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by Randy Becton

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    It is only one sentence ... somewhat puzzling as well as amazing. “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 3:18). Paul, apostle of Christ, writes this in a letter to the Christians in Corinth.

    Christians are a “work in progress.” When people outside the Christian faith examine its major themes, they ought to consider the ongoing work of the Spirit of God, helping mature and perfect believers — in religious language, this means sanctifying believers. The power to accomplish this work is not the creative ingenuity or manpower that humans can summon — it is the Spirit of Christ himself. God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit comprise the triune God — the one, true, living God. He “was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting man’s sins against them,” according to Paul’s inspired message (2 Corinthians 5:19).

    God the Reconciler wants you and me to be with him in heaven, seated at the heavenly banquet. He has gone to incredible lengths to make it happen — including giving his one and only Son on a cross to open the gates for us. He calls us to himself through the preaching of the Gospel which tells of his great love for us (John 3:16). When we respond, he places us into his family (Acts 2:47; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21).

    When people call followers of Jesus “Christians,” it’s more than a name, it is also a description. We who try daily to follow him, also seek to live like him. Paul said it very well:

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

    Scripture describes Christians as growing from babies into mature disciples. The grace of God has broken down barriers. We are drawn to him, and when we come to him, Christ cleanses our souls. God’s love given us through Jesus brings us rebirth and renewal.

God’s love given us through Jesus brings us rebirth and renewal.
    Jesus provided the cleansing for our sin-filled life — and he made the pattern for our new life. He is the starting point in our transformation — our Alpha. And he is our goal — our Omega.

    Note that he is the pattern; we are “transformed into his likeness with ever increasing glory.” As God’s image takes shape in us, we will see God’s power as we confront sin. Our transformation begins. The Lord blesses our daily living as we make decisions. We become holier, wiser, and more loving as we seek to reach souls for Jesus.

    According to rock musician Billy Joel, the world is hungry to be loved. He said, “I want what everyone else wants — to be loved. But in my whole life I haven’t met the person I can sustain a relationship with yet ... I’m angry with myself ...” Joel’s words, published as a sidebar in newspapers across the country, show his cry for meaning and companionship and transformation.

    Have you been transformed? Can the world see the love of Jesus in your life?

    Let God begin his work of transformation in you today!

 
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      © 2003, Herald of Truth and Randy Becton, Herald of Truth. Used by permission.

      Title: ""
      Author: Randy Becton
      Publication Date: September 11, 2003


 
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