The Holy Spirit and Transformation

I would like to address the work of the Holy Spirit’s ability to transform the character of a believer, to produce true transformation of the heart.

Trust in the Holy Spirit’s ability to transform requires a suspension of judgment and criticism about failures and immaturities in the lives of other Christians.

Reminiscent of the old law versus grace debate, one side resists being putting under law and the other side claims grace is being abused.

Whatever the issue, most of us have experienced pressure towards conformity that actually circumvents the process of the transforming work of the Holy Spirit. Transformation is a process that takes time, can be messy, and does not always proceed according to social priorities and timelines.

Freedom in Christ sounds so scary, so out of control. Surely someone will take advantage, someone will get hurt.

To trust that this Spirit-led transformation could work requires some assumptions. First, we must assume that the other person is a Christian. Next, we must believe that it is their desire to obey God. Finally, we must believe that the Holy Spirit is able to bring conviction to a believer’s heart.


10 thoughts on “The Holy Spirit and Transformation

  1. Beautiful…for far too long, we’ve forgotten about the reality of Spiritual transformation…yah, lets take off the training wheels. Pax…Ron+

  2. I just found your blog and I am so looking forward to reading through your posts… I am new to this thinking, this emerging church, and I suddenly feel that all of my questions and feelings have been answered. Freedom in Christ- that’s something I want and I need right now. Thanks for your thoughts and making so much sense!

  3. Living with this kind of trust in the Holy Spirit’s ability requires a suspension of judgment and criticism about what we see as failures and immaturities in the lives of our Christian brothers and sisters.


    Hear, Hear, Hear.

    Thanks grace.

    (Just sent you another question)

  4. Thanks Cindy and Ron.

    Regina, it’s nice to meet you. Welcome to the emerging conversation.

    David, I’ll get back to you soon.

    a thinker, nice to meet you too.

  5. OK, OK, I’m jumping in. Thank you for addressing the idea that it really is all about grace vs. law (or vice versa). And for coming back to the idea of keeping our own hearts in check, as opposed to making it our business to make sure everyone else is towing the line. Of course, it does get a bit confusing to try to explain to the children that what we teach as true, may not be what others who love Jesus have come to…yet, or never. But the idea to really impress on them, we think, is the grace of God, and the love he wants us to share, and that for us, if we have to err on one side or the other, we’d rather be more accepting/loving than not. And I’m not talking about accepting the things we know to be sin, but loving those people. We all sin and fall short of the glory of the Lord. Therefore, Jesus.

    P.S. We too are being challenged on the entire idea of the role of the church in our lives, and what God would have us do with it all.

  6. Allison,
    It’s great seeing you here. I love your blog.

    Mostly, I have found children to be amazingly accepting and gracious of others, in spite of differences.

    Sometimes when mine were younger, they could be little legalists. We had to teach them not to point and stare at people who were (gasp)smoking!

    I really enjoy your writing, and I’m glad to have “met” you.

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