When Jesus met with his disciples near Caesarea-Philippi, he inquired concerning how others were identifying him. Several opinions were proffered. He then pressed for their view.
Peter responded, confessing Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of God.” The Lord pronounced a blessing upon his apostle and declared that upon this “rock” (the truth of that declaration) he would build his church.
The Greek term for “church” is ekklesia (found 114 times in the New Testament). In the New Testament context, the word is employed in four senses:
It represents the body of Christ worldwide, over which the Lord functions as head (Mt. 16:18; Eph. 1:22; 1 Tim. 3:15).
The expression can refer to God’s people in a given region (Acts 9:31, ASV, ESV).
Frequently, it depicted a local congregation of Christians (1 Cor. 1:2; Rev. 1:11).
It could also signify a group of the Lord’s people assembled for worship (1 Cor. 14:34-35).