Summary: We’ve talked about 2 important words Parakletos (comforter) and Dunamis (Power). Today I want to share with you another word metamorphoô – it means to transform – we get the English word metamorphosis from this word. In the world of the 21st century c
The Fullness of God
Pt 4 – Transformation
We have been talking about rediscovering the work of the Holy Spirit in the church this third person of the Trinity – the God who seems to be all but forgotten in the church of the 21st century. We’ve talked about 2 important words Parakletos (comforter) and Dunamis (Power). Today I want to share with you another word metamorphoô – it means to transform – we get the English word metamorphosis from this word.
In the world of the 21st century church we think of Christianity more in the terms of addition and subtraction than we do about transformation. We have come to believe that what God wants to do in us is to add good things to our lives and take away bad things from our lives.
The process of addition and subtraction. This is not the heart of the New Testament – in fact I believe it is the product of our dismissal of the Holy Spirit from the churches conversation.
•John 3:3 (NASB)
3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."
•2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
•Romans 12:1-2 (NASB)
1 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. 2 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.
From these and dozens of other passages that I won’t take time to share this morning I come to the inescapable conclusion that this is not supposed to be a process of addition and subtraction but a process of transformation. Look at this passage of Scripture in Galatians with me as we continue to re-think the Spirits role in our lives.
1) The Battle – “the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.” Paul says the deeds of the flesh are evident and so are the deeds of the Spirit. Which list better describes the church and our individual lives today? Paul new the difficulty in the battle to become what God has called us to be. He described it this way 20 My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. 21 It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. 22 I truly delight in God's commands, 23 but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. 24 I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question? 25 The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does.
2) Transformation –
• The Spirits Work - The first step to understanding the transformation of the Spirit is to understand that it’s not us. “Walk by the Spirit”. The word Paul uses here for walk could just as easily be translated Live. The idea is that we are on a journey in life and when we live under the light and influence of the Spirit we are transformed. When we allow the Holy Spirit to guide our lives we invite Him to change the way we look at life; our motives, values, thoughts, and even the viewpoint from which we evaluate our choices. Walking by the Spirit simply means embracing the guidance of the Spirit in our daily lives to transform how we do things. I can want to change but my want never seems to make a difference. When I seek out the Spirit there is a living breathing power in me to affect the change that my mind wants. Our best efforts to change ourselves lead to frustration and dead ends.
• Duct Taped Apples – much of our religious experience is like walking through an apple orchard duct taping apples to trees. We see what God wants us to be and we determine to be it. So we go out duct taping apples to trees. A woman looks in the mirror and doesn’t like what she sees so she slaps on a little powder and rouge to dress it up a little. But no amount of makeup covers the condition of our hearts any more than duct taped apples covers the condition of a dead tree. We have learned to address life from the outside God has given us the Holy Spirit to address life from the inside. V.22 says the fruit of the Spirit is… The word fruit means produce or product. No duct taped apples – this is the natural outflow of the empowered life. When we embrace the power of the Spirit in our lives we embrace the transformation from the old man to the new man, from what we were to what we are made to be.