Spiritual Disciplines The Basics of the Christian Life
BuildingChurch.net on Spiritual Disciplines
This section contains information I have developed related to basic Christian living through spiritual disciplines. Much of this is developed as part of a new members class for the church. For Adobe Acrobat files, download the Acrobat Reader here.
In order for God to be most glorified in us, Christians are to seek to do his will. Additionally, His grace should drive us to it. When we reflect on God's grace, our thankfulness and humility will drive us to know Him more and do His will. Spiritual disciplines are the first step in developing the kind of lifestyle that is consistently bent towards appreciation for the grace of God.
Personal Spiritual Disciplines
These are the spiritual disciplines that are activities the individual Christian should embark upon in order to develop him/herself as a mature, Christ-like believer. These disciplines can be divided into two sub-categories: internal and external disciplines.
Corporate Spiritual Disciplines
These are the spiritual disciplines that are activities for the body of believers. These disciplines are best practiced in the context of a local church body to which one is a member, but can also include gatherings of multiple congregations for special celebrations of God's grace and glory.
"Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come." 1 Timothy 4:7b-8 NASB
"Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy! For the Lord, the Most High, is to be feared, a great King over all the earth." Psalm 47:1-2
"Prayer is an unspoken confession of our utter dependence upon God. Prayerlessness is an unbroken testimony of our dependence upon the flesh." Randy Sprinkle
"Pride is the greatest enemy to the centrality of God." T.W. Hunt
"As Scripture says that love covers over a multitude of sins, in the same way, prayer covers over a multitude of mistakes." Hal Cooper
Celebration of Discipline, Richard J. Foster
This is one of my two top recommended books on understanding the spiritual disciplines. Most of the spiritual disciplines portion of BuildingChurch.net is modeled after this book. Foster not only gives the basic theological foundation for each of the disciplines, but he also gives practical insight into how you can expect your life to be changed as a result of practicing each dicipline . . . not only spiritually, but physically, psychologically, and beyond. Not only is this one of my top books on spiritual disciplines, it is among my most recommended books on all subjects of Christian faith.
My only warning is that some popular theologians argue that there is New Age influence in certain portions of this book. I understand their concerns, but believe they are overstated. Most of the questionable material is more the result of the author's Quaker background than the New Age. The benefits are well worth the read, simply read with a discerning mind, as you should read any book.
To order this book from ChristianBook.com, click here: Celebration of Discipline, Richard J. Foster.