Summary: All Christians are in the process of transforming into the image of Christ. Where are you at in that process? No matter where you are it is important to continue in the process.
2 Cor. 3:12-18
Where are you at in your transformation? The transformation of people comes at various stages in their life. Some transformations are for the good, some are for the bad. I and probably all of you wish all transformations were for the good, however bad transformations are all to common.
We’ve all heard of a good kid gone bad haven’t we? The child is born and is as innocent as can be. He grows and is loving, caring, and loves to be around other people, matter of fact he thrives around others, however as he grows up they become less loving, less caring, and want to be around others less and less.
I know this story all to well. It’s the story of someone gone wrong. They’ve gotten into the wrong crowd, they’ve gotten into the wrong living situation, they’ve gotten into drugs, or alcohol, maybe pornography, maybe they are a thief, and a habitual lier.
And it’s very easily conceived that the same person has gotten into all of those things at once. That is the way my brother was for a large part of his life.
The story of my brother and I are as different from night and day. We both had a transformation in our lives and my transformation is still continuing. Everyday I strive to be more completely transformed into the image of Christ. My brother’s transformation however ended March 8, 2011. I hope I see him again, however and unfortunately I’m not sure I will.
Where are you at in your transformation and what has your transformation looked like? Has it been a struggle between a bad transformation mixed in with some good transformation or vice a versa? And if it is that way do you ever see yourself being fully committed to being transformed into the image of Christ?
For the transformation to be complete in us as Christians we must do more than what we are currently doing, we must do things differently. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
We’ve to an age in the church where most Christians are satisfied with their Christian life consisting of coming to church on Sundays. There are some who not only come on Sundays, but on Wednesdays too and once we’ve done those things then we feel like we’ve done our duty as a Christian.
We come to church, listen to a sermon, have a lesson taught to us and sometimes the sermon or lesson is so good that you talk about it for a couple days and if the sermon or lesson is absolutely great we might talk about it for a week. But seldom does the sermon or lesson change our normal everyday routine. We feel good about being at church, we talk about the sermon or lesson, but is there action and obedience played out in our lives as a result of the Word of God?
James says in James 1:22 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourself, do what it says.” (maybe talk about things the Christian doesn’t do)
There are many Christians who are deceived by the devil who is the great deceiver. He wants you to feel good about being at church, he wants you to really enjoy a great sermon or a great lesson, he wants you to enjoy the fellowship with your fellow Christians. He is glad you are enjoying those things inside the church and that Christians are serving each other. “Keep it in the church” he says “and you can do all of that you want.”
ILLUS: Todd Wagner, the preacher at Watermark in Dallas, TX said, “The greatest evil that exist in America today is Christians who know the Word of God, but are not willing telling others.”
The devil wants you to keep all of those good Christian things inside the church. You see in doing that he wins. However if we take what we learn at church (and in our own Bible studies and prayer time with God) and put it into practice out in the real world then you will begin to see the devil become very upset.
Sadly, there have been many Christian transformations that have been stalled. They’ve come to know Jesus Christ and have taken Him as their Savior, but they fall short of making Him Lord over their lives. And in the church we haven’t done a very good job of moving people forward in their transformation into the image of Christ.
It’s always a joy to see a new life begin as the new believer comes up from the watery grave of baptism. They come up from being baptized and we sing, “Now I belong to Jesus, Jesus belongs to me”. And when that happens we get to put a check mark by their name and talk about we’ve accomplished our goal to win another soul. We are glad they’ve chosen to be obedient in baptism, but we don’t seek to make them accountable to further obedience and what happens is a stalling in their transformation to the image of Christ.