God’s grace not only saves us (Eph. 2:8-9) but it empowers us (Titus 2:11-12) to be the Church we should be which leads to growth. This is a critical truth for church leaders to grab hold of if they desire both quantitative and qualitative growth in the church.
God’s grace must be a part of the Gospel message we proclaim if we want to see quantitative growth through conversions.
If we want to see conversion growth in the Church, we must understand the power of the Gospel, which according to 1 Corinthians 15 includes Jesus’ death, resurrection, and appearance to many prior to ascending back to heaven. Jesus’ death and resurrection were necessary because sin separates us from a holy God (Rom. 3:23; 6:23). Though God’s holiness and righteousness demand judgment on sin, His grace and mercy bring salvation from eternal damnation (Titus 2:11). We cannot work for or merit salvation (Eph. 2:8-9). We are “justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:23-24).
At the end of the day, it is not going to be our methodology that brings people to Christ. And, it won’t be offering the best church programs that save people. Nor will it be the messenger. Apart from the power of God at work through His grace and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we will not see growth in our churches due to conversions.
God’s grace must empower the Church in order to experience qualitative growth.
Jesus’ intent is to present the church “as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Eph. 5:27). Apart from the grace of God, that isn’t going to happen. We can’t make ourselves holy. And, we certainly aren’t blameless. In Christ, however, we can stand before God as holy and blameless because the blood of Christ has been applied to our account.
As we walk in grace, the state of our lives, as His Church, can more and more match our standing. Colossians 2:6 exhorts, “Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him.” We received Christ “by grace … through faith” (Eph. 2:8) which means we walk by grace through faith. His grace “teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” (Titus 2:10-11).
In the next post we will look at how God’s grace enables church leaders to be agents of church growth. Sign up to receive e-mail notice of new posts.