Transformation, photo by Hoot Owl from Flickr
The following blog post, Transformation, is an excerpt from an article on transformation posted originally on Preaching Magazine’s website. You can read the article in its entirety here.
Being transformed and transforming our world for the glory of Jesus Christ is an important mission and this transformation is at the heart of Christianity. Paul emphasized transformation in Romans 12:2 when he said, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Here, Paul is directing us away from conformity and towards transformation. What a glorious mission!
In The Message version of Romans 12:2, it says, “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.” The essence of this passage is the reality that we all will be shaped by something. How we are shaped will affect the world around us, for better or for worse. We should always be mindful of how we are being shaped and how we are affecting the world.
Paul goes on to say, “fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you” (Rom. 12:2, Message).
God desires to change us from the inside out. We are changed by learning what God wants from us and by responding to it, in obedience to His will. While the culture and the sinful world around us attempts to stunt our growth and keep us in sinful patterns of immaturity, God desires for us to be transformed more and more into the likeness of Jesus Christ, bringing out the very best in us.
As Christians, we should recognize this high call of transformation. We should realize, as Paul did, that transformation is at the heart of the gospel. We should recognize that transformed people transform people and transformed people transform the world for the glory of Jesus Christ.
A Prayer of Self-dedication: Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to You, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly Yours, utterly dedicated unto You; and then use us, we pray, as You will, and always to Your glory and the welfare of Your people; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. (Adapted from The Book of Common Prayer, Online, p. 832, 833)