Transformation is a lifelong process

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2).[1]

Do not lie to each other since you have taken off your old self with its practices, and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. (Colossians 3:9-10 )

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit (2 Cor. 3:18).

Answer the following questions for yourself.  Then share the answers with us on this blog.

  1. When does transformation come?
  2. How long does it take?
  3. What does the work of transformation and what does it have to do with worship?
  4. How have you experience spiritual transformation?
  5. Have you experienced it through worship?
  6. Have you experienced it through witnessing to someone?
  7. What does it take on your part to become transformed?

I will answer the last question at this time.  It requires obedience.  The prophet Isaiah describes what happened before his transformation began.

 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” He said, “Go and tell this people: “Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ 10 Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears,  understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed” (Isaiah 6:1-10 ).

Notice the steps in the progression of Isaiah’s transformation before God could call him and use him as a witness to the nation of Assyria as well as the nation of Israel.

  1. First he sees God.
  2. Second he sees himself and acknowledges his sin.
  3. He is cleansed and forgiven of those sins.. his  transformation begins.
  4. God asks who can I send to carry out the work.
  5. He responds with “Send me!”

It is to be noted that there is not one single human being on the face of this earth who was born perfectly. Not since Adam and he was created perfectly.  Every human being, no matter who they are, was “. . . .

Every human being, no matter who they are, was “. . . . I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 51:5 ).  This is David the man after God’s own heart who is speaking. The Bible addresses sin and that everyone was a slave to it no matter how perfect your home life was, or even if your parents bathed your mind in the Bible every single minute of every day.

 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord ( Romans 6:20-23).

At some point in every human beings life, they must submit to the call of the Holy Spirit or reject God.  It is as simple as that.  At the very moment that we submit to that call the process of transformation begins and so does our conversion story.

 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws (Ezekiel 36:26-27 ).

 On the Holy Spirit can do the work of transformation.  Our own human will cannot save us.  We do not just decide one day that we are going to be “good” people. Why? Because,

but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death James 1:14-15 ).

The call of the Holy Spirit gives us life.  If we can decide that we are good people, and  good enough to enter heaven when we die, then Christ died in vain and salvation is something that we have “earned” on our own. So, once again,

“Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices, and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. (Colossians 3:9-10)

The daily renewal is the lifelong part, that is transformation.  That is the Holy Spirit working in our hearts. We are saved, forgiven and are being transformed into the image of God and Jesus Christ.  God created mankind to have a personal, intimate, relationship with him.  He wanted us to be just like him.

“Then God said, “Let make mankind in our image in our likeness,”

The fulfillment of this scripture begins each time a person accepts Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. When sin entered the picture Christ gave his life so the process of transformation could begin in our lives.

No, the Bible is not just a book like any other book. If it is then it will not matter where we go when we die!  Oh, but Glorious day.  William McRaney pointed out something that is often true in modern evangelism. “Often in Christian life we separate salvation from lordship, decision from disciple”.[2]  That is the experience that most people undergo. Many people understand the message of the Gospel; they may even understand that they need Jesus Christ in their lives; however, they do not connect any of that with obedience to him.   Neither, do they comprehend that transformation is a lifelong process.  Thus, the disparaging things that young people state about adult Christians as a reason for them leaving the church.

There are many misconceptions about the transformation process or the growth process that believers embark on the day that they accept the call of the Holy Spirit. William Fay calls the most common misconception “lie of the middle”.[3] This is the, “I am a good person; in fact I am so good I am good enough to get into heaven; without obedience to God and The Great Commission” statement that so many people make when approached with the gospel.

Unfortunately, the biblical theology that pervades our thought processes must be rooted in the fact that salvation is received by grace through faith. It has nothing to do with our Good deeds, catechism, Hail Mary’s, praise the Lords, missionary work or any other work of our hands. The establishment of a relationship with The Lord that requires obedience is lost if the plethora of, “tithing, programs, church activities, do this, and do that, don’t do this, and don’t do “that isms” that pervades the church.”  The simplicity of Jesus Christ him crucified; his love for humanity, and that he wants us all to become a part of “his community” is lost in the noise of religiosity.

“[Transformation] may not be an easy process, but when we submit ourselves to God’s work in our lives, we place ourselves in a position for him to change us and use us for his glory”[4]

6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Ro. 5:6-8)

Finally, transformation of one’s life style is a process that requires obedience. Obedience to the call on our lives and obedience to God’s will for our lives.  Are you ready to live a life that is transformed by the Holy Spirit?  Let us know what you think.  Contact us.

 Notes

[1] Unless otherwise noted, all biblical passages referenced are in the New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009).

[2] Will McRaney Jr., The Art of Personal Evangelism, (Nashville: B&H Publishing, 2003), 44.

[3] William Fay, Share Jesus without Fear, (Nashville: B&H Publishing, 1999), 7.

[4] David Wheeler and Vernon Whaley, Worship and Witness: Becoming a Great Commission Worshiper (Nashville, TN: LifeWay Press, 2012), 55.

When does transformation come

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Joyce
    Jan 28, 2015 @ 22:23:30

    transformational worship is an individual thing..it is deeply personal. it is experienced as each person worships God through a lifestyle of humility, obedience, and listening to the HOLY SPIRIT. look at the life of Peter after his transformation! that was not a fairy tale. it can happen to any of us!

    Reply

  2. Bueller
    Jan 29, 2015 @ 09:20:36

    When I first began reading I was a bit confused as to being transformed. However as you continued to explain it all made perfect sense and I could see where my own transformation had taken place and how I continue to do the work of God as He tells me. Three years ago, I doubt I would have looked at this whole conversation the same way I do now. It’s amazing the difference between being just a Christian and being someone who is reborn into the love of Christ.

    Reply

    • Joyce/EM
      Dec 14, 2016 @ 07:18:55

      Oh God I thank you for the work you have done. This gives me a deeper understanding of why this ministry was started by you Father and the impact it is having on people’s lives.

      Reply

  3. Joyce
    Jan 29, 2015 @ 17:03:17

    Awesome Bueller. The work of the Holy Spirit is amazing and sometimes difficult for people to understand. This is what the word of God says about what happens to a person who is being transformed.

    I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws (Ezekiel 36:26-27 NIV). That is what happened to you.

    Reply

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You’re Not the Only One

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