The Four Key Elements of Transformation
Our vision statement, Transformation for the Sake of Others, is on our Sunday bulletin each week, and is the motivation for all we do at New Covenant. The question then is HOW are we transformed? How do we become mature, grow in our faith so as to serve our Lord and others?
First of all, it is good to acknowledge that it is our Lord’s desire, his will, that his children be transformed, grow, develop, and mature in their spiritual lives. For without him we can do nothing. Just as we expect our children to grow and mature in their physical and emotional lives, he wants his children to mature spiritually. And the purpose of our growth is so that we can more fully love and serve our Lord and others. Jesus summary of the law was that we love God with all of who we are and that love our neighbor.
We do indeed then expect to mature as children of light and as citizens of his kingdom, and wholeheartedly believe this is God’s plan for his people. How then do we mature and grow spiritually? Our spiritual formation happens in a number of ways, here are four that we use at New Covenant. (We have borrowed these from James Bryan Smith’s book, The Good And Beautiful God.)
For one, it happens through our involvement in his scriptures, or the STORY of God and his people. And it takes root in us as we realize that our own stories are meant to be part of his ongoing story.
Secondly, it happens through TRAINING. At one point when Paul writes to Timothy he says that it is good to train the body, but that training the soul is good for this life and the life to come, “...train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:7-8
And a third way that our spiritual formation and maturity happens is in the context of a community of faith, being with other people who are seeking to become who they are created to be.
The Holy Spirit
The fourth and last key element for spiritual formation is found in the person and work of the Holy Spirit. He’s the one who sanctifies us, changes us from the inside out. For the way God is present with us is in his Spirit. And the point of his presence? Is for our development, maturity, growth, and transformation. And the purpose of that growth? Is for the sake of others.
And as we venture into his transforming presence we cannot help but discover, perhaps inch by inch, perhaps by leaps and bounds, but either way we will discover who we are created to be in Christ Jesus our Lord and realize that our destiny as his children is to live with him and to live in him in this world and in the world to come.
There is no greater adventure -- period. Join us.