What does it take to be transformed?
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).
Easter is a time when the global Church celebrates the pivotal event of our faith – the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. And beating in the heart of every Christian throughout history, during this same season, has been a desire to experience the transforming power that raised Jesus from the grave (Rom. 8:11) – the same Jesus we are told lives in us by the Holy Spirit, and is continually at work to conform us daily to the likeness of Christ (Rom. 8:29).
What Is Transformation?
What is transformation? And how do we actually change from who we are into “the likeness of Christ?”
To be “transformed,” like a caterpillar emerging from its chrysalis as a butterfly, is all about being changed – from the inside out (Rom. 12:2). And change, a word that means “to be altered in some way,” is often the very thing that brings us into a greater freedom than we had known before – a greater freedom in our thoughts, our emotions, our bodies, and our spirits.
Transformation is about change, and change – is about freedom.
You Will Be Free Indeed!
For Jesus, transformation was, and is, a freedom process that begins in the heart. If we have not experienced the healing, liberating love of God, then we will never be free to experience love of God, love of self, love of others, or love of the creation around us. Transformation is something Jesus promised again and again throughout the Gospels, and is the opening of one’s heart to being changed from one way of being to another, over a lifetime.
The Holy Spirit is behind that amazing, unseen work that bring freedom, and if you are a Christian, you will know that when God starts something, He always finishes it. At the same time, He never seems to be in a hurry! Transformation, we are told in Romans 12:1-2, is a process by which the mind is renewed – literally changed – as the Spirit of Jesus works within us.
In the Scriptures, we see many stories in which God changes a person in an amazing, startling way, releasing them from fear, an illness, a physical condition, a burden, a lifestyle, or a dangerous situation. And sometimes, perhaps most times, the stories in the Bible show us that transformation can be an incredibly slow process that unfolds over a lifetime. If we practice obeying Jesus’ commands, and responding to His love like the people in the stories that follow, we can trust we are being changed into Jesus’ likeness.
This Easter, we’ll look at a few stories of transformation from the Gospel of John in the new FOLLOWING JESUS Study.
Each story is meant to reveal one way that transformation occurs in our own lives, inviting us to follow Jesus into wholeness in a fresh way this Easter season.
Transformation in you is God’s goal this Easter and always – let’s join Him in His work!
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- Following Jesus – An Easter Experience, For Pastors
- Following Jesus – An Easter Experience, For Small Groups
- Following Jesus – An Easter Experience, For Individuals
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