A little while ago, I read Richard Lovelace’s book Renewal as a Way of Life. It is a phenomenal book. On my short list to read now is the longer, more historical book it’s based on called Dynamics of Spiritual Life. In Renewal as a Way of Life, Lovelace has a helpful framework for understanding renewal.
I. Preconditions of Renewal
1. Awareness of God’s holiness<<his justice / his love
2. Awareness of the depth of sin<< in yourself / in the world
II. Primary Elements of Renewal
In Jesus, the following is true:
1. Justification: You are accepted
2. Sanctification: You are free from bondage to sin
3. The Holy Spirit within: You are not alone
4. Authority in conflict: you are command.
Here are a couple of helpful quotes from Lovelace, especially on the “Primary Elements of Renewal”:
By faith we can claim
- justification (freedom from guilt because Jesus’ righteous acts and sacrificial death have been credited to our account)
- sanctification (freedom from bondage to sin through the inpouring of the life of Christ in our experience, leading to progress in actual holiness)
- the Holy Spirit dwelling in our hearts (so that we have personal fellowship with God)
- authority over the powers of darkness (the ability to resist and displace demonic agents by calling upon them the judgment Jesus brought upon the devil)
….Like the three primary colors [these] are the source of all the multicolored splendor of new life in the Messiah. When we shine the light of the gospel on our analytic prism, the good news divides into a rainbow with these four elements….(We can easily remember these results of the atonement, and the fact that they are rooted in the Messiah, if we keep in mind the acronym J-S-H-A, the first letter of each element, which is close to the Jewish way of writing Jesus, Yeshua)….
I am uncertain about the value of “Christian mantras,” which attempt to build up spirituality by the repetition of phrases like the Jesus Prayer (“Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner”). But I do think we can benefit from deeply fixing in our hearts this fourfold description of what we inherit through faith in the Messiah. At the outset of each day, we should hear God saying, You are accepted, because the guilt of sin is covered by the righteousness of Christ; You are free from the bondage of sin through the power of Jesus in your life; You are not alone, but accompanied by the Counselor, the Spirit of the Messiah; You are in command, with freedom to resist and expel the powers of darkness.
Hopefully this all helps you walk in the freedom of the Gospel today.