Thursday, September 04, 2008


In preparation for this coming Sunday sermon, Pastor Charlie has asked us to consider what we think are the most important things we can do to develop ourselves into fully devoted followers of Christ.
  1. It may be a matter of knowledge. An increase biblical and theological knowledge increases spiritual maturity . But this is not necessarily true. Many Christians know Scripture and doctrine and yet remain emotionally disconnected and behaviorally bland.
  2. It may be a matter of emotion. Emotional experiences and a desire to help others increase spiritual maturity. But, like knowledge, this is not necessarily the case. Many Christians have deeply felt experiences and yet remain ignorant of Scripture and focus more on experience than on service.
  3. It may be a matter of doing. Practicing good works, religious rituals, and spiritual disciplines increases spiritual maturity. This is also not necessarily the case. Many Christians do all these things and yet remain ignorant of Scripture and unmoved by the needs of others and the glory of God.
So, if knowing, feeling, or doing are insufficient, what is the answer? What is our part in our own spiritual formation? In the spiritual formation of our brothers and sisters?

I'll be posting my thoughts on Monday after the sermon.

Post-Sermon Thoughts
All three are necessary and, by themselves, insufficient. Even so, it seems that knowledge must have priority, for by knowledge we are able to interpret feeling and doing. That being said--given my own Christian context--I must say again: knowledge alone is insufficient for discipleship. Because we are whole persons, we are disciples as whole persons--following Christ takes place via knowing, feeling, and doing. A fourth piece is intention--this is the most neglected. In TFB's REVEAL results, not making discipleship a priority was a top barrier for those who are growing in Christ and, to a significantly greater degree (34% higher than for growers), those who are NOT growing in Christ.

Knowing, feeling, and doing only work when intention and proper goal are in place. Intention is our decision to be disciples. The proper goal is Christlikeness.

Spiritual Formation in Christ by Dallas Willard
Renovare founded by Richard Foster
Institute for Spiritual Formation at Biola University
Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care

Related post on Laura's Writings


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