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Speaker: Jerry Cisar
Imagine driving by a church and the signboard out front reads, “Teaching people to obey everything Jesus commanded.” What would you think? Some might think, “Sounds legalistic.” Others, “Impossible.” But I wonder how many would think, “That’s exactly what churches should be doing.” At least that’s what Jesus said in Matthew 28:18-20.
How would you like to actually love your neighbor as yourself? Or, to not envy those who have significantly more than you? To be free from loneliness? To no longer fear what people think of you or covet their approval? What about lust… how would you like to be free from wanting even the free looks, or when you walk through a store or mall for nothing to have a hold on you? How about never exploding when you disagree with your family? Need I go on? This is a sampling of what it would mean if in fact we were a people that were actually obeying everything Jesus commanded.
We’ve spent 8 weeks talking about the church and spiritual community. This week I am going to talk about the individual. Do not confuse this with talk about an individualistic Christian life—that is an oxymoron. However this Sunday I am talking about spiritual formation, a term some might not be familiar with. Within our stream of evangelicalism it is more commonly referred to as spiritual disciplines. However, that language focuses on the activity and not the goal. There is an inherent danger in focusing on the activity over the goal. Christian spiritual formation is focused on the goal—Christ formed in you.