Being Conformed to Christ in Community

This work explores Paul's conception of maturity, paying special attention to the maturation process and the role of the local church in facilitating this process.

Being Conformed to Christ in Community

This work explores Paul's conception of maturity, paying special attention to the maturation process and the role of the local church in facilitating this process. Although central to Paul's theology, maturity is often overlooked in Pauline studies. An exegetical-theological study of the seven generally accepted epistles, this work makes heuristic use of three studies for the purpose of illuminating Paul's thoughts regarding maturity: a survey of modern psychology, and analyses of the communities of Qumran and of the Therapeutae. Samra argues that Paul understood his apostolic commission to involve delivering mature believers on the day of Christ. Samra suggests that the central motif of Pauline maturity is conformity of believers to the image of Christ and that believers' attitudes and actions become aligned with those exhibited by Christ, who provides the defining standard of maturity for Paul. For Paul there are five means used by the Spirit to conform believers to the image of Christ, which Samra presents and analyzes as components of the maturation process, namely: identifying with Christ, enduring suffering, experiencing the presence of God, receiving and living out wisdom from God, and imitating a godly example. Samra concludes by arguing that Paul expected the local church to facilitate maturation so that believers' participation in a local assembly would result in their being conformed to Christ. The church does this by facilitating the five components of the maturation process.

The Church according to Paul

In this careful volume, Thompson studies the church in Paul's words and his work, in the hope that Paul's rich wisdom might have its rightful place in contemporary Christian reflection.

The Church according to Paul

Amid conflicting ideas about what the church should be and do in a post-Christian climate, the missing voice is that of Paul. The New Testament's most prolific church planter, Paul faced diverse challenges as he worked to form congregations. Leading biblical scholar James Thompson examines Paul's ministry of planting and nurturing churches in the pre-Christian world to offer guidance for the contemporary church. The church today, as then, must define itself and its mission among people who have been shaped by other experiences of community. Thompson shows that Paul offers an unprecedented vision of the community that is being conformed to the image of Christ. He also addresses contemporary (mis)understandings of words like missional, megachurch, and formation.

God Told Me

Does an infinite and all-powerful God really care about the everyday concerns of people? Jim Samra answers with an unequivocal and enthusiastic "Yes!" in this guide to hearing God's direction in everything.

God Told Me

Does an infinite and all-powerful God really care about the everyday concerns of people? Jim Samra answers with an unequivocal and enthusiastic "Yes!" in this guide to hearing God's direction in everything. From the trivial and mundane to the life-changing, God cares about it all because it concerns his creatures, his creation, and his kingdom. In this unique book, Samra unpacks biblical passages and shares fascinating and surprising true stories about God's guidance, encouraging readers to keep up a running conversation with their creator, to search for guidance in Scripture, and to pay attention to apparent coincidences. Readers who want to make godly decisions about the big things (where to live, where to go to school, where to work, who to marry) and the seemingly little things (which car to buy, which song to sing in church, who to talk to, what to say) will find a gifted and encouraging guide in Samra.

James 1 2 Peter and Jude Teach the Text Commentary Series

Each unit of the commentary includes the big idea and key themes of the passage and sections dedicated to understanding, teaching, and illustrating the text. Jim Samra provides insightful and pastoral commentary on these powerful books.

James  1   2 Peter  and Jude  Teach the Text Commentary Series

Focused Biblical Scholarship to Teach the Text The Teach the Text Commentary Series utilizes the best of biblical scholarship to provide the information a pastor needs to communicate the text effectively. The carefully selected preaching units and focused commentary allow pastors to quickly grasp the big idea and key themes of each passage of Scripture. Each unit of the commentary includes the big idea and key themes of the passage and sections dedicated to understanding, teaching, and illustrating the text. The newest New Testament release in this innovative commentary series is Jim Samra's treatment of James, 1 & 2 Peter, and Jude.

The Gift of Church

This is a very important and issue that needs to be addressed.This book addresses the issue so that church or parachurch small groups can read together and discuss the questions at the end of chapters.

