Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines metamorphosis: “to change into a different physical form, esp. by supernatural means; a striking alteration in appearance, character, or circumstances.” The Greek word metamorphoo occurs only four times in the New Testament. Twice the verb is used with reference to Christ being “transfigured” (Matthew 17:2; Mark 9:2). When Christ was transfigured, his face and garments shined brightly like the sun. The glory of God in the body of Christ was shining through him.
Most of us are familiar with the term “metamorphosis” from our science class in school. We learned that the caterpillar becomes a beautiful butterfly through this amazing process of metamorphosis. There is also a metamorphosis that must happen in our lives to be conformed to the image of Christ.
The Bible states that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 6:23). God showed His love for us by sending His Son to die on the cross for our sins (Romans 5:8). When we put our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9-13), the Holy Spirit comes to indwell our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). The beauty of Christ is in us in the person of the Holy Spirit. God wants us to change from within by His Spirit. This spiritual metamorphosis is found in Romans 12:1-2 and 2 Corinthians 3:18.
Remember the Greek word metamorphoo is only found four times in the New Testament. Twice we find the word with reference to Christ’s transfiguration. The only other times are in 2 Corinthians 3:18 and Romans 12:2.
Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 3:18 “But we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord are changed into the same image from glory to glory even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” This verse is about our being in the presence of God with an “open heart.” We come before God with openness and honesty. We come before Him with brokenness and submission. We behold His glory and He changes us into the same image by His Spirit. This is amazing and wonderful. The word “change” in 2 Corinthians 3:18 and the word “transformed” in Romans 12:2 are both present tense continuous action verbs. We are to “keep on being changed” by the Spirit of God.
In Romans 12:1-2 Paul wrote that we are to present our bodies a living sacrifice to God. This speaks of surrender, honesty, openness—holding nothing back. We are to stop being conformed to this world, but “keep on being transformed (changed)” that we might know and do His will.
The picture of a Christian who is constantly being changed is one who is surrendered in the presence of God with an open heart and an open Bible. How is your prayer life? Is your heart open to God?
©2014, Dr. Robert Franklin