The word translated “church” in the New Testament is the common Greek word “ekklesia” which is a compound word consisting of “ek” (out of) and “kaleo” (to call), suggesting an “out-calling” (Acts 15:14). The word is probably better translated “assembly”. The Lord first used the word (Matthew 16:18) to describe the total aggregate of all “born again” believers from Pentecost until the second coming of Christ, otherwise known as the Body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:1-6, 12). He next used the word (Matthew 18:17) to describe a local company of Christians gathered to His Name (verse 20) of which there came to be many in New Testament times scattered throughout the known world as a result of the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ. There are distinctive differences between the two usages of the word “church”, but the church (assembly) as it gathers together in any locality is a visible expression of the Body of Christ.
A scriptural assembly avoids any distinctive sectarian name, and consists simply of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. They are united to Him and to all who are His, and desire to be known only as “Christians”. A scriptural assembly does not take the name of any leader, nor is it built on any one distinctive doctrine of scripture or system of church government, but gathers to His Name alone, and takes the whole of the divinely inspired Scriptures as the sufficient guide for daily life, and for all that concerns the conduct and testimony of a local assembly of the Lord’s people (2 Tim 3:16-17).