The Gift of Church

All too many people are disappointed with the church, struggle with the church, or have already left the church. For example, Josh is the father of a young family. The demands (and illnesses) that go along with little children, traveling, friends coming for weekend visits and general busyness have kept him from getting his family very involved in church. Mason is an extremely successful businessman. He thinks the church is slow and inefficient. He shows up most weeks because his wife wants him to, but he hangs out with wealthy friends from around the country. They get together on a regular basis, pay for a speaker to come and talk to them and call it good. Jerry’s is aware that he is not supposed to stop assembling together with other believers, but that is what he is doing, so what’s the big deal? Mark is a single young adult who was coming to church and was getting involved, but his girlfriend pulled him away from church and hehas no rationale for why he should fight to stay involved. He drifted away and although people told him he needed to stay connected, he didn’t see why they were so concerned. Char is a high school girl who doesn’t like the youth group at church and only comes because her parents make her. She has asked her parents why she has to go to church and they haven’t been able to give her a good answer, except that it is something that she needs to do. In each of these cases, if they might not naturally pick up this book, Josh’s brother, Mason’s son-in-law, Mark’s friend and Char’s dad can give it to them to read. Or these who have influence with them can read it themselves to have a better understanding of the absolute necessity of active participation in a local church so that they could share verbally.Pollster George Barna claims in Revolution, that millions of American Christians are moving away from the traditional local church to alternative Christian communities or to no community at all. Leadership Journal published an article that argues that people want to turn to places other than the local church for community and teaching. The Pew Report released a study showing the number of people switching churches and those with no church affiliation has grown considerably. This is a very important and issue that needs to be addressed.This book addresses the issue so that church or parachurch small groups can read together and discuss the questions at the end of chapters. The book is designed to help readers more deeply value church and what church ought to look like. Five short chapters provide a helpful overview of the case for the church, using scripture and illustrated with stories from real life.

Salt Light and a City Second Edition

These are as diverse as Melba Padilla Maggay, Emmanuel Katongole, Lamin Sanneh, Oscar Muriu, Ruth Padilla DeBorst, Pope Francis, Richard Twiss, Lisa Sharon Harper, Willie James Jennings, Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz, Soong-Chan Rah, and Mitri Raheb ...

Salt  Light  and a City  Second Edition

Jesus is calling his church to be a multiethnic and missional people who listen and learn from the many voices of world Christianity. Graham Joseph Hill issues a moving call for churches to be missional by being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. Hill does this by exploring the thinking of twenty-five Asian, African, Latin American, Indigenous, African American, diaspora, Caribbean, Oceanian, Eastern European, and Middle Eastern pastors and theologians. These are as diverse as Melba Padilla Maggay, Emmanuel Katongole, Lamin Sanneh, Oscar Muriu, Ruth Padilla DeBorst, Pope Francis, Richard Twiss, Lisa Sharon Harper, Willie James Jennings, Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz, Soong-Chan Rah, and Mitri Raheb. These voices show us the future of missional churches in world Christianity. When churches are conformed to Christ they make disciples, heal a broken world, and witness to Jesus and his gospel. Jesus forms us in his image and moves us to be a people of shalom, humility, character, justice, peace, wisdom, prayer, beauty, and witness. The church has had a Reformation but now it needs a Conformation. Hill explores biblical themes and the voices of world Christianity to show that a missional church is conformed to the image of the incarnate, crucified, resurrected, and glorified Christ. Conformity to Christ is the heart of missional ecclesiology and discipleship.

Saved Without a Doubt

God is redeeming an eternally holy, Christlike, glorified community of people. When you became a Christian, the process of your being conformed to Christ ...

Saved Without a Doubt

MacArthur carefully examines the classical biblical texts affirming the forever quality of salvation and explains eleven biblical tests that will help readers determine whether they've experienced salvation once and for all.

Faith Journey

"Apprenticeship" is all about becoming something more through the direct ... in our relationship with God and becoming conformed to Christ through the power ...

Faith Journey

Advance praise for Faith Journey "Good pastors are recognizing that the task for forming people in faith has a new urgency in our time. Preaching to people who are not learning about the faith and being formed in discipleship can devolve into entertaining an audience instead of edifying a congregation of the faithful. In this book, Doug Hood provides welcome help in this important ministry of weaving into the fabric of people's lives the basic pattern of the Christian faith - a wise and worthy guide for pastors and lay people." - From the Forward by Thomas G. Long, author of The Witness of Preaching and Bandy Professor of Preaching, Candler School of Theology, Emory University "Doug Hood leads us into a wonderfully accessible approach to a deeply engaging experience of growth in discipleship. By offering the interplay of readings, reflections, spiritual exercises and questions he leads the reader into the life changing journey of growing in Christlikeness and what it is to be loved by Christ and loving others in Christ's name. It is a superb guide for personal study, small groups and classes." - E. Stanley Ott, Ph.D. President of the Vital Churches Institute. "As pastors and church leaders, we want more for the spiritual life of our parishioners than an emotional high or intellectual stimulation. We want our people to know God. Doug Hood has developed an understandable and highly accessible resource for congregations. Using time-tested spiritual disciplines, Faith Journey encourages church members to be receptive to what God is doing in their lives." - James Hodsden, Senior Minister of the Ardmore Presbyterian Church, Ardmore, PA. W. Douglas Hood, Jr. (D.Min. Fuller Theological Seminary) is the pastor of Lenape Valley Presbyterian Church, New Britain, PA. His sermons and articles have appeared in Lectionary Homiletics, Preaching Great Texts, Biblical Preaching Journal and Preaching: Word & Witness.

