Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Until Christ Be Formed in You; the transformation process in the body of Christ

I read a blog post recently on written by George Elerick. It was entitled, Vampire Christians: Jesus was more than the cross. The point of the post was this… a large amount of evangelical Christians see Jesus only as the provider of forgiveness of sin via his cross and his blood and, they focus their attention and effort on sin management. This attitude and idea limits the view of the total transformation expected in the disciple. After all, Paul states that the saint is to be conformed into the image of Christ (Rom 8:29.)

In (Gal 4:19) Paul says the following; “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,” For Paul, having Christ formed in the Galatians meant that they were resting in the gospel; that they were justified by faith and not the works of the law…essentially, they were resting in Jesus and all of the benefits wrought by his death burial and resurrection including the forgiveness of sin.

We have taken an in-depth look at the concept of need, rest and, reasonable service and we see it as being the natural flow of the transformation and, we have shown that the Sabbath Rest of Hebrews 4:9-10 is the catalyst for the transformation. In short, it is resting in Jesus no matter what may come that produces the love for God, that when focused on, will transform the saint out of love and gratitude toward God for the redemption found in Christ Jesus.

Paul realized that any read and do formula for walking in the Spirit would lead to a fleshly attempt at reformation. In fact, reformation will not lead to transformation. Anyone believing in original sin will understand this. Remember, we identified original sin as the condition of human mortality coupled with the knowledge of good and evil. The survival instinct leads ultimately to greed and the knowledge of good and evil helps one in power to justify greed. This is the source of all sin in the world and, for one to be absolutely sure about their eternal life…by the design of a loving God, is the catalyst for transformation.

This is the first step in transformation but, it also requires one to be a part of a community that can help to keep one accountable. It is in accountability that the ultimate transformation will take place. It has to be loving accountability that is seasoned with grace. Loving accountability is the missing ingredient in most if not all evangelical churches…there are some that have accountability but it is a read and do kind of accountability and it works as a legal code. This legal code accountability works against transformation.

It is in this area that the importance of the redemptive focus of the scripture plays the most important part. When we acknowledge that Jesus and his disciples redefined the word of God, word of truth and, word to mean either the gospel or Jesus and, when we see that Jesus taught a solely redemptive interpretation of scripture…one that saw him as the Messiah, we can escape the tendency to have a read and do mentality. This alone will be the force to bring about transformation in the saint of God.

1 comment:

  1. I stand in agreement with Paul. You cannot just read scripture and expect to then live it out unless you fully rest in Jesus and are truly in love with God.


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