Monday, December 29, 2014

Transformation

But we all, with uncovered face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. II Corinthians 3:18


And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2



Beloved, now we are the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. I John 3:2





What is the key to transformation? In Christ, we are already new creations (II Cor 5:17). This is in the Aorist tense, indicating that the process is finished. At the same time, we must freely admit that our experience is far from perfection. There is no need to question this. The question is what we must do with the fact that, with Paul, the very thing we would do, we don't do, and that which we would not do, we do.


Peter promises us that everything we need for a godly life is already in us (II Peter 1:3). Yet the road to spiritual maturity is sure to include nearly constant failure. Why? We must learn the way of self-denial, the way of the cross. "To live is Christ and to die is gain". Until we realize we are nothing apart from him, and try to live a Christian life, failure will be our reward. But there is another way.


Years ago, people used to make pictures by putting film in a camera (How many of you born after 2000 knew this?). The way it works is that there is an unexposed negative in the film. When exposed to the light long enough, an image forms. So with our life in Christ. We are told to correct our thinking, and that the result of new thinking will be new behavior. Of course, this is not an exact analogy, as the film has no choice in the matter. Whenever the photographer opens the lens, an image is captured. In our walk with Christ it is the disciple who chooses to "open the lens" and let the Light of Christ shine into his heart. This speaks of abiding in Christ, remaining on the branch, trust. We remain in Him by focusing on the Life of Christ that is in us. Our fellowship is sweet. We do not go away unchanged.

What is God like? Doubtless many of us can give the correct theological answer, but what do we REALLY believe? Almost universally, we begin with an anthropomorphism. That is, we think of God in human terms, as if He were our human father. My own father was aloof and distant, not terribly interested in my concerns and cares. Guess what? I have to admit that much of my experience of God is based on this anthropomorphism. He is largely, in my experience, someone "out there" that I will doubtlessly need to give an account to some day. Intimate Father? Not so far, but I can say this - Times, they are a changing! I want this year to be the year that I behold his Glory, and having beheld Him, to have my subjective experience transformed. I invite everyone to join me in this goal. Let me know how you are doing!


Dean

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