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Dynamics of Christian Spirituality - Lesson 5

The Renewal of Holiness

We have become image-bearers who sin, and worse than that, we carry about in us a disposition to sin. The gospel is the good news that our sinful thoughts and actions can be forgiven through the atoning work of Christ. God’s Spirit, who now resides in us, is also fixing the polluted source of ours sins.

Glen Scorgie
Dynamics of Christian Spirituality
Lesson 5
Watching Now
The Renewal of Holiness

The Renewal of Holiness
 

A. Review and introduction

B. The holiness of God (Isaiah 6:3, Rev. 4:8)

C. Contagious holiness (2 Cor. 3:18)

D. The goal comes into focus as Christlikeness (Rom. 8:29)

E. The Holy Spirit (meaning that holiness is his natural impulse)

F. Our perversity runs deep

G. The starting point of authenticity

1. The importance of honesty (1 John 1:9)

2. Psalm 137: An Old Testament example of radical authority

3. The priority of Jesus: Inner holiness (Matt. 12:33, 23:25)

H. The necessary "death" of the old nature

1. The cruciform life (Rom. 6:4, Rom. 12:1, Gal. 2:20)

2. The continuation of our personal identities

I. The ongoing discipline of the self (Col. 3:2-3, 5)

J. Soul-crafting: The formation of virtue (suffering and separation)

K. Some helpful guides: Thomas a Kempis(1380-1471), Hannah Whitall Smith and J. I. Packer

L. Summary: We began our consideration of the transformational dynamic by studying the renewal of holiness. Sin has corrupted the moral purity of people created in the holy God’s image and likeness. We have become image-bearers who sin, and worse than that, we carry about in us a disposition to sin. The gospel is the good news that our sinful thoughts and actions can be forgiven through the atoning work of Christ. But the news is even better than this. God’s Spirit, who now resides in us, is also fixing the polluted source of ours sins. He is gently but firmly moving us along in the direction of sanctification, progressively restoring the holiness with which we were originally designed.


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  • The modern way of life has left the human spirit unsatisfied. Though organized religion has been found deficient, real Spirit-uality remains God’s gracious provision for the soul-hunger of every age. We have introduced a framework for understanding such spirituality – one that highlights its three essential dynamics.

  • It is within the narrative of scripture that we continue to live and move. We are interested in the quality of spirituality that characterized the countless saints who have pursued God down through the centuries. Their legacy is not infallible, but it is instructive and potentially very helpful.

  • We were created for community, but our sin has produced alienation. By his Spirit, Christ is restoring our intimacy with God and others.

  • The first dynamic of Christian spirituality is relational— friendship with God and the experience of community.

  • We have become image-bearers who sin, and worse than that, we carry about in us a disposition to sin. The gospel is the good news that our sinful thoughts and actions can be forgiven through the atoning work of Christ. God’s Spirit, who now resides in us, is also fixing the polluted source of ours sins.

  • God’s saving plan is to change us into persons who are both holy and whole.

  • The Christian life involves connecting, becoming and doing. We discover meaning in life by aligning ourselves with God’s call to steward creation, evangelize the nations, and build his kingdom.

  • The ability to discern our personal vocation in life is important. What we do with our lives is an essential element of true spirituality.

  • Each of us should seek to live a Christ-centered, Spirit-filled life characterized all three dynamics of Christian spirituality: relational, transformational and vocational. We should conscientiously incorporate all three into our prayer lives as well.

  • Grace is not opposed to effort, but to earning (Dallas Willard). We are as spiritual as we want to be (A. W. Tozer).

  • The journey of our pursuit of God that we are on has joyful experiences as well as challenges in store. Pursue God, value relationships and live life with an attitude of expectancy and joy.

If you are familiar with the author's A Little Guide to Christian Spirituality: Three Dimensions of Life with God, you will have a good idea of what is in this course.

The course is designed for those who are at the beginning stages of the spiritual journey. It talks about the dynamics of spiritual growth, how to grow to be more like Christ. (10:50)

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