SPIRITUAL FORMATION – ONTOLOGICAL DUALITIES
- John Piippo
In Romans 12:1-2 Paul views the human heart as having a shape, a form. The heart is pliable, and can be shaped into one of two things: 1) the form of this world; or 2) the form of Christ.The biblical Greek word for “transformed” is metamorphe. This means, literally, a “change of form.” For every Jesus-follower God desires to morph the heart into the form of Christ, into Christlikeness. Paul’s desire, expressed in Galatians 4:19, is that “Christ be formed in you.”
How does this happen? Here’s how this looks to me, in terms of stages or a process. I acknowledge that God can micro-morph our hearts in an instant. But mostly this is a process, with identifiable steps along the way.
STAGE ONE: THE NEEDSTAGE TWO: THE GAP
STAGE THREE: THE MAGNITUDE OF THE TRANSFORMATION
STAGE FOUR: SELF-TRANSFORMATION IS IMPOSSIBLE
STAGE FIVE: ONLY GOD CAN DO IT
STAGE SIX: THEREFORE, DWELL IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD
(You can't consistently dwell in God's presence and remain unchanged.)
What does the transformation look like?
1. The transformation happens in the “deep waters of the human heart.”
a. Proverbs 20:5
2. God deconstructs the false self.
a. Jesus said to his disciples:
b. As we spend much time dwelling in God’s presence God purges us from:
3. Ontological Dualities: the From-To Nature of Spiritual Formation and Transformation
a. “Ontological” means: lying at the root of our being.
b. The deeper we go inside persons, the more we are all the same.
c. I have found these deep dualities to be cross-cultural, cross-historical, and cross-gender. The gospel addresses all of these.
d. On the left side are core attributes of the kingdom of darkness. On the right side are core attributes of Christ and his Kingdom.
e. A fully morphed human heart is:
vi. SIMPLE (not simplistic)
viii. SACRIFICIAL – for the sake of others and the Kingdom