gateway Church, San Jose, CA, 10-10-2004 with forward by Sandy Simpson, 5/23/05, posted at

Matthew Poole’s Commentary on 1 John 4:1:

Believe not every spirit; i.e. not every one pretending to inspiration, or a revelation; spirit, whether good or bad, being put for the person acted thereby. But try the spirits; there being a judgment of discretion or discerning, common to Christians, de jure, and which they ought to endeavour for and to use upon such occasions, Acts 17:11; Phil. 1:9.10; 1 Thess. 5:21; and the attainment and exercise whereof is, in reference to the great essentials of religion, more facile and sure: as when heretofore among the Jews, any should attempt the drawing them off from the true God, as Deut. 13:1,2; and so when with Christians it should be endeavoured to tempt them away from Christ, as the false prophets or teachers did, now gone out into the world.

A Commentary on the Holy Bible: Volume III: Matthew-Revelation (Hendrickson Publishers)