1 Thessalonians 1:1
Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, to the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ…
in Galatians, Corinthians and Thessalonians, but to the Saints in Romans, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. It is remarkable that this change of form should take place in all the later Epistles; perhaps because the apostle, more or less in his later years, invested the Church on earth with the attributes of the Church in heaven. The word ecclesia is used in the LXX for the congregation, indifferently with synagogue. It is found also in Matthew, in the Epistles of John and James as well as in Hebrews and Revelation. It could not, therefore, have belonged to any one party or division of the Church. In the time of St. Paul, it was the general term, and was gradually appropriated to the Christian Church. All the sacred associations with which that was invested as the body of Christ were transferred to it, and the words synagogue and ecclesia soon became as distinct as the things to which they were applied. The very rapidity with which "ecclesia" acquired its new meaning, is a proof of the life and force which from the first the thought of communion with one another must have exerted on the minds of the earliest believers. Some indication of the transition is traceable in Hebrews 2:12, where the words of Psalm 22:23 are adopted in a Christian sense; also in Hebrews 12:23, where the Old and New Testament meanings of ecclesia are similarly blended.
Parallel VersesKJV: Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.