(Romans 8:28 – 29) – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first-born among many brothers and sisters.”
What is the ultimate goal of the Christian life? What is the purpose of discipleship? In this scripture we learn that this has been predetermined or “predestined” by God. It is simply this; to be “conformed to the image of His Son.” To become like Christ. Not perfection, but likeminded and like in character. But, how does that happen? What does it take?
Let’s look at the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 3:18 – “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” Note: We all…“are being transformed!” Let me say that again: We all, (all Christians, not just a select few) are “being” transformed.
So that begs the question then – “How are we being transformed?” What is the process? First we must see that it says we are “being transformed” and not that we “are” transformed, or that we “will be” transformed. This suggests that it is indeed a process, and it is a present process.
Next we must go back to the word “contemplate.” Another version uses the word “beholding” yet another, the word “reflecting.” It means to look deeply into as if for
understanding; to meditate upon or reflect upon; for the same reason… understanding. That sounds like discipleship to me! The more we contemplate; the more we behold; the more we reflect upon; the more we study and dig and mine for the gold in God’s Word, the more we will be transformed!
Now, let’s jump to another “therefore” in Romans 12:2– “Therefore, I urge you,
brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind; then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
I have said many times that if we change or renew our thinking; it changes or renews how we feel; which in turn changes how we act! It begins in the mind. You see, it says (in Christ) we now have “unveiled faces” and unveiled minds, and unveiled hearts to be able to see, understand, and apply truth to our lives. Then, ever so slowly, the process changes us or transforms us into the image of Jesus Christ, God’s own Son! Not that we look like him physically, but internally we change the way we think and feel about things, and life itself.
We all have our own way of thinking. We all have our own opinions. Thinking about how we should act, talk, think, and feel about a lot of things in life, however, God wants us to have the “mind of Christ” in all these things; especially concerning life and eternal life. In Matthew 22:37 Jesus said “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”
What you love, you think about, you enjoy, you may even develop a passion for it! You think about it all the time! A good gauge for our love for God might be how often we think about Him or His Word. Just on Sundays? When we are at Bible Study? We ought to be thinking about Him all the time! As Christians, we ought to develop a passion for God and His Word!
I pray that you are enjoying this study from my book “Therefore”. See you next week.