Life in the Spirit – Transformation (Part 1)

Disciples of Jesus, like their Messiah, have been anointed with the Holy Spirit. Disciples of Jesus walk by the Spirit, live by the Spirit, and are led by the Spirit. The Spirit is the air we breathe and is the one who empowers us. Ours is a life in the Spirit.

But what do we mean when we say that disciples of Jesus live in the Spirit? The Theodrama emphasizes three dimensions of this life in the Spirit: (1) communion, (2) transformation, and (3) giftedness.

First, as noted in the previous presentation, the Spirit is the one by whom we commune with the Triune God. Now, second, we turn our attention to the work of the Spirit in transformation.

The Holy Spirit is the power by whom we are transformed into the image of Christ. The Spirit indwells us to empower, strengthen, and sanctify us. The Spirit bears the fruit of love, peace and joy in our lives, comforts us in our inner person, empowers forgiveness and release from resentment, and enables our transformation.

The Spirit mediates our communion with the Triune God, and this communion is transformative. The Spirit is no passive presence. On the contrary, the Spirit is an active, enabling, and sanctifying presence. The Spirit dwells within us so that we might live in the Spirit.

Salvation involves transformation. Because we are children of God, God sends the Holy Spirit into our hearts and we experience the intimacy of divine communion. But this is not the end game; it is not God’s goal. This intimacy includes a shared life, and it transforms us. We are increasingly, by the Spirit, transformed (or, metamorphized!) into the image of Christ from “one degree of glory to another” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

The Holy Spirit is the presence of God within us, and this holy presence bears fruit. Paul called it the “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22). This is what it means to “live by the Spirit,” that is, to manifest a life of love, joy, peace, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The Spirit leads us into a such a life by renewing our hearts, empowering our souls, and moving our wills.

The presence of the Spirit is a necessary first step for such a life, and without that presence there is no transformation that images Jesus who himself was led and empowered by the Spirit. The reality of this presence is evidenced in a holy life as we are “sanctified by the Spirit” (2 Thessalonians 2:13).

We see the Spirit when we are patient with the stubborn, when we are kind to the ungrateful, when we are at peace in the midst of the storm, when we are generous with the poor, and when we are gentle with those who disagree. We must not secularize these moments as if they are personal self-actualizations. Rather, we give thanks that the Spirit is at work in our lives to empower them. We credit the Spirit rather than our programs, our will power, or our own goodness. God, by the Spirit, forms us into the image of Christ, and that is the glory and goal God has in store for us.



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