On my way to the church this morning the Lord provoked me with a thought about transforming into what He desires His church to be. The one thing I have learned over the years is that if you are walking alongside the Master, you cannot remain the same as you were. Change inevitably will take place, for that is what Romans 12 states, “be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 states, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Anyone that knows me and has heard me teach or preach knows that I am a firm believer of the preservation of the words of God in the King James Bible. I do not believe it is a “version,” therefore I do not refer to it as one. I believe it contains the inerrant, infallible, incorruptible words of the Jehovah God given to His people via His Holy Spirit. I am not a fanatic, just a fundamentalist. The first fundamental truth of Christianity is to believe that you have God’s words, not simply a “version” of them.
With that said, I believe in word studies, even the seemingly insignificant words like “is,” “are,” and “if.” Paul writes that based on the condition (if any man) is in Christ, he has now become a new creature. The little word “is” signifies a present tense change that has taken place. Many will agree with this, probably over 95% of the church would. I say 95%, because there’s always that small percentage that’s crazy! Anyway…The next thing Paul writes is even so much more profound and of equal importance. He writes that old things, which is the way we used to think, act or speak, are passed away. Are signifies also a present tense action, but not only a present tense, this word the Holy Spirit inspires and preserves also carries an ongoing connotation. Evangelist & prison minister, David Epps, says it best, in that, God doesn’t blows out stump and all when He saved you. What the preacher means is that we still have the flesh to deal with, however as we grow in Christ, there are still old things passing away.
Now, to carry the thought even further, I want you to imagine if you decided to buy a new house, but didn’t want to fill it with all of your old stuff. Therefore you had a garage sale and got rid of everything. Well, you would have a new house, but no furniture, appliances or decorations. Well, the new house would be nice, but empty! Of course you would go out and buy new stuff. God is no different. Paul wrote in Romans 12:1 for the believer to not be conformed, but rather to be transformed. Again, word studies will help any real bible student and disciple of Christ. Conformed – to fashion alike; conform to the same pattern. Transform – metamorphose; change; transfigure. A good picture of this transforming is in Matthew 17 when Jesus was transfigured before the eyes of James, John and Peter. Although physically He was the same Jesus they had known, there was something now different about Him. We are to be the same. Although the same, yet different.
Finally, we see that Paul used the same little word, are, to describe the newness of the believer. He says that, behold all things are become new. Again, the word are here signifies a present tense and a continual process. We could not handle the transformation process all at one time and still be of any use to God, therefore He would have to bring us to Himself when we were saved. Therefore, in order to be useful for Christ’s glory, God transforms us in seasons. That is why God is called a refiner in Malachi 3. He puts us into the fire to refine us and then when we’ve reached a certain temperature, He pulls us out to cool and to become tempered.
Simply put, the believer, once saved, now embarks upon a transforming journey. Old things are passing away day by day and new things are being put in their place. Many things could be discussed here like music, clothing, hair, demeanor, attitude, diet, environment and so on. Maybe that’s why Paul wrote to the immature Corinthian Church to examine themselves whether they be in the faith.
To be continued…