I had the previledge and honor of leading the small group breakout from my Churches discipleship series called, ‘Living for the King’. We were talking about the difference between positional sanctification and progressive sanctification in the life of the believer, part of the learning device used was an inventory list of antithesis statements, on one side was the unbroken orphane like behaviors and attitudes and on the other was the broken sonship like behaviors and attitudes. Our memory verse for this week was Galatians 5:25, “If we live by the Spirit, let us walk by the Spirit.”

I couldn’t help but think about some of the comments of Herman Ridderbos out of the NICNT series on Galatians.

“The chiastic construction gives this short statement unusual force. It proceeds from a definite assumption (If we live by the Spirit…), the truth of which must prove itself (by the Spirit let us also walk). The first points out the principial relation to the Spirit. He is the new life-principle of freedom (cf. 2 Cor. 3:17). He grants the effectual power of divine grace which operates through Christ in the believers. The second clause speaks of the activity of believers which they exercise in the strength of the new principle granted them…He creates a new life-style. And this new manner of life must be made manifest, must be distinguishable.” (pg. 210)

Whenever we define or talk about Christian Spirituality only in terms of our journey we miss the first part, the ‘principial relation to the Spirit’, as Ridderbos likes to say. However, whenever we speak about Christian Spirituality in terms of being in Christ, or ‘being a Christian’, then we miss the ‘new life-style’ or journey side. The first reduces the depth of being a new creation in Christ. The second the wonder and ‘on-going-ness’ of our faith. We should never lack peace in our hearts that God has made something wonderful and new in us, nor should we ever grow comfortable and board of our faith as though it was only a faith and not a ‘new life-style, a journey.