I am using a human analogy because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you offered the parts of yourselves as slaves to moral impurity, and to greater and greater lawlessness, so now offer them as slaves to righteousness, which results in sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free from allegiance to righteousness. So what fruit was produced then from the things you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death. But now, since you have been liberated from sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification — and the end is eternal life! For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The wonderful fact is, that not only are we forgiven for our sins, but we are also freed from the power of our sins. Though our nature was corrupted as it lived “according to the course of this world” (Eph 2:1-3), it can also be transformed as we walk according to the Spirit of God. Before we were “conformed” from without, now we can be “transformed” from within (Rom 12:1-2). This transformation is not merely outside like those that followed the law of Moses, for Jesus told us that Christian righteousness must “exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees” who followed the letter of the law, but didn’t “walk according to the Spirit” (Matt. 5:20, Rom. 8:3-4, 2 Cor. 3:6-9). We don’t merely clean the outside of the cup, like the Pharisees, but we are cleansed from within by the Spirit of God. When God comes to live in us, He begins the process of reforming and restoring our nature as He intended it to be in the beginning. As we submit to this process, he begins to transform not only our actions, but He begins writing the “righteous requirements of the law” on “our hearts” (Rom 8:4, Rom 2:15). He works in us to “will and to work for His good pleasure“ (Phil 2:13). After forgiving us through the sacrifice of Christ, He begins to conform us to the image of Christ. Continue reading “Understanding Transformation (Sanctification Series #3)”