Six Themes to Guide Spiritual Formation Ministry Based on Jesus' Sermon on the Mount

From: Volume 7, Issue 2: Fall 2010, Spiritual Formation and Christian Education Pages 366-388

Abstract

What key themes for spiritual formation ministry and Christlike living does Jesus identify? From a study of Jesus' central Sermon on the Mount (SM) emerged six broad formation themes. Further support for these six themes was then sought in relevant ways the Holy Spirit ministers to believers today. This six-theme model of Christlikeness may serve as an initial fundamental framework for assessing the scriptural correspondence within the varied goals for Christian formation offered by Christian leaders. As an illustration, the six themes were compared with Robert Pazmino's five-task model for the church. Finally, some suggestions for practical implications of the six themes are offered. Future studies may confirm, amplify, revise, or replace these particular six themes in order to establish a robust evaluative framework as one means to address the problem of "sanctification pluralism."

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