The Apostle Paul regularly challenges his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to be transformed. In a number of ways and with a number of images, he challenges them to live, not directed by their sinful nature, but by the indwelling of the Spirit of God. Quite honestly, I find it refreshing and encouraging to note that Paul has to remind them. It tells me that we have much in common. It tells me that we are in good company when we forget that we are in a transformation process and fail to submit and instead live out of our sinful nature. It is refreshing to see that they needed a reminder from time to time, as do we, and that Paul does not give up, but instead reminds them of who they are. But, of course, we must not take that as a reason to continue ignoring the process. Instead, we must find empowerment in the reality of the less than straight and narrow process, submit to the will of the Spirit and be transformed!
So, as with most things concerning faith, there is more to transformation “than meets the eye.” Not only do we need to be reminded that we are to be transformed, we also need to be reminded of a few other things. We need to be reminded that this process is the work of the Holy Spirit in us. It is the Holy Spirit that removes our heart of stone and gives us a heart of flesh. We need to be reminded that it is into Christ’s image that we are being transformed. Not P-Diddy or MLK or Sam IM or MJ, none but Jesus. When we look to how we should act and live it is to Jesus we should look. And, importantly, even though the process of transformation is essential to the Christian life, it is not the means by which we are justified but rather, the result of it. In other words, we are not right with God because we are being transformed but rather, we are being transformed because we are right with God. And all this by faith in Jesus!