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Spiritual Formation



Spiritual Formation


What a Church Leader Must Be Like

It is true that if a man wants to be a church leader, he wants to do a good work. A church leader must be a good man. His life must be so no one can say anything against him. He must have only one wife and must be respected for his good living. He must be willing to take people into his home. He must be willing to learn and able to teach the Word of God. He must not get drunk or want to fight. Instead, he must be gentle. He must not have a love for money. He should be a good leader in his own home. His children must obey and respect him. If a man cannot be a good leader in his own home, how can he lead the church? A church leader must not be a new Christian. A new Christian might become proud and fall into sin which is brought on by the devil. A church leader must be respected by people who are not Christians so nothing can be said against him. In that way, he will not be trapped by the devil.

What the Church Helpers Must Be Like

Church helpers must also be good men and act so people will respect them. They must speak the truth. They must not get drunk. They must not have a love for money. They must have their faith in Christ and be His follower with a heart that says they are right. They must first be tested to see if they are ready for the work as church helpers. Then if they do well, they may be chosen as church helpers. The wives of church helpers must be careful how they act. They must not carry stories from one person to another. They must be wise and faithful in all they do. Church helpers must have only one wife. They must lead their home well and their children must obey them. Those who work well as church helpers will be respected by others and their own faith in Christ Jesus will grow.

Why Paul Writes to Timothy

I hope to come to you soon. I am writing these things because it may be awhile before I get there. I wanted you to know how you should act among people in the church which is the house of the living God. The church holds the truth. It is important to know the secret of God-like living, which is: Christ came to earth as a Man. He was pure in His Spirit. He was seen by angels. The nations heard about Him. Men everywhere put their trust in Him. He was taken up into heaven.

New believers should become strong and certain in their faith before taking leadership. Too often, when the church is desperate for new volunteers, new believers are placed in positions of authority prematurely. New faith needs time to develop. New believers could have a right of service, but not into leadership positions until they are firmly grounded in their faith, with a consistent Christian lifestyle and knowledge of the Word of God.


Passages and Quotes

Above all, else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do. (Proverbs 4:23 NLT)

Do not yield any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and accept what God's will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)


You were taught, with respect to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the condition of your minds, and to build on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24)


The purpose of my instruction is that all the Christians there would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and sincere faith. (1 Timothy 1:5)


Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is to Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. (Matthew 22:37-40)


My dear children, for whom I am also in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you. (Galatians 4:19)


But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and vulgar words from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge, in the image of its Creator. (Colossians 3:8-10)


Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:17-18)


Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:19-20)


A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher. (Luk 6:40) 


For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the days to come. (1Timothy 4:8)

Do you not know that, in a race, all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to win the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore, I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave, so that after, I have preached to others, I will not be disqualified for the prize. (1Corinthians 9:24-27)


Solid food is for those who are wise, who have trained themselves to recognize the difference between right and wrong and then do what is right. (Hebrews 5:14)


Who we are in our inmost depths is the most critical issue. Being must always precede doing. What we do will be according to what we are. (Ray Stedman)


The greatest difficulty you and I have – the greatest need of common humanity – is renovation of the heart. (Dallas Willard)


The revolution of Jesus is first and always a transformation of the human heart. His revolution does not come through the process of social institutions and laws – the outer forms of our existence – intending that these would them establish a providential order upon people who come under their power. Rather, his is a transformation of character, which proceeds by changing people from the heart through ongoing personal relationship with God and one another. (Don Simpson)


Religion is the arch enemy of inner spirituality. Religion is a tedious routine of manmade do's and don't's, would's and should's – impotent to change human lives but tragically capable of devastating them – are what is left after a true love for God has drained away. Religion is the case that is left after the real life has disappeared. (Doug Banister)


I think one of the most prevalent problems in modern Western Christianity is that we mistakenly believe that information automatically translates into a change. But knowing something is true does not in and of itself ensure that this truth will make a significant difference in our lives. Faith for modern Western Christians is typically an idea about something, not an experience of anything. We need a way to do what we know in our minds real to our hearts. (Gregory A. Boyd)


The deepest ache of the soul is the spiritual longing for connection and belonging. To be human is to have been designed for intimate relationship with the Divine. In spite of the messages of Western culture, personal fulfillment lies in connection, not autonomy. Spirituality is the discovery of the fundamental connection that exists between us and God - a connection that properly aligns us to others, the world and our deepest self. (David G. Benner)


If I intend to obey Jesus Christ, I must decide to become the kind of person who would obey. That is, I must find the means of changing my inner being until it is substantially like his, pervasively characterized by his thoughts, feelings, habits, and relationship with the Father. (Don Simpson)


We do not become able to follow Jesus by trying to follow Jesus but by becoming the kind of person who obviously does obey. That means our goal is to obtain, by intelligent power and grace, the inward character of Jesus Christ himself. (Dallas Willard)



Character is about incorporating the realities of God's regulations into daily life. 

Religious people know the truth, but believers do it.


Many discussions about the spiritual journey give too quickly into strategy and principles without fully appreciating the relational dynamic of spiritual growth. What we are actually talking about is staying in love with the most influential Person in our lives. (Doug Banister)

The activities constituting the disciplines have no value in themselves. The intent and structure of spiritual life is not fasting, prayer, hymn singing, frugal living, and so forth. Rather, it is the logical and full enjoyment of working love of God and humankind in all the daily rounds of everyday life where we are placed. (Dallas Willard)


Conversion, as understood in Christian circles, is not the same thing as the required transformation of the self. The fact that a long course of history is needed for the transformation is not set aside when we are touched by the new life from above. (Dallas Willard)


If we are to benefit from the same kind of experiential and positive relationship with the Lord that God’s people in Scripture enjoyed, we must, through the Spirit, enrich the spiritual capacity for an inner life that they possessed. (Gregory Boyd)


A discipline is what you do to change your inner being. It’s a movement in my strength that enables me to accomplish what I can’t do by direct effort - Dallas Willard.


God’s intention for each of us is that we should grow in character and ability to the point where he can empower us to do what we need to do. The work we must do now is to educate our “Wanter" - Dallas Willard.


The disciplines for the spiritual life, rightly understood, are time-tested activities consciously undertaken by us as new men or women to allow our spirit ever-increasing sway over our embodied selves. (Dallas Willard)

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