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Church Growth

By David Robinson/ July 9, 2017

Series  Ephesians: All Things in Christ

Context  Westminster Chapel Toronto

Topic  The Church

Scripture  Ephesians 4:7-13

Every part of the body needs to function properly for the body to be healthy and capable. Love loosens the joints in the body motivating us to take action and to serve the church.

Sermon Notes:

  1. Many modern churches apply business principles to church growth. Paul gives us the true metric of church growth: the measure and stature of the fullness of Christ.
  2. The primary means of growth is not well-crafted mission statements, strategic alignment, or brilliant execution, but the grace of God.
  3. We are growing to Christ, from Christ and by Christ.
  4. Grace is given by Christ. The goal of the grace is that we may become mature in the likeness of Christ.
  5. Each of us is a manifestation of grace. God has given gifts: apostles pastors, etc.
  6. It is a great error to think about the church without thinking about Christ.
  7. Christ is seated in the heavens, with all things under his feet, and he has been given as head to the church, which is his body. The church is not under his feet, it is his body (Eph. 1:22-23)
  8. Paul refers to Psalm 68, which speaks of the might and power of God leading His people to victory.
  9. On the cross Christ defeated all the powers and principalities and erased our record of debt. The accuser now has no basis for his accusation against us (Col. 2:13-15; cf. Rev. 12).
  10. The grace of God flows out through the cross to equip and build us up. Christ is building us up to maturity, into a new man.
  11. We are not merely justified, we are being molded and shaped in order that we may be glorified with Christ.
  12. As we become like Christ, we are succeeding in the objective of church growth.
  13. The goal of church growth is outlined in Eph. 4:13. Christ is the center. As we move toward Christ, we move toward one another.
  14. We are to grow up in every way like Him to become mature. We should no longer be like children.
  15. As we mature, our focus shifts to Christ and His body.
  16. We need to be connected to the church with the gifts God has given to the body: apostles, evangelists, teachers, shepherds, etc.
  17. Apostles were divinely appointed witnesses of Christ; their testimony is canonized in the New Testament. The prophets are canonized in the Old Testament. This is the foundation of the church (Eph. 2:20)
  18. Shepherds are pastors and teachers who are given to the church to teach and preach the Word of God to equip the saints for works of service.
  19. The institution of the church is given by God with Spirit-appointed offices that believers may be equipped (Eph. 4:12; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).
  20. Today the church needs faithful men to teach and preach God’s Word, not to enlighten or entertain, but to equip.
  21. All of us are called to use our gifts for the common good of the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:7).
  22. Every part of the body needs to function for the body to be healthy and capable.
  23. Love loosens the joints in the body to make us take action and to serve the church. Love takes focus from self and moves us to serve the body.
  24. There is such a thing as graceless, loveless service. As those united with Christ, we need to bear with one another in love.
  25. The Lord’s Supper reminds us that we belong to one body which we must serve in love (1 Cor. 10:16-17).

Application Questions:

  1. Contrast popular principles of church growth with the means and goals of church growth found in Ephesians 4.
  2. How should our self-focus shift as we mature as Christians?
  3. What is the objective of preaching?
  4. What is missing when the church body resembles a frozen statue?