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Understanding Spiritual Formation 1: The Work of the Trinity

The term "spiritual formation" is not always understood. This is the first in a series of posts seeking to explain what I mean when I talk about "spiritual formation".

For me, the jumping off point of any discussion of spiritual formation begins with creation.

According to Genesis 1, God spoke everything into being. According to John 1, God the Son was there. According to Colossians 1, God the Son was the actor in creation. Genesis 1:2 tells us that the Holy Spirit was hovering over creation.

God the Father spoke
God the Son acted
God the Spirit enabled

Jesus' baptism provides a similar picture. The Father speaks, the Son acts, and the Spirit is again hovering. John 3 tells us that the Son only speaks the words of the Father, because the Father has given him the Spirit without limit.

God the Father spoke
God the Son acted
God the Spirit enabled

The new creation (us) is not different. You can use whichever theological words you like (calling, election, predestination, adoption, etc...), the Father initiates the new creation. The Son does the redemptive work. The Spirit (sanctifies) brings it to completion.

God the Father spoke
God the Son acted
God the Spirit enables.

God the Spirit enables us to be the new creation.

Thus Spiritual Formation is the activity of the Spirit as He forms us into the image of Jesus Christ who is the perfect representation of God.


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