Called to Be Saints: An Invitation to Christian Maturity by Gordon T. Smith

By Gordon T. Smith

2015 Christianity Today Award of advantage (Spirituality) 2014 top e-book of Spirituality―Academic, from Byron Borger, Hearts and Minds book place Evangelicals are recognized for his or her emphasis on conversion. yet what approximately lifestyles after conversion and beyond justification? Desperately wanted is a finished theology of the Christian existence from commencing to finish, in addition to the technique of formation and transformation. In Called to Be Saints, Gordon Smith attracts on a individual life of reflecting on those issues to supply us a theologically wealthy account of our participation within the lifetime of Christ. either profound and functional, this e-book is a trinitarian theology of holiness that encompasses either justification and sanctification, either union with Christ and communion with God. Smith unfolds how and why Christians are known as to turn into clever humans, do strong paintings, love others and luxuriate in rightly ordered affections. If holiness is the continued trip of turning into mature in Christ, then there is not any greater advisor than Smith. Christians in each stroll of lifestyles will locate this a wealthy source for studying what it capacity to "grow up in each approach . . . into Christ" (Ephesians 4:15).

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It was through this suffering that he himself was perfected; thus his body (that is, the incarnation) is the means by which we participate in the life of God. In like manner, then, we are called to the very same—a faithful obedience that will be particularly evident in suffering. Taken together, the language of John in John 15, the apostle Paul’s use of the phrase “in Christ” and his reflections in Philippians 3, and the witness of the book of Hebrews all highlight something about the essential character of the Christian life: participation in the life of Christ Jesus.

The shape of worship under the old covenant, including the sacrificial system, is not discarded with the coming of Christ but fulfilled in him. The difference between “discarded” and “fulfilled” is no small matter. And just as the shape of worship is sustained, so the shape of righteousness, holiness and justice is fulfilled in Christ. The Old Testament vision is fulfilled, not discarded. While biblical, this vision will also be theological. Some will perhaps protest that if it is biblical it is necessarily theological and the only theology we want is that which is biblical.

We move, one might say, into a different order of being. And I am suggesting that we accept nothing less than this in our calls for transformation. This is the grace we seek. ” This is what our baptism speaks of and points to: a radical identification with the life of Christ. In and through the waters of baptism we are brought into dynamic union with Christ crucified and Christ risen (see specifically how this is described in Romans 6). Justification, Sanctification and Faith in Christ The baseline observation, then, is that the heart and soul of what it means to be a Christian is to live in dynamic union with Christ.

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