Ekklesia: A Practical Understanding
There is only one portion in the epistles which speaks of an assembly where the Lord’s ekklesia was manifested. It is found in 1 Corinthians 11:17 to the end of 1 Corinthians 14. The book, One Ekklesia, has an in-depth discussion on 1 Corinthians 11-14. In brief, these are the practical characteristics and activities described concerning the Lord’s ekklesia: It was a physical assembly at someone’s house (Gaius: Rom. 16:23) They had “pot-luck” meals together (1 Cor. 11:21) Believers from factions were represented (1 Cor. 11:19) The approved or genuine ones were needed (1 Cor. 11:19) The Lord’s supper with bread and cup to remember and uplift Jesus was present (1 Cor. 11:24-26) Everyone was equally appreciated, accepted, and honored (1 Cor. 12) Love for one another was expressed (1 Cor. 13) Everyone contributed by prophesying to unveil and uplift Jesus Christ through praying, singing, teaching (didache), and testifying (1 Cor. 14:15, 26, 31)
Not one person could dominate (1 Cor. 14:30) Unbelievers and novices (the “unlearned”) were present—and could readily become worshippers of God (1 Cor. 14:24-25) Since this unique pattern has been presented in Scripture for the building up of the Lord’s ekklesia, it is best to follow and practice all 10 items. Don’t be distracted by the questions of how or how long these things were done: such as, how many songs they sang, how long they prayed, or was wine or juice used for the cup, etc. Focusing on these details has caused many divisions.
Hon, Henry. One Life & Glory: Miraculously Normal Living and Service (p. 250). One Body Life. Kindle Edition.
(pp. 249-250). One Body Life. Kindle Edition.
When any individual progresses and has genuine experiences in the following areas, “building up” occurs: When the person becomes one with other diverse believers and appreciates each member (1 Cor. 12:12–14) When there is no division with other believers, and the person cares for everyone the same (1 Cor. 12:25) When the person functions more and more according to the gift given to each one (1 Cor. 12:4–11) When they pursue love as defined by 1 Corinthians 13 (1 Cor. 14:1) When they are encouraged and comforted (1 Cor. 14:3) When the person receives more knowledge and revelation concerning the person and work of Jesus Christ: the mysteries of Christ and His assembly (1 Cor. 14:6)
When the person is motivated to go forth and bear fruit as they witness unbelievers receiving faith unto salvation (1 Cor. 14:23–25) If the above is the experience of an individual attending and participating in a gathering, the Lord’s ekklesia is being built up, God’s eternal purpose is progressing, and those serving toward this end are doing their job.
One Life & Glory (p. 278). One Body Life. Kindle Edition.