n. — an orderly congregation specifically of those who trust in Jesus as the Messiah (or those who compose it).
Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches (ἐκκλησία).
New Testament authors refer to the church in a variety of ways. In today’s example verse, the church is referred to more generically using the word ἐκκλησία. We can, however, learn a great deal about the attributes of this more generic meaning by looking at some of the more specific metaphors grouped underneath it. We see a number of these metaphors in the Bible Sense Lexicon hierarchy:
Each one of these metaphors may highlight something in particular about churches. For example, thinking about the church as a “flock” may highlight the idea that the church is under the care of Jesus and its leaders. Church as “God’s family” may highlight not only the relationship of the members to God as father, but also to one another as brother and sister. Thus, we find that our understanding of the more general meaning of church can be enhanced by understanding some of the more specific ways that the church is referred to.
Learn more about the Bible Sense Lexicon.