Summary: One thing must happen for something or someone to be transformed. There must be a CHANGE.
Transformed by God
A businessman owned a warehouse that had sat empty for months and needed repairs. Vandals had damaged the doors, smashed the windows, and trash was everywhere inside the building.
The businessman showed a prospective buyer the property and took great pains to say that he would replace the broken windows, bring in a crew to correct any structural damage and clean out all the garbage.
“Forget about the repairs,” the buyer said. “When I buy this place, I’m going to build something completely different, something entirely new. I don’t want the building. I just want the site!”
A new site to rebuild is just what God is looking for. If you haven’t truly given yourself to the Lord, I encourage you to pay attention this morning, to see what God wants to do with you. If you have given yourself to the Lord, then be reminded of the work He has done in you and continues to do in you if you are still allowing Him to do so.
Transformed. What does it mean to be transformed?
Webster’s defines it this way:
1. to change in form, appearance, or structure; metamorphose
2. to change in condition, nature or character; to convert
Either way, one thing must happen for something or someone to be transformed. There must be a CHANGE.
The apostle Paul puts a lot of emphasis on this point throughout his letters to the churches.
2Co 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
Paul here states that whenever a person becomes part of the body of Christ by faith, there is a new act of "CREATION" on God’s part. One set of conditions or relationships has passed out of existence and another set has come to stay. Paul clearly emphasizes the discontinuity between the two orders and the "newness" of the person in Christ.
The truth is, there will be a transformation & you will become a NEW CREATION.
Let’s look at some other areas where Paul has emphasized the significance
Gal 6:15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.
Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything as a means of salvation. The only thing that counts is to be born again, to become a new creation. This comes about not by observing the law in ANY form but by receiving the truth of the Gospel and accepting the gift of Grace that God has freely offered us.
As I mentioned last week, the legalists who cut in on the believers at Galatia, convinced the believers that there was something more they needed to do besides believing in Christ. They were told that they needed to be circumcised as well. Paul shot that argument down very adamantly. Here again, he tells them, get circumcised, or don’t get circumcised, it doesn’t matter, what matters, is that you accept the truth of what Jesus has done for you and receive Him as your Lord & Savior. When you do that, you will become a NEW CREATION.
Let’s look at another letter:
Eph 4:22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
Eph 4:23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
Eph 4:24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Paul now gives the content of the teaching his readers received earlier. Their previous lifestyle was to be thrown out completely. They must forsake their old behaviors and indeed lay aside the costume of their old selves. The metaphor of putting on & taking off garments is common in Scripture. The old self is subject to an internal process of continuous disintegration.
Yet in a contrasting positive statement, Paul reminds the Ephesians that instead of being subject to progressive deterioration, they were to be continually renovated in mind and spirit. "To be made new" involves an element of restoration, since the image of God, which has been impaired by the Fall, is fully reinstated in the new creation. Christian converts are to undergo a radical reorientation of their mental outlook. This can only take place under the influence of the Holy Spirit, acting on the human spirit as it affects the realm of our thoughts.
The "new self" assumed by the believer is the direct opposite of the worthless "old self". It’s not the old nature being tidied up, but a totally new creation. This is said to be "like God." The characteristics of the divine image are "RIGHTEOUSNESS” & “HOLINESS." These are qualities in God that are reproduced in his genuine worshipers: his love of right and his hatred of sin. When we become a NEW CREATION, these attributes will begin to grow in us.