Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Task of Transformation

Definition: Transformation means change.
Christian transformation is change (a) for the better as prescribed in God's Word, (b) beyond the surface to a change of mind and a change of heart, and (c) is attributed to Christ; His person, teaching, Holy Spirit, etc.

Three areas of Transformation Christians should be concerned with...
A. Personal transformation - change toward what you should be and were created to be.
B. Individual transformation - the attempt to setter or assist other toward what they should be and were created to be.
C. Social transformation - attempt to change or steer society toward what it should be.

Focus today - Personal and Individual transformation.
Application - 1. those attempting to grow
2. those attempting to steer others toward growth.


#1. Christian transformation begins with Christ.
It may begin before salvation, BUT doesn't take place apart from Christ.
Point: do you want to be an agent of transformation? PRAY for Christ's involvement. We cannot affect change in an individual's life without Him, but He may use me to do that.

#2. People need to hear the gospel. Note: the bridge illustration.

(animation by bellsnwhistles.com)

Rom. 10:14 Efforts at transformation are incomplete without the gospel message.

#3. Your actions are also important. (or people are more apt to accept the love of God if they see the love of God). This is NOT essential to believing, but it makes believing easier, more likely.

#4. People need more than the (simple) gospel to experience Christian transformation.
(This doesn't mean to be saved but it means to be transformed.)
Before you can do/become what you ought, you must know what to do/what to become.
(sincerity/zeal is NOT enough - Rom. 10:2)

#5. Salvation plus knowledge does not guarantee transformation. Because, transformation also requires cooperation! Must have heart and mind to obey and respond to what you know.

#6. Even those who experience transformation are not fully transformed. Because of sin nature/tendency to sin.

So, when someone says "I can't believe he would do that!" The answer is "I can't believe you can't believe it!" Why are we amazed when people sin? Why are we aghast, when we are sinners as well and prone to the same tendencies.
Nobody is so transformed that he is not subject to sin in his life.
This is not making excuses for sinful behavior, but just being honest - this is the way it is!

#7. We won't always see the positive results of our efforts - within self, within others.

Examples: Noah, Moses, Jeremiah, Jesus and the disciples, Paul and the Galatians.

#8. Not seeing positive results does not mean there are no positive results.

The process of transformation has always been:
slow, difficult to measure, and sporadic, and therefore, frustrating (concerning self and concerning others), often discouraging, sometimes exhausting!! (emotionally/psychologically)
Most (if not all) serious transformers struggle with "results".

1. the longer in the battle, the more time and energy you invest into it, the more likely you are to experience frustration, discouragement, fatigue.
2. the more likely Satan is to use this to tempt you out of the fray!

#9. If the promise of transformation was ever valid, it remains valid today. The ETERNAL gospel. To this we are called! Personal, individual, social transformation!!

#10. When we pursue this in spite of apparent results, it is called FAITH. Heb. 11:1-2, 39 Without faith, it is impossible to please God.

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