Informed but Still Deformed
The Great Failure
Some of the greatest failures in the church over the past few years have had less to do with what is professed in our words and more around what is performed in our lives.
Nationally visible leaders who were bulwarks for truth were found to be living a lie themselves, and the revealed hypocrisy shook the church. Many championed mouthpieces of Gospel information lacked deep Gospel formation and so brought defamation to Christ’s name.
That in no way is meant to be a judgment on others, but it should raise the alarm on our framework of discipleship. We cannot merely know information about God. While information is important, it is not sufficient for the salvation which we long for and need (James 2:19).
One sign of true salvation and evidence that we know God relationally is to experience His transformative presence in our lives (Romans 8:1-11). And yet, in our well-meaning emphasis to highlight true information, we can all too easily neglect rich Spirit-empowered formation. The two are not to be divorced. We are both saved from sin and also to new life in Christ. A disciple of Jesus knows who Jesus is as described in God’s word; professes the good news of Jesus life, death and resurrection; and is also marked by both the precepts and practices of Jesus.
The Great Invitation
This kind of vibrant gospel-shaped life flows from an intimate relationship with Jesus and His people. Jesus did not just give us the Great Commission and affirm the Great Commandment, but He invited us to live with Him when He gave His Great Invitation found in Matthew 11:28-30:
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (ESV)
The brilliant gospel writer Matthew makes Jesus’ desire abundantly clear. Jesus doesn’t want us to just know about Him from afar but to walk with Him and learn from Him intimately.
At Christ Community, we believe we become the people God designed us to be in the yoke of Christ. The Christian life cannot be summed up in a theological pop quiz (although true information often precedes worthwhile actions), but to profess Jesus as Lord and Savior is a long obedience in the same direction.
It is out of this biblical conviction Christ Community has developed theFormed.life. TheFormed.life is a daily resource that helps equip us to more thoughtfully and consistently be formed by God’s Word and God’s ways with God’s people.
What to Expect
Every day there is provided a small step we can take together to be intentionally cultivating various spiritual habits in our lives. Some days will have video teaching or articles to go deeper. Other days, there will be guidance in practical spiritual disciplines. There may be repetition to help cultivate a new weekly rhythm, while other parts of the week may rotate through fresh practices.
Every bit of theFormed.life is designed to provide everyday steps toward greater wholeness and influence in Christ. Our prayer is that the Holy Spirit would work through this resource to form us into more faithful followers of Jesus in all of life.
Because — to be sure — we are all being formed by someone or something. Whether it’s by your choice of media, news, daily rhythms, or relationships, all have a part to play in who we are becoming. Our perspective, posture and practices are all being tweaked by our cultural location. If we are not intentionally setting our sights on the practices and precepts of Christ daily, we may find ourselves deformed in alarming ways only after we’ve experienced the damage in our lives.
How to Join
We hope you’ll join us on this journey to a more faithfully formed life into Christlikeness and so know more deeply God’s presence among us. To join us, you can sign up here, and theformed.life will be in your inbox every morning waiting to help each of us take that next step together. You can also visit our website if you’d like to explore more.
Let’s put the “formed” back in biblically “informed.” Let’s take that next step together.