All biblical transformation comes from proximity to Christ. This is the Christ model. There is no program, class, or sermon series that can transform a person. Getting people close to Christ allows the transformation process to take place. When you conform to something or someone it is outwardly only. You think that if you can get the outside lined up then the inside will be changed as well. This is not the biblical way. Conformation is like dealing with a physical symptom without ever addressing the root cause of the problem. As long as the root is intact, the symptoms will never fully be healed.
The same is true about sin and holiness. Too many times we tell people to stop doing this or that and try and focus on changing the outward symptoms while never addressing the inner tissue of the heart and sin. This leaves them striving to do better. This produces an environment where we all get good at managing our behaviors and sins publicly. Jesus clearly understood and preached that salvation is an inward work that produces outward manifestations.
Transformation on the other hand, is a work from the inside out. It is a change of our nature. Christ desires to do a work in our heart that will produce change to our mind, will, and emotions. He desires that we are so connected to Him that people see less of us and more of Him.
Religion does not change people — it only subdues them. Religion tries to address the physical and soul problems in people while Christ goes straight to the heart, knowing that a change of the heart will produce a change of the other two. When you are born again your heart is changed and alive to Christ. You are a new creation. The Holy Spirit does a re-creative work, and indeed you are different. This is an immediate change that is glorious and amazing. You are empowered for godly living through the Holy Spirit.Part of the transformation process that Christ desires to do in you involves allowing His Spirit to change you from the inside out. This goes against everything you have ever known and experienced, and it can be brutal.
Most religions stress us doing something to be in their god’s good graces. They have us pursuing a god to be good enough for him. Christianity is God’s story of pursuing us. He says, “I understand your sin and failure, and yet I have provided a way to be in relationship with you.”
A person who has an abiding relationship with Jesus has been, and will continue to be, transformed. This person understands their relationship with God and has allowed that to change his heart. He does not pursue a lifestyle of sin because he has found the greater joy of being transformed into the image of God. This transformation has removed many of the sinful tendencies out of his heart and made his heart to honor Christ. He views his struggles with sin as an opportunity to sit with Jesus and allow His power and love to conquer that sin nature. The more this one spends with Jesus, the more he reflects His love and heart.
1. Read over and over the verses that we shared today. Allow them to speak directly to your heart. In your words, ask God to renew your mind so that you can prove what His perfect will is.
2. Take some time to look at the things that you allow to influence your life on a daily basis. Begin to compare those with the Word of God. If these are not Christ-centered influences then remove them from your life as quickly as possible and replace them with godly ones. Ask God to show you what is acceptable and His will for your life.