When we accepted the Lord into our hearts, we said that we “dedicated our lives to Him”. Have you ever really stopped to think about that? Webster’s dictionary defines dedicated this way: “devoted to a cause, ideal, or purpose: zealous”. “Devoted” is just another way to say “loyal”. So, if we have really dedicated our lives to Christ, then we are completely loyal to Him to the point of being zealous. That definition does not always characterize my life as a Christian. However, it should be characteristic, so I still have work to do!
If we are to dedicate our lives to Christ, then we need to attempt to live our lives in such a way that people can see Christ in us. This is what being born again is all about. We must die to the worldly ways of sin and be reborn into the spirit. Each and every day, we must grow closer to God, and allow the Spirit to change us. I wrote about this almost a year ago in this blog. The title of that article was “Transformed into God’s Glory”. I’m not trying to re-tell what I had in that article, but this is a matter I find highly important.
The scriptures tell us that we should reflect the image of God. Then we are told that not only do we reflect His image (glory), but we are to be transformed into that image.
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” (2 Cor. 3:18 NASB).
To be transformed is a process. I like the way that the Weymouth New Testament puts it:
“And all of us, with unveiled faces, reflecting like bright mirrors the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same likeness, from one degree of radiant holiness to another, even as derived from the Lord the Spirit.” (2 Cor. 3:18 WNT).
Notice how it says “from one degree of radiant holiness to another”. This process of transforming into the image of Christ will take many steps, being completed in our glorification.
I have several thoughts on this:
- How will the world ever see the reflection of Christ in us if they can’t see any difference in us as Children of God? There is a huge difference between someone who has accepted Christ’s offer of salvation and someone who hasn’t. That difference is simply the image of Jesus being on display in our lives. The difference has nothing to do with our gifts/talents/abilities. It really is not anything we did, except that we admitted we need help, and invited Christ in. Anybody can do this. However, once you have, the proof will be in the change you made in your life. Christian musician Charlie Peacock wrote a song called William and Maggie. This song has a certain lyric that I believe summarizes this point really well:
Oh, it always amazed me how someone could come to the edge of the world, drop a stone down the side, and turn, and return to the very same life.
- We live in a very dirty world (literally and spiritually). When I go outside into the hot sun and do something, either work or play, I get dirty. I need a shower in order clean myself up. That is the same in our spiritual lives. Whether we work or play in the world, we are going to get dust, dirt, grime on us. We need a spiritual shower in the blood of the lamb in order to clean up. Imagine what it would be like if you never took a shower (physical or spiritual). The dirt would become a part of you.
- After I shower, I put on fresh, clean clothes. If I just put the same dirty laundry back on, then what was the point in getting a shower in the first place? The same has to be true of our spiritual lives. After a spiritual shower, we need to send the soiled clothes to the laundry and get dressed in fresh, clean spiritual clothes.
Our Christian lives have got to be a reflection of Jesus Christ in everything we do and in everything we say. We must allow the Spirit to transform us daily into the image of God.