Suffering and the Christian Life

sufferings of Jesus and those of Christian disciples is Philippians 3:7–11: ... And (6) beingconformed to [Christ's] death”—is that a desire of Paul to be ...

Suffering and the Christian Life


Spiritual Transformation

We work; God works in us. This book is about our part in the work of transformation.

Spiritual Transformation

Transformation is what Christianity is all about. To follow Jesus is to enter into a journey from an old way of living to a new way of being. As Christians our goal is to become ever more conformed to the image of Christ. Of course we cannot attain this high goal in our lifetime. But we can make progress. We can become more of who we long to be. We can leave behind old ways that have not served us well. We can become more loving to others, more open to God, more in tune with who we are called to be. Such transformation does not happen automatically, even though it is the Holy Spirit working in us to change us. We are asked "to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure" (Phil 2:12-13). We work; God works in us. This book is about our part in the work of transformation. Spiritual Transformation examines two main themes. 1) The Dynamics of Spiritual Transformation are explored in six small group sessions: what it is and how it happens. 2) The Goal of Spiritual Transformation is described in six small group Bible studies focusing on Romans 12 & 13, where Paul provides a blueprint for how we are meant to live as followers of Jesus.

Explorations in Theology Vol 4

And this lies in being conformed to Christ, which concerns, not Paul as an ... to the community, just as that office, too, shares in the weakness of “being ...

Explorations in Theology  Vol  4

The fourth volume in von Balthasar's essays is built around the theme of Spirit and Institution, the two central features of the Church which Balthasar approaches from different angles. The third volume is built around the theme of the Holy Spirit as the Creator Spirit. The first volume was constructed around the mid-point of the Word become man, and the second volume around the Church which becomes configured to him. The first part of the book looks at who man is, and then examines the distinctively Christian experience of God. Part two is a whole section on the Church which includes topics like celibacy and the priesthood today, how we should love the Church, and understanding Christian mysticism. The third and final part is an eschatology in which Balthasar gives a brilliant summary of heaven, hell and purgatory.

Dealing with Easy Believism

In the preface to this book Warren writes, ". . . the most insidious of them all emanates from the church itself-Easy Believism."While a small book, we discover here important insights into the content of the gospel message.

Dealing with Easy Believism

According to the work of many social scientists the modern church, including the Evangelical Church, is losing its influence in American society. At the same time it faces a flood of findings on its lack of effectiveness in making disciples. Yet things do not stop there. Most studies show the church is losing people-especially its youth while affecting a smaller percentage of the population. This has caused many to take a hard look at not only the focus but many of the processes of the modern church. For some time there have been many books written on how the church presents the Gospel. Time and time again "Easy Believism" has been the label placed on its typical method. Saying a prayer and "really meaning it" has not produced the results we see in Jesus followers throughout the New Testament. In "Dealing with Easy Believism," Jim Warren does not add to the theological works on the fallacies of this method. Here he takes them for granted. Having been focused on bringing people into a relationship with God, Jim understands how easy it is to get people to pray a prayer of salvation. Yet he also realizes the lack of fruit from this flawed process. Here he shares a process he has found successful in allowing God to draw people into a life of discipleship and authentic community. Jim has worked with others to develop systems that plant, cultivate and grow authentic communities of Jesus followers. He sees the modern church built on a process he calls a 20th century business model of organizational development. According to Warren that system implements, develops and increases organization. This, he proposes, replaces the authentic community found illustrated in the New Testament. He lays out his process in an earlier work, "An Introduction to Dynamic Community Development: A Process Developed to Cultivate Transformative Community through Discipleship & Outreach Based on Invested Ministry." One area Jim Warren speaks to in that volume is an introduction to American cultural barricades. It is his contention that these barricades hamper spiritual development. These stifle much of Christians' focus on being conformed to the image of Christ within the context of authentic community. In the preface to this book Warren writes, ." . . the most insidious of them all emanates from the church itself-Easy Believism." While a small book, we discover here important insights into the content of the gospel message. Jim sees the outcome of his process of presenting that message as creating disciples of Jesus. He sets this in juxtaposition to "getting people saved." "Dealing with Easy Believism" has only 33 pages of text in print form. Yet it presents an important message for all Christians who seek to encourage other people to establish an authentic relationship with God.

