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“Answering the Question: What Is Spiritual Formation?”

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“Answering the Question: What Is Spiritual Formation?”

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Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary

“Answering the Question: What is Spiritual Formation?”

A Paper
Submitted to Dr. B. R. Lowman
In Partial Fulfillment
Of the Requirements for the Course
Spiritual Formation
PATH 520

By
Floyd C. Marsh

20 March 2008

“Answering the Question: What is Spiritual Formation?”

How would God Himself answer, with just one word, the question “what is spiritual formation?” His response, no doubt, would be “conformation.” “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29). Thus, it is His revealed will that His children become more like His dear Son, Jesus Christ, daily. This “conformation” is brought about in cooperation with the Holy Spirit. God, through the Apostle Paul, has revealed that as one beholds the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ they “are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18). Therefore the process of “conformation” is brought about by the activity of “spiritual formation” through the superintendency of the Holy Spirit.

At times the activity of “spiritual formation” is narrowly defined as only a disciplined life of prayer. But it is this author’s conviction that it truly requires more than just a regimented prayer life. Thus, the type of “spiritual formation” that leads to true “conformation,” that is to the image of Jesus Christ, is more than one dimensional. It should be considered a three dimensional discipline. A life that includes spending time with God in prayer as well as in His Word to the end of experiencing ultimate rest in His presence.

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Even though the very idea of “spiritual formation” suggests a realm that is distinct from the physical. There is a similarity between the means of developing physically and developing...