ALLELON Ministries - Articles: Spiritual Formation
This is a good synopsis of what "Christian spritual formation" means. Here is one quote from the article I found insightful:
Christian spiritual formation is the redemptive process of forming the inner human world so that it takes on the character of the inner being of Christ himself. In the degree to which it is successful, the outer life of the individual becomes a natural expression or outflow of the character and teachings of Jesus. But the external manifestation of "Christlikeness" is not the focus of the process; and when it is made the main emphasis the process will be defeated, falling into crushing legalisms and parochialisms. "That Christ be formed in you" (Gla. 4:19) is the eternal watchword of Christian spiritual formation, fortified by the assurance that, while "the letter of the law kills, the spirit gives life." (II Cor. 3:6)
Dallas Willard has reflected the same concept when he refrences the image of a tree and its fruit. He has said that to try to change the fruit is pointless-but if you change the tree, the fruit will naturally change as well.
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