Conformed to Christ

Questions on St. Paul's letters to the early Christians help groups and individuals consider all the topics crucial to discipleship in everyday life: love, temptation, virtue, suffering, the Spirit, and the Church.Exploring some of the most ...

Conformed to Christ

6-Week Small Group Scripture Discussion GuideWhen we want to grow in our relationship with Jesus, we become his students. Questions on St. Paul's letters to the early Christians help groups and individuals consider all the topics crucial to discipleship in everyday life: love, temptation, virtue, suffering, the Spirit, and the Church.Exploring some of the most famous passages from the epistles, Conformed to Christ develops disciples through deep consideration of Paul's teaching on Jesus, his advice to the young Christians in the house churches he founded, and his honest sharing of his own struggles and victories in the interior life. Small group participants or individual readers learn how to live lives "worthy of the calling you have received" (Ephesians 4:1): fully pleasing, in every good work bearing fruit and growing in the knowledge of God, strengthened with every power, in accord with his glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy giving thanks to the Father (Colossians 1:10).Each study offers a weekly "Connecting to Christ through St. Paul" activity inspiring group participants or readers to open their hearts to Jesus in a new way, allowing him to transform every part of their lives.An individual using Conformed to Christ will "grow in relationship to Jesus through experience, reflection, prayer and study" (Our Hearts were Burning Within Us, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops). The sessions are designed, though, to serve as tools for building intentional Catholic Christian community. So that all parishes may be truly communities of Christians, local ecclesial authorities ought to foster... small, basic or so-called 'living' communities, where the faithful can communicate the word of God and express it in service and love to one another; these communities are true expressions of ecclesial communion and centers of evangelization in communion with their pastors. -John Paul II, The Lay Members of Christ's Faithful PeopleSmall group leader training is ideal, but any group could begin meeting using the basic guidelines in the appendices of Conformed to Christ: how to prepare; small group facilitation; prayer in the group; and group dynamics. The Evangelical Catholic (EC) helps parishes, dioceses, and university and college campus ministries build vibrant, fruitful, self-sustaining local ministries. Located in Madison, Wisconsin, the EC is approved by our local ordinary, listed in Kenedy's Official Catholic Directory, and belongs to the national Catholic Campus Ministry Association. We partner in mission with the University of Notre Dame Institute for Church Life; the Sisters for Life, the Knights of Columbus, and the Center for Liturgy at Notre Dame, which co-sponsors and provides faculty for our nationwide training camps.

Reformation and Desolation

They are even experiencing it as they walk into any department store and pick up a copy of the Bible for $5. Marshall shows that reformation for Josiah was finding the book of the law and then to do what the book said.

Reformation and Desolation

Stephen Marshall (1594?1655) was known as a learned scholar and writer, a Presbyterian, and a faithful Reformed minister of Christ's Gospel.Beginning with the reformation under good king Josiah in 2 Kings 23:25-26, Marshall shows that the idea of reformation is simply a nickname for zealous and unwavering biblical sanctification. It is the duty of every Christian before Jesus Christ. King Josiah found great success in all he did to overthrow the idolatry and false worship of the nation once he read God's instructions for holiness out of the book of the Law, which had been lost. As a result, Josiah started a nation-wide reformation. Notwithstanding, Marshall shows that even amidst the greatest reformation of the Old Testament, the Lord did not turn away from the fierceness of his great wrath. Though Josiah was met by God with great success, the people ultimately met with God's displeasure because of their former sins under Manasseh. Reformation turned to desolation. Can this happen today?Do Christian's expect reformation? In many ways reformation has already occurred. They are living in it. They are even experiencing it as they walk into any department store and pick up a copy of the Bible for $5. Marshall shows that reformation for Josiah was finding the book of the law and then to do what the book said. But Christians have the Bible, and have biblical resources to read and study. What then does reformation mean for Christians today? They must never forget that they already have experienced a reformation. What they need is to continue the reformation already begun and pray for revival. Christians must be engaged in revival that they might be on fire with a holy zeal for the glory of God in their individual lives, family, community, church and nation being conformed to the word of God in life and godliness.

Teaching the Faith Forming the Faithful

This points to the final and perfect fulfillment of being conformed to the ... we see that Christ is to be formed (morphothe) in the believing community.

