The Transformed Life.
2 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.
Today we will try to make this teaching more academically than Spiritual but at the end we are still going to discover the spiritual in the light of the physical.
There are not many chapters of the Bible where the word transformation appears yet there are many transformed lives in the Bible.
There are three important words here that require our attention:
The ( an article)
What is the meaning of transformation or what it means to be transformed?
a. Change in shape of something or somebody.
b. Change in appearance of something or somebody. The agent of change in appearance may be colour, decoration with ornaments or the removal of it.
c. Change in the condition of a thing or something. This could be by impoverishment or enrichment, stability or destabilisation, enthronement or dethronement.
What is life?
Life is a property of plants and animal beginning at a definite time and ending at a definite time, death. Ecll. 3:1-2
1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
Anything that has a beginning and ending has life. All living thing must have an expiry time and date.
The only reason why God who has life and yet cannot die is because we do not know his beginning. It is the day we know his beginning that God would stop existing for life.
Life is the property that enables plant and animal to use food; grow; reproduce and then die.
What is the article the referring to?
That article is referring to somebody here listening or reading this sermon.
What does it mean to say that someone has been transformed?
0. It means that the person has a changed shape. When we talk about a change in shape it could be like the one a sculpture does to force a piece of wood into his desired shape or what a potter does to a clay.
Implication of this!
There is a person like an agent of change who desire to make an object according to his own desire. This agent in this case is God. However unlike the inanimate objects that are forced to change against their wish, the human being have the will to change and be changed or the refusal to do so. And according to the book of ecclesiastics there is time for everything when transformation of some sort missed the appropriate time it becomes impossible. Hence everyone of us must be willing to make God transform us into his desired shape and image.
If actually you have been transformed as a Christian your appearance should have shown it to all of us that you have. If we cannot find in you certain change of appearance then you have not been transformed. From the pottery pictures above we can see how the potters keep changing forms and patterns. Initially it was something like a pitcher and then to a flower vase or censer and finally a drinking cup.
When a shape of a thing changes ultimately it's usefulness also changes. From the transformation recorded in the above pottery work the usefulness of the pitcher is to be taken to the stream to fetch water; the usefulness of the censer is to contain burning incense while the usefulness of the cup is to serve the master as drinking vessel always kissing the mouth of the master.
The paper note I have here contains the sermon I am preaching and it stays on the altar, the holiest place of the church but if it is recycled into tissue paper it's usefulness and place will be the dirtiest place, the toilet. We can therefore boldly say that a transformed person usefulness will change.
20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
What Paul is saying here is that I have been transformed in Christ Jesus and I have lost my original shape and form. What was his original form?
Paul an instrument of oppression
Paul the arresters and persecutor of the brethren
Paul the enemy of Christ and his followers and
Paul the enemy of change.
A transformed person will suddenly discover that he has lost the capacity to do certain things. When you are transformed from the kingdom of Satan to the kingdom of Christ you will lost the capacity to tell lies, the capacity to defraud, the capacity to fight for yourself and prove your alibi, the capacity to be rebellious and disobedient. There will be something in you telling you that you have changed you are not supposed to do this or that anymore.
1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
A transformed person's affection will ultimately be changed. His affection will be the affection of Jesus. Anytime and anywhere his thinking will be in line with the kingdom thinking. Fornication and adultery will be far away from his mind because he now has a changed form. It will be unthinkable for the cup staying on the master's table to want to go to the toilet and be used as a washpan. If you see anyone who claimed to be born again and one amongst us doing sinfully and acting wickedly his transformation is not complete: he is like a kettle that the Muslim used for ablutions and it's also used to boil water in the kitchen.
9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
Another fundamental change that will be noticed in the life of a transformed person is his appearance. In every profession there are ethics and code of dressing. Those working in the medical profession and the scientific research are easily identifiable by the white apron; the police and the military by the smart uniform while clergymen are identified with the cassock.
Therefore if a policeman changes profession to medicine he must of necessity remove the police uniform to wear something that will make him look like an angel before his patient and not like a gunner. I am made bold to say without any fear of contradiction that a Christian should not dress like harlots looking for customers. If you get born again and your mode of dress does not change I am sorry to let you know that you have not changed. The dress we wear is a sign of our inner conditions. It is the type of heart you are wearing that determines the type of dress you are wearing. When you are transformed your old cloth will be taken away and a new one given.
1 And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. 2 And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? 3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. 4 And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.
Consequent on the above the company of the transformed must change. The company and friends of cup are tea spoon, knife, fork sugar and tea. The company and friends of doctor are nurses, microbiologist, chemist and laboratory scientist. You cannot claim that you are changed without changing your company and friends. In Mark. 5. Jesus healed a mad man living among the swine and the dead. Immediately his healing and salvation was completed Jesus told him to go home to his family. His company suddenly changed, he could no longer lived among the dead.
When your company changed your location will also change, those places you normally frequented will change. The location of a transformed person Christian cannot be in the beer parlour.
A transformed person because of all the changes he has been experiencing would also have a changed condition. He shall moved from the conditions of poverty to riches, from sickness to health, from disability to ability, from trouble to peace, from defeat to conquest, from uncleanness to holiness. When the children of Israel had a change of place; from Egypt to their promised land God promised them.
26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.
I met a woman in London who migrated from Nigeria and she told me her story. She had been battling with malaria fever all her life that she became a burden to her parent but as God would have it she married to a Briton. Few months after she just discovered that her recurrent sickness of malaria fever disappeared and she had not been hospitalised for more that ten years now. Her changed location automatically brought her healing. Healing would come when we leave the territory of Satan to the territory of Jesus.
Jesus himself said that a change of territory will bring us relieve. Matthew 11:28
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
If you are listening to this talk and you feel that you still fall within the time of transformational possibility I congratulate you. It means it is not too late for you to make necessary changes and amendment to your life. There are some people that can no longer be transformed: such are the one who believed that it is too late to make a change.
When God sent his message to Prophet Eli about what he was doing wrong instead of telling God and appealing to him for a time to make amendment he simply concluded that there is nothing he could do any longer. Eli sent a message back to God through Samuel saying:
II Sam. 3:18 ...It is the Lord: let him do what seemeth him good.
Maybe I should tell you some of the thing that God can do when we refuse to change?
God could decide to leave you to your problem. It means your case is already concluded and you are beyond redemption. He has done that before.
Hosea.4:17 Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone. Those who are left alone will be brought face to face with their problems that shall never be resolved. They came to the world to suffer and are always given longer life than normal so that they could drink in full the keg of the wrath of God.
Another option God can use is to cut them off suddenly. John the Baptist told those who were not ready to be transformed that:
9 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
May God bless you.
Pastor. Abiodun John Adeniyi
APICP. Ogun Province II