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The Process of Spiritual Transformation


God took the initiative by offering forgiveness and new life as a gift ... A complex network of ideas, values, attitudes, desires, passions, urges, ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Process of Spiritual Transformation

The Process of Spiritual Transformation
  • Part Two
  • Receiving the Son Finding Peace with God

The Central Problem
  • Because God is holy, just and righteous, he must
    punish sin.
  • Because God is loving and compassionate, he
    desires to show mercy to sinners.
  • How can he do both?

Derivative Problem
  • How can a holy God restore his ruined Image in
    the life of a sinful human being?
  • The answer to both lies in how God deals with sin

  • What is sin?
  • ...sin is transgression of the law (KJV)
  • ...sin is lawlessness (ESV) (I Jn. 3.4)
  • ...sin is lawlessness, (the breaking, violation
    of Gods law by transgression or neglect being
    unrestrained and unregulated by his commands and
    his will (Amplified Bible)

  • Sin is any lack of conformity to or transgression
    of the law of God. (Westminster Shorter
    Catechism, Q 14)
  • Today, we have a very shallow view of sin

  • Historically organic network of
    compulsive attitudes, beliefs and behavior deeply
    rooted in our alienation from God (DSL 88)
  • Since 19th century ...conscious, voluntary
    transgressions against known laws (DSL 88)
  • Today errors, mistakes, oversights

  • Gods holiness cannot tolerate sin and reacts
    against it with wrath.
  • God must punish all sin
  • Sin alienates us from God
  • There can be no fellowship with God until our
    sins are forgiven and we are reconciled with him

  • No spiritual transformation is possible as long
    as man is dead in sin and alienated from God
  • That which is born of the flesh is flesh...
    (Jn.. 3.6)
  • You were dead in your transgressions and
    sins...(Eph. 2.1)

  • Mans dilemma he cannot make satisfaction for
    his sins or make himself spiritually alive
  • God took the initiative by offering forgiveness
    and new life as a gift
  • Salvation is by grace (free, undeserved
    kindness), and can be received through faith
    alone (Eph. 2.4-5, 8-9)

  • However, a holy God still must punishing our sins
    to remain just
  • Jesus, Second Person of the Trinity, the sinless
    Son of God, who is of infinite value, willingly
    took upon himself human form and bore the
    punishment due for our sins

  • ...all have sinned and fall short of the glory
    of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift,
    through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
    whom God put forward as a propitiation by his
    blood to be received by faith (Ro.3.23-24)

  • This was to show Gods righteousness, because in
    his divine forbearance, he had passed over former
    sins. It was to show his righteousness at the
    present time, so that he might be just and the
    justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus (Ro.

  • Propitiation means removal of wrath by the
    offering of a gift or sacrifice.
  • Jesus offered his life as a sacrifice to satisfy
    God the Fathers righteous demands and turn away
    his wrath against our sin

  • What is Saving Faith?
  • Saving faith begins with knowledge of God and the
    good news of Jesus Christ
  • Faith involves a firm belief /conviction that
    Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that he died for
    our sins and that he was raised from dead
  • Faith also involves personal trust in Christ
    himself to save us

  • When we awaken to our sin and place our faith in
    Jesus and his payment for our sins
  • Gods wrath against our sin is satisfied
  • God places our sin on Jesus Christ
  • God places Christs righteousness on us
  • God proclaims us justified in his sight
  • We are reconciled with God and born of the Holy

  • Core Issue One is resolved
  • The holy God is able to forgive sinful people and
    still remain just
  • Gods righteousness is satisfied and his mercy is

  • Core Issue Two
  • How can a holy God restore his ruined Image in
    the life of a sinful human being?

  • Gods declaration of the sinner as righteous
    (justification) not only brings peace with God
    (reconciliation), but also inaugurates spiritual
    rebirth (regeneration) and the process of
    transformation (sanctification).
  • Rebirth and transformation are the work of the
    Holy Spirit

  • Therefore since we have been justified by faith,
    we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus
    Christ....Gods love has been poured into our
    hearts by the Holy Spirit, who has been given to
    us (Ro. 5.1, 5)

  • Through the Holy Spirit we have union with
    Jesus Christ.
  • For if we have been united with him in a death
    like his, we shall certainly be united with him
    is a resurrection like his. (Ro. 6.5)
  • Our old nature is crucified with Christ and
    Christ lives in us by his Spirit

  • We know that our old self was crucified with him
    in order that the body of sin might be brought to
    nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved
    to sin....So you must consider yourselves dead to
    sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus (Ro. 6.

  • When the Holy Spirit implants new life in the
    soul, he breaks the bondage of the will to sin,
    weakens the old nature and makes godly obedience

  • But this does not obliterate the old, fallen
    nature, which Paul calls the Flesh
  • The flesh (sarx) is humanity is characterized
    by a complex web of thoughts, desires, values and
    actions that are in opposition to Gods intended
    plan for us. (EDBW, 284)

  • The flesh, though seriously weakened, still seeks
    to dominate our life.
  • A complex network of ideas, values, attitudes,
    desires, passions, urges, compulsions and
    ingrained habits does not disappear overnight.
  • John Owens view
  • We must kill it , lest it kill us !!!

  • Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal
    bodies, to make you obey their passions. Do not
    present your members to sin as instruments for
    unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as
    those who have been brought from death to life
    and your members to God as instruments for
    righteousness (Ro. 6.12-13)

  • Dont present (give) yourselves to sin
  • Present yourselves to God, says Paul
  • He has raised you from spiritual death to
    spiritual life !!!
  • In gratitude, joyfully give yourselves to him to
    please and glorify him by living as he desires
  • By an act of will, make a full surrender of
    yourself to God, for only thus will you be able
    to overcome sin

  • Present your members to God
  • Eyes What you look at
  • Ears What you listen to
  • Tongue What you say, talk about
  • Hands What you touch
  • Feet Where you go
  • Genitals What you do sexually
  • Brain What you think about

  • This is not mere external obedience, conformity
    to group norms
  • But thanks be to God that you who were once
    slaves to sin have become obedient from the heart
    to the standard of teaching to which you were
    committed (Ro. 6.17)
  • It is obedience from the heart flowing from the
    center and core of who we are into concrete

  • ..whatever is purely mental cannot transform the
    self. One of the greatest deceptions in the
    practice of the Christian religion is the idea
    that all that really matters is our internal
    feelings, ideas, beliefs and intentions.

  • It is this mistake about the psychology of the
    human being that more than anything else divorces
    salvation from life, leaving us with a headful of
    vital truths about God but a body unable to fend
    off sin.
  • (Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines,
    p. 152)

  • Every time you make a choice, you are turning
    the central part of you, the part that chooses,
    into something a little different from what it
    was before. You are slowly turning this central
    thing either into a heavenly creature or a
    hellish creature...Each of us at each moment is
    progressing to one state or another (CSL/MC 92)

  • The process of moral and spiritual transformation
  • Sow a thought, reap an act
  • Sow an act, reap a habit,
  • Sow a habit, reap a character,
  • So a character, reap a destiny.

  • How can I possibly obey? I know myself too well
  • You cant in you own strength we need new power
    to live the new life
  • The Holy Spirit leads/empowers us to obey Gods
    word and to put to death the sinful works of the
  • We begin to experience life in the Spirit

  • Living by the Spirit is the way God conforms us
    to the image of his Son
  • Those whom he foreknew, he also predestined to
    be conformed to the image of his Son, in order
    that he might be the firstborn among many
    brothers (Ro. 8.29)
  • Christlikeness is Gods primary agenda for all
    his children. This is true spiritual

  • Living according to the flesh, the old nature, is
    possible but not a viable option.
  • To do so would be to show contempt for Jesus
    Christ, who suffered and died to pay our sin
    debt, and free us
  • From the penalty of sin
  • From the power of sin
  • From the presence of sin

  • For if you live according to the flesh, you will
    die, but if, by the Spirit, you put to death the
    deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are
    led by the Spirit of God are sons of God (Ro.

  • The Holy Spirit leads Gods children to put to
    death the works of the flesh, producing
    progressive moral and spiritual transformation
  • We cannot do it without the Spirits empowerment
  • The Spirit will not do it without our obedience

  • What must we do for the Spirit to transform us?
    Paul repeats in different words what he said in
    Ro. 6.12-13
  • I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the
    mercies of God, to present your bodies as a
    living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God,
    which is your spiritual worship. (Ro. 12.1)

  • A full surrender and commitment of our bodies
    (our entire selves) to God is essential to the
    process of being led by the Spirit into
  • Have you ever made this surrender and commitment?
  • If so, do you need to renew it ?
  • Daily confession and renewal is essential

  • Failure to make a wholehearted surrender/commitmen
    t to God is a major problem in the church today
  • The need for it is seldom taught
  • Many true believers simply do not understand this
    requirement and thus live in defeat and compromise

  • Christ says, Give me all. I dont want so much
    of your time and so much of your money and so
    much of your work. I want you. I have not come to
    torment your natural self but to kill it. No
    half-measures are any good. I dont want to cut
    off a branch here and a branch there, I want to
    have the whole tree down.

  • I dont want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or
    stop it, but to have it out. Hand over the whole
    natural self, all the desire you think innocent
    as well as the ones you think wicked - the whole
    outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In
    fact, I will give you myself my own will shall
    become yours. (CSL/MC, p. 167)

  • There is more to this commitment
  • Do not be conformed to this world but be
    transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by
    testing you may discern what is the will of God,
    what is good and acceptable and perfect
  • Many believers are still living by the worlds
    values, not Gods

  • The Spirit brings transformation through the
    renewal of the mind
  • As we read, memorize, meditate on and obeying the
    Word of God
  • While he illuminates, teaches, encourages,
    convicts and empowers us through it
  • Holy Scripture is a key means of growing in grace
    and being transformed

  • What about other spiritual disciplines?
  • A better term is means of grace
  • We learn about them from the Word and are helped
    to practice them by the Spirit

  • Note that transformation is Trinitarian
  • God the Father calls us
  • God the son redeems us
  • God the Holy Spirit restores us
  • But the Holy Spirit is the primary active agent
    in our daily growth
  • And it is to the Holy Spirit that we now turn...
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