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Summary: The Role of Church in Spiritual Growth

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lesson 5: The Role of Church in Spiritual Growth

“The Church is God’s creation and design; it is His method of providing spiritual nurture for the believer and a community of faith through which the gospel is proclaimed and His will advanced in every generation.”

Rick Warren

Introduction

In the New Testament, the Greek word ‘ecclesia’ is used for ‘church’. ‘Ecclesia’ came to denote a group of people called out and assembled for a specific purpose.

The English word “church” and its related cognate term originated from the Greek word ‘Kuriakos’ meaning “belonging to the Lord”. ‘Kuriakos’ came to designate the place where the ecclesia met for worship.

So then, the church is a group of people called out of a life of sin and death into a life that belongs to the Lord, and regularly gathers with the intention of worshipping, discovering and doing the will of God, which is to influence the world for His Kingdom.

“There is nothing on earth more valuable to God than His church". Rick Warren.

IN DEPTH STUDY

I What is the Church?

a) The church is the bride of Christ.

b) The church is the body of Christ.

c) The church is God’s institution on earth.

d) The church is God’s family.

e) Paul called it the ‘church of the living God’, and the ‘pillar and ground of the truth’

(1Tim 3.15)

• The church is established by Jesus Christ.

• Jesus has a plan for his church. Jesus said: “I WILL BUILD my church.” WILL BUILD is future tense. The building of the church is NOT an action which Jesus completed at some time in the past.

• The church belongs to Jesus Christ.

• Jesus will protect the church.

f) The universal church is spiritual entity made up of all Christians, past, present and

future.

g) The local church is a specific local congregation of Christians who have agreed to

band together to pursue the goals and responsibilities of the universal church.

II What is the importance of the local church in our spiritual growth?

a) A person can be saved apart from a local church, but a person CANNOT fulfill his spiritual destiny apart from a local church.

b) There are two metaphors for ‘church’:

• A building (1Pet 2.4-5)

• A body (Rom12.4)

Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not

all have the same function, so in Christ, we who are many form one body, and

each member belongs to all the others.

• A Christian is no more normal functioning alone than a brick lying apart from a building or an organ cut off from the rest of the body.

c) “His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us

to himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great pleasure.” (Eph 1.15)

• Because God is love, He treasures relationships.

• When we place our faith in Christ, God becomes our Father, we become his children, other believers become our brothers and sisters, and the church becomes our spiritual family. The family of God includes all believers in the past, in the present, and all who will believe in the future.

d) Your spiritual family is even more important than your physical family because it will


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