The Transforming Power of Holy Spirit
2 Corinthians 3:18
2 Corinthians 5:4
2 Corinthians 2-5
“...do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
The first 11 chapters of Romans give account of the gospel Paul preaches. explaining how we are transferred from the realm of sin and death to the realm of righteousness and life. (Romans 5:12-21)
Romans 12:1-2 assures us of of God’s mercy which enables us to offer ourselves as a “living sacrifice” to God in order that we are able to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
Although we remain ‘in’ the world, we are no longer ‘of’ the world (John 17:15-16). At the heart of living our new life in Christ is the renewing of our minds so that we are able to approve what is God’s perfect will. We are called to recognise and put into practice God’s will in every situation we face.
God has not burdened us with a new set of commandments, but by His Spirit working within us He is able to change our hearts and minds from within. As we grow in faith our obedience to God becomes natural and spontaneous. (Romans 8:5-9). This is not an immediate change, but a process.
“But we, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of God are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
Paul contrasts the Old Covenant based on the law of Moses with the New Covenant sealed by the blood of Jesus Christ. This is not a simple passage, but it may be helpful to read Exodus 34:29-35 before continuing.
The passage tells how Moses veiled his face after communicating the law of God to the Israelites to prevent them being blinded by its brightness.
Paul sees this as a way of concealing from the Israelites the fading nature of the splendour which accompanied the Old Covenant. Paul goes on to contrast Moses’ lack of boldness with the boldness he, Paul, displayed as a minister of the New Covenant. Paul describes the veil as like a covering which lay over the minds of many of his Jewish contemporaries, preventing them from fully understanding the law of Moses when it was read in the Synagogue. Those who turn to Christ have the veil removed so that they will be transformed into the same image of the glory of the Lord which we see “as in a mirror” by the work of His Spirit within us.
2 Cor 5:4 For we who are in this tent groan being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed that mortality may be swallowed up (transformed) by life.
2 Corinthians 2-5 express Paul’s wish to be freed from the limitations and sufferings of his human body. He often lists the beatings, mistreatment and imprisonment he has suffered for preaching Christ and we know that he was also plagued by a medical problem which had not been healed.
In Paul’s days the new churches were threatened by an heretical group called Gnostics who believed that the ultimate purpose of faith was to retain a disembodied state. Paul dismisses this and looks eagerly forward to life in his resurrection body.
So, we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds into the likeness of Jesus in readiness for our Heavenly body we shall one day put on for eternity.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I surrender myself to You afresh, longing for the day when I will see you face to face and my transformation will be complete. Until that day dawns, help me to become more Christ like day by day. Amen.