Summary: It is only when we yield the will to God that His power can take over and give us the willpower (and the won’t power!) that we need to be victorious Christians.
Change And Become Like Christ
Change Part Three
Reading: 2 Corinthians 3:12-18
Today we continue a short series centered on change. You may have noticed quite a bit of talk about change in the media these days. Change is taking place all around us, in every aspect of our lives it seems there is change happening. Politics, economy, climate, we are told that everything is changing and that we must change accordingly (according to whom is the question!)
In our first lesson we saw how God calls everyone to repentance; that is, to change the direction of our lives.
In the second lesson we examined a teaching Jesus gave to His disciples requiring in them a change of attitude concerning the Kingdom of Heaven.
In our lesson this morning we will look into what we should be changing and how to effect our transformation as we strive to change and become like Christ.
In this passage of his letter to the church in Corinth, Paul addresses a key concept in the difference between the old covenant and the new covenant.
Paul states that because of the promises of the new covenant he speaks with all boldness and confidence the gospel of Jesus, holding nothing back. Unlike the time of Moses who had to veil his face from the children of Israel thus separating them from the full glory of God, even though it was fading from his face, there is no such separation for those in Christ. Paul tells us the literal veil of Moses became a metaphorical veil over the hearts of the Israelites and any others who do not turn to the gospel of Christ. Paul states that when we turn to Jesus the veil is removed and we gaze upon the full glory of God in the “mirror” of His word.
2 Corinthians 3:17 (NASB) Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
By turning to Jesus the Spirit of the Lord is within us and we have freedom from the veil, freedom from the law, freedom from spiritual death. And by this freedom we become changed.
I. We Are Being Transformed v18
A. 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NASB) 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 from the Lord, the Spirit.
1. The “mirror” is a symbol of the Word of God (James 1:22-25). As we look into God’s Word and see God’s Son, the Spirit transforms us into the very image of the Lord.
a. The word translated transformed is the same word translated transfigured in the accounts of our Lord’s transfiguration (Matt. 17; Mark 9).
b. It describes a change on the outside that comes from the inside. Our English word metamorphosis is a transliteration of this Greek word.
c. Metamorphosis describes the process that changes an insect from a larva into a pupa and then into a mature insect. The changes come from within.
2. This change begins when we turn to the Lord (v16) but it is not a one time event, it is a process that begins at salvation.
a. This is what Paul wrote regarding his salvation in his letter to the Philippians:
Philippians 3:12 - 14 (NASB) Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
B. Paul als wrote of this in his letter to the Romans…
1. Romans 12:1 - 2 (NASB) Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
a. In these verses Paul gives us the keys to our part in the transformation into the likeness of Christ.
II. Keys to Transformation
A. Give God your body; (v1)
1. Before we trusted Christ, we used our body for sinful pleasures and purposes, but now that we belong to Him, we want to use our body for His glory.
a. As the Spirit of God is in the Christian, the Christian’s body is God’s temple (1 Cor. 6:19-20.)