One of the most significant Scriptures that point to the process of spiritual transformation that happens at the moment of salvation is this: “…if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things have passed away. Look, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) By faith you can know that Jesus Christ has done a supernatural, internal work in your spirit, although you may not always feel like the “new creature” that the Bible says you are. How do you keep moving forward in the transformation God gave you when so much is trying to hold you back?
When a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly through the process of metamorphosis, it is a difficult, deadly and blood process whereby the caterpillar digests its old body while it is in the cocoon. Then, after that former body is completely gone, digested into a bloody liquid, the “soup” of cells left over from the old body are the same cells used to construct an entirely new creation- the butterfly! Spiritually speaking, your transformation through Christ will look much the same.
Spiritual Transformation is Creation Through Destruction
If you’re a “new creature”, then why does the old nature constantly present such a problem? Jesus said that you are to “deny yourself” (Matt. 16:24) and that means denying who you once were. Old feelings, old ways of thinking and perceiving things, emotions, relationships and attachments, fears, strongholds, addictions, memories, old ways of speaking and more all creep up in the worst moments when we’re trying to do our best! When we read “…if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature,” we read that as if it’s already been done (and by faith it has). But…
A more accurate translation would be this: “..if any man is in Christ, he is being made into a new creature…” It’s a progressive-tense word signifying that your spiritual transformation is going to be a perpetual state of movement. How is that done? Not by your own might or power, but with the empowerment of God’s Holy Spirit. (Zechariah 4:6) The Lord will transform you as you grow closer to Him.
Ephesians 3:20 says that the Lord, “…is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we ask or imagine, according to the power that works in us.” How much can you expect the power of God to work beyond your imagination in you, through you and for you if you’re not positioning yourself close to Him?
Transformation is not a condition where you become a new version of yourself. Transformation means that you are being built into something that never existed before.~Alicia Purdy
True spiritual transformation means who you are becoming through Jesus Christ is unrecognizable when compared to who you once were. During that process, you’ll experience many hideous, bloody and violent battles as the enemy tries to drag you back to your old self and the Lord revives you and battles with you to create something totally new and different and much more beautiful- and a battle it will be. You can win, but you’ll definitely have to fight.
2 Vital Steps to Your Spiritual Transformation in Christ
Ephesians 4:22-24 (MEV) says, “…put off the former way of life in the old nature, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and put on the new nature, which was created according to God in righteousness and true holiness.”
STEP 1: “Put off” the former things”
Remember: Butterflies and caterpillars don’t just look different — they behave differently, too. Caterpillars and butterflies eat different things. They live in different habitats. One crawls, the other soars. You’ll spend the rest of your life letting the Lord transform you into what you became when you submitted your life to Him, but you must take responsibility and action for yourself to depart from sin and stay close to the fellowship of the God who saved you.
If you are truly transformed by Christ, you can’t go back to who you once were because there is nothing left to go back to! Cut off the old friendships. Walk away from the toxic and spiritually unequal romantic relationships. Block the calls and texts. Delete social media. Get rid of the TV subscriptions. Close yourself into a little protective cocoon and let the Lord consume and digest the old you and create something new through a season of spiritual transformation.
Who you once were “is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts” and remember the Lord supernaturally gave you a clean heart, but your natural human heart is still “…deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” (Jeremiah 17:9) Don’t “follow your heart”!! Follow the Word of God which will light your way when you can’t see how to get away from the darkness. (Psalm 119:105)
STEP 2: “Put on” the new nature”
Many Christians struggle with the process of spiritual transformation, because they tried to “put off” the old things, BUT did not ALSO “put on” their new nature. They are separate, entwined and equally crucial actions for the believer to keep their faith strong, vibrant and alive. Paul wrote, in Ephesians 6:11 (MEV), “Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”
Satan wants you back! You must “Put on” the new man, day by day. Build a life of accountability, discipleship, discipline, admonition, teaching, vulnerability, pain, humility and get into the presence of God so you never go back to you old ways, or simply become a bland, washed-out version of the vibrant, colorful, beautiful creature God wants you to be.
Remember: While metamorphosis is natural to a butterfly, it’s not natural to a human- it has to be supernatural.
You’ll Always be a Work in Transformation
There is no way you can make any sort of true, lasting spiritual transformation without submitting to the power of God. You’ll need to cultivate a life of prayer and harness the secret to metamorphosis found Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed (“metamorphosis“) by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
How is that accomplished? Only the Word of God can renew your mind and 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “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.” (NIV)
1 John 3:2 says, “...But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” (NIV)
Thought for Today: You’ll Transform When You See Him Face to Face
Transformation is not a condition where you become a new version of yourself. Spiritual transformation, according to the Word of God, is metamorphosis meaning that you are being fully, fundamentally made into something that never existed before. You’re not a recreation, but are a new creation!
This can only be accomplished “according to the power that works in us,” as Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:20. There must be more of the power of God in your life each day and that will only happen the more you draw close to Him, the more you “see Him face to face” through:
- The Word of God: “For the word of God is alive, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
- The Power of Prayer: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7 ESV)
- The Weapon of Worship: “But we all, seeing the glory of the Lord with unveiled faces, as in a mirror, are being transformed (“metamorphosis“) into the same image from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
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