What do people mean when they say they are going to church or belong to a church?

Perhaps they mean, ‘It is Sunday so I am going to church today’. Obviously they equate ‘church’ with the formal worship service. Or they may say, ‘My church is on the corner of Fifth Street and Knysna Avenue’. So they equate the church with a building. Then there are those who equate ‘church’ with a particular denomination; ‘I belong to the Methodist Church’.

Is that what the Bible means when it uses the word ‘Church’. We find the essential meaning of ‘church’ at the beginning of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, (1Co 1:2) To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:

Thus the church is a community of people set apart in the Lord Jesus Christ, and because they are ‘in Christ’ through faith, are called saints. This means that only those who are ‘in Christ’ belong to the church. They meet together regularly for worship, Bible study, prayer and in caring fellowship.

We do not attend church, we ARE church, and today the Knysna Baptist Church is meeting for Worship.