My Bible study class is discussing Chip Ingram’s book, The Miracle of Life Change. These few pages are my notes for that class.
The Call: (Romans 12:2)
The key word here is transformation, metamorphoo, something that is passive rather than active in our lives. “Be transformed” by the renewing of your mind. We don’t transform ourselves. Morphing is expected, normal, possible and even commanded.
Paul gives instruction about this transformation (Ephesians 4:1). He wants our life to match who you are in Christ. “Worthy” describes the way we are to walk, or live. Transformation is the basis of our salvation (Ephesians 2:8). We were once dead but are now alive in Christ.
Transformation does not begin with activities, it begins with relationships. Here’s Paul’s outline for holy transformation (Ephesians 4:2-3): humility, gentleness, patience and bearing one another. Natural morphing takes place in secret, like in a cocoon, but spiritual transformation takes place in community (Ephesians 2:19-22, Hebrews 10:25).
These attitudes create life transformation:
Humility: to have an accurate view of yourself, no having a low view of yourself (Romans 12:3). Relationships must focus on others rather than yourself – servanthood is a good summary.
Gentleness: to be considerate, power under restraint or control (1 Thessalonians 2:7-8). Are we willing to give up our rights, not impress others, and not fight for approval?
Patience: to be steadfast and strong in suffering, like a long fuse before you get angry. Those who get made are defending their rights, don’t really like themselves, and are insecure.
Bearing one another: to put up with other people, their quirks, failures and idiosyncrasies.
Why Morphing Matters:
The Bible doesn’t order us to achieve unity, only that we maintain it (Ephesians 4:3). We must practice godly things even when we don’t feel like doing it. Like-change is about becoming more like Christ, becoming clear on seven things (Ephesians 4:4-6). Morphing is imperative.
What Unity Looks Like:
Unity can be describe as the “one” in each phrase (Ephesians 4:4-6). Notice each member of the Trinity receives special attention. “One” emphasizes unity; “all” emphasized inclusion.
- The first triad refers to us, the church (body, Spirit, hope) – the Spirit allows us to have many things in common.
- The second triad refers to the Son (Lord, faith, baptism) – baptism being our shared identity in Christ.
- The third triad refers to the one God and Father of all (like a sovereign summary) beginning with the unity of God, the Spirit leads through the lordship of Christ, to the sovereignty of God the Father.
The likeness of Christ is not just an agenda that God has for us as individuals, but a plan for His church and for the world.