Gordon Crook, PastorGrace Assembly, Wichita, Kansas
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:18
In 1 Corinthians 15 we read about a coming change that will certainly be glorious as we are changed from this mortal to our glorified bodies. This is indeed a change that we anticipate, but often we fail to consider the change God wants to make in us right now.
God is not just in the forgiveness business, He is in the change business. Forgiveness of sins is just the beginning that makes it possible for us to be changed into something more glorious than we can imagine. That change is starting right here in this life, and will certainly culminate in the coming change to our glorified bodies someday.
When we are saved, we are given the Life of Christ and that begins the change in us. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17. The old creation that we are from birth is changed for a new creation. Only this new creation can be changed from glory to glory.
It was always God’s plan to provide a way that we could share in His glory. “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Romans 8:29. It was our sin the kept us from sharing in His glory. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23.
Paul speaks several times about this process, and it is a process. Daily we are in the process of being changed if we yield to the working if the Holy Spirit. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2. The transformation is taking place as we take in the Word of God and allow the Holy Spirit to renew our mind.
Most of what we find in the New Testament is speaking to us about our attitudes. That is, the way we think and react to every aspect of life. The world has a way of thinking about things, and they have a way of reacting to the circumstances of life, and God is wanting to change ours to align with His.
As we take in God’s Word, and are yielding to the Holy Spirit, our thinking is being changed. We may not “look” different to others, but there should be a difference that is noticeable by the people we contact every day. We should be projecting in our attitude, the life of Jesus that is in us. “And have put on the new [man], which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:” Colossians 3:10.
Because this is an ongoing process of change (from glory to glory), we must be willing to allow daily work in our lives. Satan is constantly trying to work on your life through the world to keep you in the old mindset of the old creation. If we decide we do not need to take in God’s Word or allow Him to work in our life daily, then we will come more and more under the influence of the world.
We are not capable on our own to change ourselves into that which pleases God and glorifies Him. Only He can do that, and He does that through His Word. “Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Romans 8:7. “Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of [this] calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of [his] goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12.
These verses clearly tell us that our own effort to change ourselves will not result in the kind of change that God will do. It is true that some people change their attitudes or “improve” themselves in some way, but it is not the same as the change that God is making, because God is changing us in a way that will glorify Him forever. Any change we could make in ourselves, will only result in us glorifying ourselves, as man always wants to do.
Some people are afraid of change, and I admit to not liking change very much when it comes to the things around me, but this change that God is working is always good, and we should not only be OK with it, but should actively seek to have Him change our heart every day from glory to glory.