In His Image… Student Thoughts on Christian Spiritual Formation
Graduate student Lacey Chavira shares her thoughts on Christian Spiritual Formation. Lacey is currently working on her Master of Arts in Christian Leadership degree and has been with GCD since Spring 2019.
In order to understand spiritual formation’s connection to character we must first look at the concept of the imago Dei in which God’s design for mankind was made in his likeness, in his image. This is initially discussed in Genesis 1:27: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God, he created him; male and female he created them.”
Even though the image of God’s likeness in us was corrupted as a result of the fall of Adam and Eve, through the blood shed by Jesus Christ on the cross it was fully restored. When Jesus came to earth, he was God in human form, the ultimate example of character, in God’s image and likeness. He is who we aspire to be like through the process of spiritual formation.
Our hope, goal, and desire is that through the power of the Holy Spirit are being transformed into his likeness, becoming one of ultimate character through his example. Paul discusses this transformation process in Romans 8:29: “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” He also discusses this transformation in Galatians 4:19: “My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you…”
As we can see, character is a direct result of spiritual formation, always being cultivated and nourished as we press in and seek God. We are daily having to crucify our false self, filled with fleshly things, in order to be refilled with God’s love and empowered through the Holy Spirit to become more and more like God, our true self, all that is holy.