To say that the transformation from sinner to saint is dramatic would be an understatement. It is often likened to the remarkable transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly. That process is one in which a typically unappealing caterpillar, called a larva, wraps itself inside a chrysalis. Once safely inside, the larva dissolves while the imaginal discs, already inside the caterpillar, grow rapidly into a beautiful butterfly. This dramatic metamorphosis appears to be miraculous. However, it plays out innumerable times annually as it has since creation. The caterpillar’s transformation is by design. The difference in man’s transformation is the element of choice. First was the choice to transgress. Sinning results many times from a desire to conform to the world, a desire to fit in. Hopelessly imprisoned in sin, man then desperately looks for a way out.
Jesus has provided the means of escape from sin. What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin (Romans 6:1-6 NKJV).
Do you see elements of transformation in baptism that are like that of the caterpillar? I see the death of the old and emergence of the new from the water after baptism. The undesirable form is left behind and the new form is now able to fulfill its greater purpose. Sadly, not all transformation is for the better. Satan uses transformation for the purpose of deception. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works (2 Corinthians 11:13- 15 NKJV). The Lord has better expectations of the Christian. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2 NKJV).
The process of transformation should be ongoing for the Christian. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV). Knowing that this world is temporary, and that judgment is certain, we must continue to grow. You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. (2 Peter 3:17-18 NKJV)
A final transformation awaits those who are transformed in mind while on earth. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself. (Philippians 3:20-21 NKJV). Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed– in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality (1 Corinthians 15:51-53 NKJV).
Allow God’s word to change you. Be transformed.