By Gordon T. Smith
2015 Christianity Today Award of advantage (Spirituality) 2014 most sensible booklet of Spirituality―Academic, from Byron Borger, Hearts and Minds bookshop Evangelicals are recognized for his or her emphasis on conversion. yet what approximately existence after conversion and beyond justification? Desperately wanted is a entire theology of the Christian existence from starting to finish, besides the technique of formation and transformation. In Called to Be Saints, Gordon Smith attracts on a distinct life of reflecting on those issues to supply us a theologically wealthy account of our participation within the lifetime of Christ. either profound and functional, this publication is a trinitarian theology of holiness that encompasses either justification and sanctification, either union with Christ and communion with God. Smith unfolds how and why Christians are referred to as to develop into clever humans, do strong paintings, love others and luxuriate in rightly ordered affections. If holiness is the continuing trip of changing into mature in Christ, then there is not any greater consultant than Smith. Christians in each stroll of existence will locate this a wealthy source for studying what it potential to "grow up in each method . . . into Christ" (Ephesians 4:15).
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Extra info for Called to Be Saints: An Invitation to Christian Maturity
It is by the Spirit that we are participants in the life of Christ. I need to express the following with great care and precision; few things have been so divisive to the church as how we understand and respond to the ministry of the Spirit. And for evangelical Christians in particular, where there are many points of division and potential division, nothing quite raises the fences as much as how we speak about the Spirit. There is only one Christ Jesus: the Christ who is present to the world, to the church and to the individual Christian through the grace of the Spirit.
Our perspective is consistently strengthened by conversation with those from other cultures and social contexts. We need to learn from one another. And we need to allow some of our most cherished ideals—elements that we might think are vital to our cultural identity—to be challenged by the way other Christians read the Scriptures. Conclusion: An Overview of This Vision for Christian Maturity We recognize a profound need for a theology of sanctification that undergirds and gives direction to the church on this distinctive commitment: to foster the capacity for growth in faith, hope and love, a capacity that will be evident in moral leadership, character, integrity and, quite simply, holiness—a reflection of the very character of God.
He is the high priest who goes before us and whose work on the cross and as the ascended one is now the work of the one who has been perfected by his suffering and obedience. He is ever before us, dynamically present to the world and present in real time to the church and thus to each follower, each disciple. Jesus is priest and king in the order of Melchizedek, with a very specific agenda: our transformation. But what specifically is the content or meaning of this transformation? As Luke Timothy Johnson puts it in his commentary on Hebrews—and this observation is pivotal; so much rests on this point— Union with Christ 45 the author of the letter to the Hebrews assumes that through the cross, through the sacrifice of Christ, the people are “perfected,” but this perfection, this teleiosis, is not so much the fruit of an external transaction as it is an act by which followers of Christ are drawn into the very life of God.