Do you have some area of your life that you want to change? Perhaps you have made a New Year’s resolution but you are unsure if you have the ability to stick with it? What does the Bible actually say about transformation.
Through the Holy Scriptures, the Holy Spirit gives the believer eternal truth that completely transforms our lives. As 2 Timothy 3:16-17 states, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
While all Scripture is God-breathed, it is sometimes helpful to highlight specific Bible verses that capture important themes seen throughout Scripture. So in this article, I will highlight 4 passages of Scripture that highlight four important themes when it comes to transformation.
If you want to be transformed for God and change your life, these four themes and Bible passages are extremely important.
Ephesians 2:8-9 states, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
If you want to be transformed, you must start by having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Salvation is where our relationship with God truly begins. The Scriptures are crystal clear, the only way to be saved and transformed into a new creation is by depending on the grace of God by putting your faith in Jesus Christ alone.
We cannot be saved by our works. Christianity is not about what you can do for God but about receiving what Jesus has already done for you through the cross and resurrection. If you want your life to change, it all starts with salvation through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:1-2 states, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
Once you are saved by the grace of God, you must then fully understand what God has done to you at the moment of your conversion. Justification is a legal term which means we have been made completely right with God.
A Christian is not becoming right with God. We are not gaining more of the holiness of Jesus Christ. We are in an instant given all of the spiritual blessings in the heavenly places at the exact instant we put our faith in our Savior (Ephesians 1:3). The fullness of Jesus Christ is given to us when we are united to him (Colossians 2:9-10). Justification means we are made 100% righteous in him.
Justification means you cannot lose your holiness. You cannot become less righteous. What you have you did not earn through your works, therefore what you have cannot be taken away by something you might do in the future. Because you have been justified in Christ, you are completely right with God and that cannot change if you are truly a Christian.
Hebrews 10:14 (ESV) explains, “For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.”
In the NIV it reads, “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” The process of sanctification is what will occur to you over the course of your life if you truly have been justified. It is the process of being made holy in your actual behavior.
While justification is a final act done to us right when we believe in Jesus, sanctification is a process that occurs over the course of your earthly life. While you have been completely made new in Christ and are fully justified, through the process of sanctification you are now learning to walk in the gifts God has fully given you in Christ.
As Hebrews 10:14 explains, we are made perfect by Jesus’s single sacrifice while we are also being made holy as we learn to live our lives for Christ. Sanctification is so important to understand because when you sin this does not mean you are no longer justified. Rather, it means you need to continue to grow and learn to fully embrace the newness of life God has bestowed on you.
Finally, Romans 8:16-18 states, “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
Glorification is the final act of redemption awaiting us in the future. You have been saved now. You have been justified now. You are being sanctified now. And you will be glorified one day. When we put our faith in Jesus Christ, we die to our old sinful nature, but this does not mean the old nature is dead in our earthly bodies.
We are no longer our sin when become a Christian (Romans 7:17-20), but our sin still remains in our bodies. This is why our earthly life will still be a struggle. The sin nature and the new nature are at war for control of our bodies. This war, however, will end when we are glorified.
The act of glorification will occur when we are physically raised from the dead and given new bodies to experience God’s goodness forever. When we are glorified the struggle with sin that we endure on earth will be over because we will no longer possess the sin nature in our new bodies.
But this future act should also affect us now. It should produce hope and endurance in us. When we know that the war is ultimately won and our victory is secure through Jesus Christ, this will give us strength to continue to fight in the battles we still experience on earth.