Teaching the Faith  Forming the Faithful

Why does the church teach? And what should it teach? In recent years, traditional Sunday school and education programs have declined in influence and effectiveness. Education in the church is often sidelined by other competing priorities, and our efforts become haphazard and random. As a result, many Christians have not learned the fundamental doctrinal content of the faith. As a response, a growing number of church ministries have moved toward an emphasis on Christian spiritual formation. But churches must hold together education and formation, the teaching of the faith and the forming of the faithful. In this comprehensive text, Gary Parrett and Steve Kang attend to both the content and process of educational and formational ministries. They set forth a thoroughly biblical vision for intentional teaching of the Christian faith, with a holistic concern for what and whom is taught as well as how and why. Fully apprised of developments in educational theory and pedagogy, Parrett and Kang propose a core curriculum for recovering the full scope of Christian proclamation and reinvigorating the teaching ministry of the church. Their vision has implications not merely for catechesis, but for preaching, worship, children's and youth ministry, and much more. The body of Christ can become all that God intends it to be, through intentional practices that foster personal and corporate formation. Here is guidance for individuals and congregations on that journey.

Sculptor Spirit

Being holy has implications for life together as God's people, ... 2:11), not being conformed to the ways of the world (1:14), so that others might see ...

Sculptor Spirit

Like the work of an artist who molds a lump of clay, the Spirit's sanctifying work lies in shaping people into the image of Christ. Avoiding either a "Spirit-only" or a "Spirit-void" theology, Leopoldo Sánchez carefully crafts a Spirit Christology, which considers the role of God's Spirit in the life and mission of Jesus and leads to five distinct models of sanctification that can help Christians discern how the Spirit is at work in our lives.

The Life of the Body

This is not just a book to read. It's an invitation to a new way of experiencing God.

The Life of the Body

What does exercise have to do with our souls? How do our sleeping habits relate to being conformed to the likeness of Christ? What do our bodies have to do with spiritual formation? Valerie Hess has taken up these questions with her spiritual formation graduate students. And Lane Arnold has processed them with others as a spiritual director. They have discovered that the life of our bodies has quite a bit to do with the life of our souls. Together they have written a book that helps readers explore choices about what we eat worshiping with our bodies seasons of life for body and soul caring for the planet and more Each chapter has reflection questions and creative exercises to help you engage body and soul with these themes. This is not just a book to read. It's an invitation to a new way of experiencing God.

Norm and Context in Christian Ethics

Being of Christ we are necessarily in a community . ... However , since it is men who are being conformed to Christ by being swept into these events ...

Norm and Context in Christian Ethics


Imitation and Conformity

The dissertation approaches the text of Philippians through social-scientific methodology, specifically the social identiry theory (SIT) of Henri Tajfel, which focuses on how a group forms a common identity that distinguishes it from ...

Imitation and Conformity

This study investigates social identity formation of 1st century Christ-followers in Philippi, and considers how these findings may be useful in the pluralistic and multicultural context of Indonesia, where Christianity is a minority group and considered a religion of outsiders. It demonstrates how the letter to the Philippians can provide Christians with a critical resource for communal identity formation. The dissertation approaches the text of Philippians through social-scientific methodology, specifically the social identiry theory (SIT) of Henri Tajfel, which focuses on how a group forms a common identity that distinguishes it from outsiders. Such identity helps members to know who they are and how they are to behave. In the process of forging a cohesive social identity, believers construct boundaries between insiders and outsiders. In the letter to the Philippians, who are mostly Gentiles, Paul sets out to develop the essential elements of group identity in response to internal and external threats to the community. The former revolves around issues of internal diunity while the latter concerns at least two types of antagonists: civic opponents and Judaizing Christians. Paul presents the Christ hymn (Phil 2:6-11) as the paradigm for communal identity formation. He appeals to the conduct of Christ as the ultimate model for believers, urging them to be conformed to Christ's likeness in self-emptying and humility. Their identity is in Christ, not in the Greco-Roman ethos, which values honor and prestige. Two main elements-imitation and conformity-constitute the core of Christian identity. In the Christ hymn, the themes of identity, imitation, and conformity converge. In the Greco-Roman social context of Philippi, "imitation" is the pedagogical method of a teacher or sage used to exhort his students to embody his teaching by emulating his moral example. "Conformity" means that Christians not only live according to Christ's way, but that their hearts and minds also become Christ-like. It is through the practice of imitation that conformation to Christ takes place. Christ-followers in Philippi develop their identity through a process of imitation and conformity to Christ through the mediation of examplars such as Paul, Timothy, and Epaphroditus. As Paul exhorts them, "Brethren, join in imitating me, and mark those who so live as you have an example in us" (3:17). Just as the first century Philippian community finds the foundation for its identity in Christ, who humbles himself and sacrifices his life for others, so too will Indonesian Christians of the 21st century forge their social identity through humility and self-giving, and through the emulation of a new generation of examplars. Such examplars will embody tolerance and embrace the pluralistic values of the society while remaining fervent in the proclamation of the Gospel.