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Allegiance, Truth and Power: Three crucial dimensions for Christian living


Another way of distinguishing these dimensions is to look at the differences in the content of each dimension. Though I will go into greater detail below, I here present an overview of these differences. In the relationship dimension we find things like love, the fruits of the Spirit, faith, repentance, prayer, fellowship, intimacy with Christ and all of the other things in Christian experience that factor into our relationships with God and other humans.

These aspects of life, then, are quite different in experience from the things we deal with in our thinking behavior. Though we can think about, talk about, and teach about relationships, none of these knowledge aspects of the subject is the same as participating in a relationship. Indeed, many who demonstrate a considerable expertise in thinking about relationships don’t seem to do well in relating to others. Similarly, working in spiritual power is quite distinct from thinking about it. It is also quite distinct from relating.

In the truth-understanding dimension are all of the cognitive aspects of Christianity. Doctrinal and theological tenets such as our understandings of God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, humanity, sin, redemption, faith, Satan and demons, the Church, the Kingdom of God and all the rest of the things we believe fall into this category. So do the things we understand concerning the allegiance-relationship and power-freedom dimensions. This dimension is the easiest of the three to deal with since it largely involves the mere transmitting of information. And transmitting truth, though it is better done when people are free from satanic power and linked together in solid relationships, is not as complicated as either relating or dealing with spiritual power.

The spiritual power dimension, then, involves working in the power of the Holy Spirit to bless, heal (both physically and emotionally), cast out demons and challenge territorial spirits. As with relationships, it involves doing something, not just thinking and talking about it. Jesus taught and demonstrated that we are at war with a powerful enemy but that we have authority and power to defeat him (Lk 9:1). The exercise of that power under the direction of the Holy Spirit constitutes a dimension distinct from the other two but working in conjunction with them, since the power we use must come from the true Source of power and the authority to work in that power from our relationship with Him.


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Category: Fall 2010, Living the Faith

About the Author: Charles H. Kraft, Ph.D. (Hartford Seminary Foundation), is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and Intercultural Communication, Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena, California). He has served as a missionary in Nigeria, and professor of African languages at Michigan State University and UCLA. He has published widely both in missiology and in African linguistics, and his books include Christianity in Culture (1979 and revised 2005), Worldview for Christian Witness (2008), and The Evangelical's Guide to Spiritual Warfare: Scriptural Insights and Practical Instruction on Facing the Enemy (Chosen, Feb 2015). His ministry website is

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