Monday, August 9, 2021


In Paul's letter to the church at Galatia he makes an interesting statement, "My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you." (Galatians 4:19) Paul's desire was to see believers come to a place in their Christianity to where they were "Imitators of God." (Ephesians 5:1) His desire was not his own, but the very desire that God has for all of His children. In Paul's second letter to the church at Corinth he says the same thing in a different way, "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord." (I Corinthians 3:18) Again, we see the Lords desire for His children. But what does it mean for the believer to have Christ formed in them or to be transformed into the Lord's image?

The word transformed is the same as the word metamorphosis which means a complete change of physical form, character and or appearance.When most think of metamorphosis, they think of the transformation of a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly. That is exactly what happens to a person who is born again. The transformation of a child of the devil into a child of God. It is being "delivered from the power of darkness and conveyed into the kingdom of the Son of His love." (Colossians 1:13) The moment a person is born again they are immediately in Christ. Paul tells us, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."  (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Although all of this does take place the moment one is born again, the work of transformation is a continuous process in every believer. This work is called, sanctification. In short, sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer that progressively transforms them into the image of Christ. The more the believer gives himself to the influence of the Holy Spirit, the more the glory of Christ is reflected in their life, moving them from one degree of glory to another. It’s also a work of grace. Our part in this marvelous work is our cooperation and response to the Holy Spirit. According to Paul's letter to the church at Ephesus, it says,  "Do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit." (Ephesians 5:18) Believers should experience a continuous filling of the Holy Spirit, that is, being transformed from glory to glory.

To be like Jesus should be the goal of every believer, but we must remember it is not about us working hard in our own strength trying to stop the old nature from having place, it simply comes down to what Jesus said,  "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work" (John 4:34) and "Jesus said, I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me." (John 5:30) and also "Jesus said, For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me." John 6:38) As we see, to be like Jesus is to always seek to do the will of the Father not because it is an obligation, but as the Psalmist said, "I delight to do Your will, O my God...” (Psalm 40:8) as well as "Jesus said, I always do those things the please the Father." (John 8:29) Our attitude towards doing the Fathers will should be one of delight desiring to please the Him. Simply put, it is, “…Faith working through love.” (Galatians 5:6)

According to 2 Corinthians 3:18, who is responsible for the transformation process? "...The Spirit of the Lord." The verb being transformed is passive which means that something is being done in us, not by us. Again, we come to the place of faith, depending upon and yielding to the Holy Spirit working in us transforming us. In his letter to the church at Thessalonica he tells us, "Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it." (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24) In other words not only is God Himself doing the work from the time we are born again, but He wants to complete the process of sanctification in our whole spirit, soul, and body, so it is up to the believer to let Him do the work.

In Paul's letter to the Philippians he tells us, "being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." (Philippians 1:6 ) If we give ourselves to this good work of the Holy Spirit in us, He will continue do the work until we either leave this life for the next or Jesus returns, which ever comes first. The transformation process of the Holy Spirit in each believer comes down to the value that one places on their relationship with God and His Word. It also takes faith to believe that God wants to reproduce Himself in every believer. Paul tells us that the believer is to, "…work out your own salvation…” (Philippians 2:12 ) To “work out” is an imperative mood, which means it is a command. It is in the present tense, which means that the action is continuous. It is also in the passive voice, meaning that we have something to do, but the main action is done by the one sending the message, that is, God Himself. Being transformed into the image of Christ from glory to glory is simply letting God reproduce Himself in us. So, let go of all the things that prevent you from experiencing more of God's glory and let Him complete the good work that He has started in you. 

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