The Role of Holy Spirit in the Spiritual Formation of a believer-  

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Spiritual formation is, “the ongoing process of the triune God transforming the believers and character toward the life and character of Jesus Christ- accomplished by the ministry of the Spirit in the context of biblical community” (Pettit, Foundations of Spiritual Formation, 24).

Spiritual formation process is a synergy of the divine initiative and our human response (Phil 2:12-13; 1 Thess. 5:23). It involves developing right relationship of love with God (vertical relationship) and with fellow men (horizontal relationship).

God is actively involved in bringing a sinner to Christ and consequently in the spiritual formation (sanctification process) of the infant Christian as s/he progresses to maturity in Christ.

The role of the third Person of the Trinity (Holy Spirit) in the spiritual growth of a believer is paramount.

Here are ways in which the Holy Spirit is involved in the Spiritual formation in the life of a believer:  

  1. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. He brings sinners to salvation. So he is involved in the conversion/turning to God experience.
  2. He gives believers an inward assurance of salvation.
  3. He indwells believers to bring an inward-out change.
  4. He illuminates God’s truth/mysteries (Jn. 14:26) for understanding.
  5. He is the power that enables believers to bear witness (Jn. 15:26; Acts 1:8; Rom 8:26). He gives power and boldness required for witness.
  6. He intercedes for believers (high priest role) in accordance with God’s will (Rom. 8:26-27).
  7. He distributes gifts to believers as he wills for the edification of the church (1 Cor. 12:11). The church is not only the people of God, and the body of Christ, but also the temple of the Holy Spirit.
  8. He is deeply grieved by sin in the lives of Christians (Eph. 4:30).
  9. The Spirit applies redemption to us (Jn. 14:26; 16:7).
  10. The Holy Spirit gives us regeneration or new spiritual life (Jn. 3:5-8). He is the “giver of life”; all living creatures are recipients of the life-giving principle of the Spirit of God.
  11. He sanctifies us (Rom. 8:13; 15:16; 1 Pet. 1:2). He is the source of holiness. Helps believers live holy lives.
  12. He empowers believers for service (Acts 1:8; 1 Cor. 12:7-11).
  13. He produces in us the fruit of Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22-23); that are signs of sanctification.
  14. He provides spiritual guidance to believers in the ways they should go (Acts 15:28).

Read here for other ways God guides believers.

Also, Hindrances to hearing God’s guidance.

Questions to ponder:

  • Spiritual formation process is a synergy of the divine initiative and our human response (Phil 2:12-13). What are some of the steps we can deliberately take to achieve spiritual maturity. What is the believer’s role in spiritual formation?
  • Do believers in Christ make deliberate efforts to grow spiritually?
  • Formation is the primary task of the church. Do you think the church is faithfully discharging this mandate?

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