Bible Study

What Is Spiritual Transformation In The Bible?

We are constantly being challenged to change. In our society, we are bombarded with self-help resources all showing us how to be different, better, and more than we are now. But as Christians we believe we are fully known, loved, and accepted by God in Christ Jesus. So what is spiritual transformation then, do we really need to change?

Spiritual Transformation in the Bible

To understand spiritual transformation in the Bible we need to look at the context of where this word or phrase is used. It is only found in a couple of Scriptures. The same Greek word that is used for transformation appears first in the accounts of Jesus’ transfiguration.

Jesus took His closest disciples up a mountain to have time alone with them and to confirm who He was. This was six days after Peter’s revelation that Jesus was the Messiah. On the mountainside, we read that Jesus was ‘transfigured before them.’ His appearance changed and the disciples saw His glory which had been hidden from them and will only be fully revealed when Christ returns.

This was to encourage and strengthen the disciple’s faith after the difficult teaching of Jesus’ impending death in Jerusalem. But Jesus’ death is the gift of eternal life to those who turn to Him. When we turn to the Lord the power of sin, to bring condemnation and death, is broken over our lives. In the freedom of God’s grace, we are changed and become a new creation, dead to sin and alive in Christ, spiritually transformed forever.

Sunrise over a golden field of long grass and the quote 'God brings the best out of you - it's time to shine'
What is spiritual transformation in the Bible?

Transformed Into the Image of Christ

In the Old Testament Scriptures when Moses spent time with God his face would become radiant. He would literally shine, having absorbed the light of God’s presence. When Moses reappeared to the people of Israel, he would cover his face with a veil. This was so they would not see the fading of God’s glory. Bible Gateway Exodus 34:29-35

In the New Testament Scriptures, reference is made to the fact that Moses’ radiance would fade. This highlights that Moses’ spiritual transformation was temporary and is outshone by the glory of the gospel.

“But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

2 Corinthians 3:16-18 NIV

The good news of Jesus transforms believers, and the Holy Spirit removes the veil. We have continuous access to the presence of God and are being transformed into the image of Christ. Spiritual transformation in the Bible is instant at the moment of our salvation but also an ongoing process!

Be Transformed Bible Verse

Spiritual transformation in the Bible is not just a single event but a process of change. Transformation is God’s gift, with the power of the Holy Spirit at work within us changing us forever. At the moment of salvation when we acknowledge and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we become a new creation. We are made new in Christ, reconciled to God with the possibility to begin again and leave our past behind.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Romans 12:2

Scripture encourages us to be transformed, to engage in the process and co-work with the Holy Spirit. We become the righteousness of God in Christ when we stop believing the lies of this world. Instead, we start to believe the Biblical truth about who God is and who we are as His beloved child. We are worthy of love, set free from condemnation, and precious in God’s sight.

The back of a woman looking at a sunset over the countryside and the quote 'Fix your attention on God - You'll be changed from the inside out'
What is spiritual transformation in the Bible?

Six Biblical Steps to Transform Your Mind

Spiritual transformation is only possible by the grace of God, and He changes us from the inside out. It is not our ‘work’ or ‘effort’ but receiving His enabling grace. The six Biblical steps to transform your mind encourage us to exercise self-discipline with the power that the Spirit of God gives freely to all who believe.

1) Read the Bible

We are transformed as our minds are renewed by taking in the truth of God’s word. His word has the power to destroy the lies of the enemy as we absorb our value and worth to our Heavenly Father.

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” 1 John 3:1

Related Post: Biblical Affirmations Bringing Light for the Shadows

2) Meditate on the word of God

Cultivate the habit of reflecting on the truth of God’s word so that it becomes part of who we are, the foundation of our lives.

“Blessed is the one… whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.” Psalm 1:2-3

Related Post: Psalm 1 Morning Prayer

3) Pray

Bring our requests to God, and pour out our heart to Him. Share our innermost thoughts and feelings with our Heavenly Father. Prayer is communication that grows and develops our relationship with God. We need to talk to Him and to give Him all of our concerns.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

4) Listen

Be attentive to see and hear God speak in our ordinary everyday moments. It is important to listen for His voice, that inner prompting of the Holy Spirit, and then respond to it.

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it – not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it – they will be blessed in what they do.” James 1:22-25

5) Intimacy with God

We can enjoy and rest in the privilege of God’s presence. So often the sense of His presence comes through praise and worship, flowing from a thankful and grateful heart. But it always involves taking the time to draw near, and to wait on Him.

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:1-2

Related Post: 5 Benefits of Waiting on the Lord

6) Trust in God’s Love All the Time

Trust is easy to declare in times of blessing, when everything is going well. But it is harder to trust when it feels as if life is falling apart, and everything is going wrong. But those are often the transforming moments, when we move from doubt and fear to faith and hope! Spiritual transformation grows as we come to know the Lord’s faithfulness in times of blessing and through our difficult experiences.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:6

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