If you were to ask most Christians the question: “Are you satisfied with where you are today in your relationship with Christ," many would say “No” —maybe that's true for you too. 

Leo Tolstoy wrote that “man’s whole life is a continual contradiction of what he knows to be his duty. In every department of life he acts in defiant opposition to the dictates of his conscience and his common sense.” 

-Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God and Peace Essays, translated by Aylmer Maude
(Oxford University Press, 1936), 158.

Most of us—myself included—realize there is a gap between where we are today and where we would like to be in our spiritual growth and development

I call this the Transformation Gap. 

…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Philippians 2:12-13 (NIV84)

I believe that a large part of the reason for this transformation gap is the result of unresolved sin in our lives.

Sin Target Missing the Mark

Let me explain.

Sin, by definition, means to “miss the mark,” it’s actually an archer’s term. In archery, the “sin" is the distance from where an arrow hits the target to the center of the bull’s-eye. Think of the yellow circle (the bull’s-eye) as God’s BEST. God’s best would include everything that would be in accordance with His will. So to sin, is in essence to miss the mark of God’s best.

The Bible says that we have all sinned:

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:8

The Bible also says that sin results in death (Rom 6:23). Now when the Bible talks about “death” it is usually—of course depending on the context—referring to "spiritual death.” This “spiritual death” is separation from relationship with God and each other. (cf. Eph 4:18).

Think about it this way.

God warned Adam that if he ate the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil that he would “surely die” (Gen 2:17). But when Adam (and Eve) ate of the fruit, they didn’t die physically—at least not yet—but spiritually in that they were separated from their relationship with God. And sin produces shame and shame produces fear and fear causes us to hide from God and others. And this is exactly what happened. After the Fall, both Adam and Eve hid from each other—“they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves” (Gen 3:7) and they hid from God (Gen 3:8-10). 

So, there are two important things I want to point out here, 1) Sin results in spiritual death that separates us from relationship with God and each other, and 2) sin results in shame and fear that cause us to hide.  

Therefore, sin (the sins we have committed and the sins that have 
been committed 
against us) and the consequences that ensue 
(isolation, guilt, shame, condemnation, fear, anger, and pride) 
create a sanctification gap. 

These consequences of sin hinder our
growth in Christ because they cause us to hide from
God’s love manifested through grace and truth that is distributed
through relationships within the body of Christ in whom the 
Spirit of God dwells. 

Until we confess our sin (the sins that we have committed and the sins others have committed against us) to God, ourselves, and others, we will remain in isolation—hiding behind masks—avoiding the relationships we need to experience God’s love through grace and truth that brings emotional healing and spiritual growth.

The process that builds the bridge across the Transformation Gap is what the Institute for Discipleship Training is all about. We want to help you resolve the consequences that sin has caused in your life; all the guilt, shame, fear of rejection and abandonment, emotional hurt, and the sinful habits and behaviors you use to help you numb and cope with the pain) so that you can be free to flourish in your relationship with Jesus Christ.

It is my hope and prayer that you will allow us the privilege to walk with you on your journey of faith and your discipleship to Jesus.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”  Ephesians 3:17-19 (NIV84)

© The Institute for Discipleship Training - 2018