Forming is a fresh, life-giving approach to spiritual growth and restoration that may be very different from what you have tried before!
|Forming: Change by Grace
|Christian life is very performance-driven, rooted in self-effort and behavior modification.
|Christian life is centered in a relationship with God from whom we receive what we need for spiritual growth.
|Primary focus is on giving us eternal life, going to heaven when we die, and removing the stain of sin.
|Focused on establishing a functional relationship with God (along with removing the power of sin and giving us eternal life).
|Salvation is something God does for us, and Christian growth is something we try to do in response.
|God is the source of both salvation and Christian growth (even though we are involved in both acts of grace).
|Looking for information and for principles to apply to our lives.
|Asking God to speak the Word into our heart
(along with encouraging sound exegesis).
|A.C.T.S == Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication (us talking to God).
|A.C.T.S plus Listening (conversational prayer).
|Explaining to people how to go to heaven.
|Telling first-person stories of how God is actively involved in our lives along with explaining how to enter into this kind of relationship.
|Holy Spirit’s Job
|Gives us energy as we try harder.
|Mentors us directly, speaks into our lives for direction, healing, and companionship.
|Change / Transformation
|Change comes from trying hard to do the right things.
|Transformation is an on-going process that God works in us as we engage with Him.
|Trying hard to do the right things no matter what else we want or how we feel (often overriding our heart).
|Apprenticing with God to change our heart so we are inclined to do what is good.
|Primarily knowing about God and what He wants.
|Experientially getting to know God.
|Goal of Sanctification
|Doing and saying the right things.
|Becoming who God intended us to be.
|Doing what is right and not doing what is wrong.
|A condition of the heart that comes from God.
|Feeling contrite enough to ask for forgiveness and to promise to try harder.
|Agreeing with God that we need more help than we thought, and going to Him to be restored and mentored in that area.
|Being in the right place at the right time, doing the right things that God wants us to do.
|Being in relationship with God and in the process of restoration, no matter how messed up or well off we may be.
|Primary Methods of Discipleship
|Teaching doctrine and Christian lifestyle, along with efforts to motivate.
|Training people how to engage with God and exercise our soul in ways that change us from the inside out (along with sound doctrine). Motivated by joy.
|Healing our Wounds and Failures
|May be glossed over, even denigrated as “too psychological” or unnecessary.
|An important part of our restoration process, because these wounds cause our heart to be malformed (see Peter’s restoration in John 21).
|Summary of Above Areas
|Legalism: Trying to live up to a standard of behavior found in the Bible. In terms of John 15, attempting to create fruit.
|Grace: Engaging with God in ways that allow Him to change us from the inside out (to write His laws on our heart). In terms of John 15, becoming more connected to the Vine so God can produce fruit in our lives.