Being changed into the image of Jesus
A miracle can happen to you, like the transformation that
happens when a worm is transformed into a butterfly
(2 Corinthians 3:18).
By sending Jesus to be our Savior, God gave us eternal life, and gave us
the resources that we need to win the war continuously going on in our
Non-conscious Selves. Thus we can be “saved.”
1. First, God made the provision that we could become His
children, and then be filled with His Holy Spirit. In this way He
became our ally and gave us the resources we needed to fight the
war. This is the one-time event.
2. Then we needed to fight the war, battle by battle. Now that we
have superior “firepower” (the blood of Jesus), we can take back
the places in our “Honeycomb” where our “God-wannabe” had
invaded and taken dominion. This is the ongoing process of our
transformation into the image of Jesus (what I am calling
What Does Scripture Say?
As always, we need to rely on Scripture as our sure guide. The New
Testament tells us about these two aspects of our “salvation,” and
sometimes the same Greek words are used to describe both of these two
To get a clear picture of this, I studied every New Testament Scripture
from Acts (after Pentecost) to Revelation that I could find that relate to
“salvation,” or “being saved.”
Because of the great emphasis in the Christian church on “evangelism,”
the one-time event, to the virtual exclusion of mentoring people in the
ongoing process, I expected to find that same emphasis in the Epistles to
I was astounded by the results of my study. Instead of what I expected, I
found a huge emphasis placed upon the ongoing process. In my analysis,
the ongoing process was referred to at least five times as often as
was the one-time event!
Why was the emphasis so lopsided? I can only guess, but my suspicion is
that the churches were being attacked on this very issue of
“metamorphoo.” The pagans and legalists were trying to deceive the
believers. The Epistles were written to counter specific situations, and to
refute the attacks by reaffirming the truth; so that the believers could
continue to have victory over sin through the blood of Jesus.
Now The Emphasis Is Backwards
Both aspects of “being saved” are true and important. They are both gifts
given to us by God. They are both spoken of in the Epistles. However, in
light of the fact that Scripture so greatly emphasizes the ongoing process,
it is very strange that the one-time event is present to the virtual
exclusion of “metamorphoo.”
In Scripture, the ongoing process is greatly emphasized.
In the Christian church, it is virtually absent!
Why is the emphasis in the modern Christian church so backwards?
There Is An “Elephant” In The Living Room
If an elephant was in fact standing in your living room, it would be
extremely obvious, wouldn’t it? Suppose the elephant was there, but a
friend of yours could not see it. Assuming he or she was not blind, and
could see everything else in the room, you would think that was very odd.
How could they possibly not see it?
The Christian church has “an elephant in its living room,”
and most Christians cannot see it.
This unseen reality is transformation into the image of
We have been robbed, and so blinded that we don’t even know it:
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to
destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that
they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10).
When warning the Colossian Church to stay rooted and built up in Christ
(to be seeking to experience “metamorphoo”), Paul warned them about
the trap of attempting to produce “good fruit” by will power:
Beware [continuously] lest anyone [continuously] cheat
you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to
the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of
the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him
[continuously] dwells all the fullness of the Godhead
bodily; and you [continuously] are complete in Him, who
[continuously] is the head of all principality and power
(Colossians 2:8-10, the words in brackets andred are mine).
If you will read Colossians 1:27 through 2:15, you should be able to see
that Paul was specifically encouraging them to stay focused on
“metamorphoo,” “Christ in you” (Colossians 1:27). The attempt to remove
this wonderful gift from sight was already under way in his day, and he saw
the potential for Christians to be deceived and blinded.
If you will read the scriptures in Appendix A, you will see that the various
writers of the Epistles wrote a lot about the same emerging problem in the
young Christian church. Some sort of a coordinated attack had been
launched against transformation into the image of Jesus.
Why “Metamorphoo” Got Buried
The man Jesus Christ lived for something like 33 years, and his earthly
ministry lasted about 3 years. That one God-man, in this brief time, turned
the world upside down.
What would the world be like if it was filled with millions of people like
Him, and this condition were to exist for centuries? Wouldn’t the world be
filled with love, compassion, truth, peace, and the presence of God?
Millions of “little Christs” on the earth would be
Satan’s worst nightmare!
Satan Had To Find A Way To Bury
Consequently Satan had to stop “metamorphoo” from occurring. He
would be willing to tolerate anything but this transformation into the image
of Jesus. He could continue to be the god of this world under any other
circumstances, because Christ was the only One who had the power to
take away Satan’s kingdom.
When Christ sent His Spirit into men at Pentecost (Acts Chapter 2), it was a
new ballgame. Now Satan had a potential rival to his throne here on earth,
and he had to do whatever it took to keep this enemy of his from
spreading God’s dominion here on earth.
Satan desperately needed to find a way to nullify