Summary: The Role of Church in Spiritual Growth
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.”
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’
• 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
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
e) While your relationship with God is personal but God never intends it to be private.
f) Bible says of the Church, we are:
• Put together –(1 Cor12.12)
• Joined togother (Eph 2.21,22; 3.6)
• heirs together (Eph 3.6; 4.16)
• fitted together (Col 2.19)
• held together (Eph 4.16)
• to be caught up together (1 Thess.4.17)
g) Our purpose for life begins by loving God our heavenly Father. We continue to fulfill our purpose by letting His love for us overflow to others.
III Why does God want us to learn to love each other?
a) It makes us more like God, because God is love.
b) He wants His children to learn to get along.
c) God wants us to love each other because it is practice for eternity.
d) 1 John 4:21
e) “I am writing you these instructions so that,  . . . you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church. . .” (1Tim 3:14-15, NIV)
The Church is not a place you go to; the Church is a family you belong to.
The Church is not a building; it’s a body.
The Church is not an institution; it’s not an organization; it’s not a club.
The Church is more than a service you attend for a couple hours on Sunday.
The Church is God’s family of which we can all be a part.
In God’s family, He wants us to love each other; that’s fellowship.