Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Christ Formed In Us

When a Christian is lured into the attempt to navigate his days by the flesh, the evidence of Christ in them will be absent to them—and around them. They may not truly know that Jesus is actually in them, perhaps because they’ve been trying to make it look like He’s there. “Christian manners” often become the fleshly default that covers over life by the Spirit and the actual “formation” of Christ in us (Gal 5:19). If I am taught and employ the “proper skills” of how to love others, it can easily become a fleshly put-on, rather than an authentic fruit of the Spirit—the look of love, rather than genuine love. It’s flesh produced, rather than Spirit produced.

Flesh can look good and it can look bad, but when life is not received from the Spirit, the Christian most likely has been led away from true life unto something else—faux life. Actual transformation by the Spirit does not much occur because fleshly manifestation has taken its place. Many accept this as normal—they’re hooked. However, this eventually leads to burnout because it is not normal for the Spirit-indwelled Christian. Life by the flesh is a contradiction and we will feel it.

As we increasingly trust and look to the Spirit in us, He will produce the evidence of Christ in us—the fruit of the Spirit. It’s then that Christ is formed in us. And that’s the way to life.


  1. Luis Leiva5:17 PM


  2. J.r. McDaniel5:18 PM

    You always encourage me w/ the words that I believe are from God! Keep up the love!

  3. George Colgan5:33 PM

    Thanks, Ralph!

  4. Heaven's Grace5:38 PM

    How true this is. I have seen this so many times and burn out is definitely the fruit of this.

  5. Sharon Stiles5:44 PM


  6. Mike Buonocore6:29 PM

    Great. Kinda reminds of that song by ABC, The look of Love

  7. Jeff Budkoski6:50 PM

    Deception is the enemy's key weapon. Getting you to think that you earned any part of your salvation or Christian life is an easy trap set by him. I 'built' a theology for myself that was completely annihilated once I realized that He who began the new work IS faithful to complete it‎(even though I had memorized that verse as a part of my 'training regiment').

  8. Janis Griffith Boyer10:37 PM

    Thank you for this profound note. I cannot agree more. God bless you my sweet brother.

  9. Chad Keller10:42 PM

    Hey Ralph, I'm Chad. I sure am picking up what you're putting down here! Thank you brother!

  10. Maurice Glory Adero8:30 AM

    Amen,so good

  11. Paul Ellis8:31 AM

    Christian values - and manners - stink. I refuse to live by them. They're an inferior substitute for Real Life. Good note Ralph!

  12. Heaven's Grace8:32 AM

    I agree with Paul. Just being who we are in Him without any focus on what is the "christian" thing to do. The question is, what is the right thing to do?......then follow your heart, for it is He who lives from that place in you. :) Just want to add.....I did miss out on a lot of real living because of the institutional church that always expected so much. How I regret it now. Thankfully, I am now free of all of that!

  13. Sheila Vertoli8:32 AM

    Amen, good word Ralph. Thanks for the tag. 'Christian manners' should be a fruit of what's already on the inside flowing out like the unforced rhythms of grace. A fruit tree doesn't have to be taught how to bare fruit, nor does it have to shout, "I'm a fruit tree, I'm a fruit tree." It produces and lives in the reality of what it is. =)