Original Posting At http://soundbitesministry.blogspot.com/2020/01/called-together-by-god.html
“God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our LORD.” (1 Corinthians 1:9 NIV)
Central to the Bible’s description of the church is the idea of “call.” It is cradled in the word most often used to designate the church, the Greek term “ekklesia,” which is built upon the root of the verb meaning “to call.” The “ekklesia,” then, is the community called together by God and sent forth into the world to serve in His name.
The church, as the Bible describes it, is more than an aggregation — people who have chosen to come together, as American culture preaches. It is a congregation, a people called together by the Word of God, the gospel of Christ’s love and forgiveness. God comes first, then the church. His call to salvation precedes the gathering of the people. As the apostle Paul puts it, we are called into “the fellowship of God’s Son.” That fellowship is the essence of the Christian community life and the Christian mission to the world.
— Bruce Shelley & Marshall Shelley in “The Consumer Church”