What is Christian spirituality?Question: "What is Christian spirituality?"
Answer: When we are born again, we receive the Holy Spirit who seals us for the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30). Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would lead us “into all truth” (John 16:13). Part of that truth is taking the things of God and applying them to our lives. When that application is made, the believer then makes a choice to allow the Holy Spirit to control him/her. True Christian spirituality is based upon the extent to which a born-again believer allows the Holy Spirit to lead and control his or her life.
The apostle Paul tells believers to be filled with the Holy Spirit. “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). The tense in this passage is continual and therefore means “keep on being filled with the Spirit.” Being filled with the Spirit is simply allowing the Holy Spirit to control us rather than yielding to the desires of our own carnal nature. In this passage Paul is making a comparison. When someone is controlled by wine, he is drunk and exhibits certain characteristics such as slurred speech, unsteady walk, and impaired decision making. Just as you can tell when a person is drunk because of the characteristics he displays, so a born-again believer who is controlled by the Holy Spirit will display His characteristics. We find those characteristics in Galatians 5:22-23 where they are called the “fruit of the Spirit.” This is true Christian spirituality, produced by the Spirit working in and through the believer. This character is not produced by self effort. A born-again believer who is controlled by the Holy Spirit will exhibit sound speech, a consistent spiritual walk, and decision making based on the Word of God.
Therefore, Christian spirituality involves a choice we make to “know and grow” in our daily relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ by submitting to the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives. This means that, as believers, we make a choice to keep our communication with the Spirit clear through confession (1 John 1:9). When we grieve the Spirit by sin (Ephesians 4:30; 1 John 1:5-8), we erect a barrier between ourselves and God. When we submit to the Spirit's ministry, our relationship is not interrupted (1 Thessalonians 5:19). Christian spirituality is a consciousness of fellowship with the Spirit of Christ, uninterrupted by carnality and sin. Christian spirituality develops when a born-again believer makes a consistent and ongoing choice to surrender to the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Recommended Resource: The Keys to Spiritual Growth by John MacArthur
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